|Project by BenchDawg||posted 06-20-2011 11:59 PM||3734 views||48 times favorited||20 comments|
I just finished this set of Adirondack chairs.
They are the same type and pattern as my previous chairs. I just got a planer so I opted for rough cut aromatic cedar, common here in Oklahoma. It’s such an ugly tree on the outside but the wood is beautiful. It’s also pretty reasonable, cost wise. I enjoyed working with it.
What I really want to talk about is the finish. I have always been somewhat frustrated with my finish work. My previous chairs were finished with a regular spar varnish, applied with a cheap brush, because, who can really get varnish completely out of a brush and not leave it stiff and unusable the next time you need it?
I discovered Epifanes varnish. Epifanes makes a varnish that boat builders rave about. I figure if it is good enough for wooden boat hulls than it ought to be doubly good on patio furniture.
I followed Epifanes recommendations to a tee. I started with a 50/50 mix of varnish and mineral spirits and did my first coat. After 24 hours, I lightly sanded using a 220 grit. Next was a coat of 75/25 followed up with a sanding using 400 grit, again after a 24 hour drying time. The third coat was 85/15 with a 400 grit. And finally a 95/5 mix. Four coats and I got a great glass finish.
I bought the high quality brush they recommended, a two and half inch oval brush ($40 plus…) and a brush keeper. The brush keeper is nothing more than a Rubbermaid container that you hang the brush into after cleaning. The brush hangs suspended in a diesel bath, up to the ferrule, until it is needed again. Simply clean and use, then clean again and back to the bath. Apparently the oily consistency of the diesel keeps the brush in top shape between uses. The system is easy and my brush has remained supple and ready to use.
I also got a brush spinner that quickly spins the brush after cleaning. The entire system was a little bit of investment up front but I will never go back to my frustrating old finishing ways again.
I am sold on this process and that product.