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Forum topic by stefang posted 12-16-2009 05:32 PM 1366 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


12-16-2009 05:32 PM

I have a pretty small shop and therefore no dedicated area for finishing. I am constantly frustrated at having to wait for finishes to dry before I can resume woodworking. I have been thinking about how I could do both at the same time. I have to finish and dry in the workshop at the present time. I have a fairly good sized fully insulated and paneled loft over the workshop that I plan to outfit for finishing next summer, but until that time I need a temporary fix. I have some fuzzy ideas, but would much appreciate any suggestions/solutions you might have.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.


19 replies so far

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3287 days


#1 posted 12-16-2009 06:22 PM

Mike, I have the same problem. Like you once I start finishing all cutting comes to a halt. I do have the luxury of being able to use part of the upper garage if I absolutely need to (as long as it does not encroach on my wife’s side of course). But at this time of year, since it is unheated, the finish would take forever to cure.

I have thought about constructing a temporary structure, similar to temporary spray booths that I have seen, for doing finishing. I have been debating a couple of systems that looked interesting. One used large pieces of cardboard (from refrigerators, for example) to construct booth walls/top and hinges them together with velcro tabs. The other consists of a basic set of frames constructed from 1/2” pvc pipe and each side and top is wrapped with plastic, leaving the fittings unglued. The advantages of both systems are that they are not permanent, lightweight and easily assembled and stored when the job is done.

But, of course, this biggest drawback is that they require room that you may not have to spare in your shop. I know to do this I would have to get rid of my 4×8 assembly table which is going to have to go anyway to give me more room to operate.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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HeirloomWoodworking

238 posts in 3205 days


#2 posted 12-16-2009 07:22 PM

I feel your pain stefang!

I “enjoy” the same problem as you and the other posters. I fact right now I am putting the finish coats on a special Christmas gift for a loved one, and it involves lots of applications and of course lots of time. Meanwhile I still have a sizable list of “I need to get this made before the holidays” type of projects to complete.

I usually find myself constructing sizable pieces (furniture) so finishing takes a considerable amount of space, limiting my options further.

I wonder what the queen would think of me building a second workshop? hmmm…my bet is that idea would end up negotiating into also costing me a new car, kitchen, or jewelry for her.

Trev

-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#3 posted 12-16-2009 08:04 PM

Thanks Mario, Scott, and PrairieFire for the suggestions and Trev for the empathy. Since I will be converting the loft to a permanent finishing center the best way to go for me would be something like you all suggested, which is a drying container that I can put the wet stuff in to dry and just close it up to keep out the dust. It could then be put out of the way under my sliding bench. This should work because my projects are small anyway.I had in fact thought about that, but I was worried that it would prevent the finished from drying. Our climate here is very wet most of the time. I just now remembered something as I was writing this. We have a dehumidifier which we almost never use in our utility room. That would certainly help but, I am still concerned that sealing up wet items might prevent drying. Anybody got experience with that issue? Well I have taken the dehumidifier out to the shop and started it up. At least the high humidity issue is solved. Why didn’t I think of it a long time ago?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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gerrym526

272 posts in 3273 days


#4 posted 12-16-2009 08:50 PM

Stefan,
If you’re not opposed to trying out a new finish, I’d suggest trying Bartley’s Gel Varnish. It’s a wipe-on, build type (3-4 coats) finish that dries almost instantly. Came across it when I was taking woodworking classes at a school here in Chicago that had no dedicated finishing area, and usually had woodworking going on constantly-generating sawdust.
Although I’m going to move to HVLP spraying soon, I still would use the Bartley Gel varnish in a pinch-really liked the finish. It’s what I used on the blanket chest in my Projects area.
Hope this helps.
Gerry

-- Gerry

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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#5 posted 12-16-2009 09:13 PM

Thanks for the tip Gerry. Unfortunately I don’t have access to it here in Norway, but I certainly will check to see if there is a Norwegian equivalent available.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3141 days


#6 posted 12-17-2009 06:36 AM

Mike, how about making a drying cage. Use cheese cloth to keep the dust out but let air move through??

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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NoSlivers

210 posts in 2555 days


#7 posted 12-17-2009 06:42 AM

Stefang, I have very limited space (my garage) so I feel your pain/frustration. I made a frame out of PVC pipe and cover the top and sides with plastic sheeting (the same used for putting on the floor when painting a room). I put the whole thing over my downdraft table, connect the vacuum and draw out any existing dust. I can run the vacuum and draw out most of the fumes as well so I’m not getting a headache while applying additional layers of finish. Just close up the sides while drying. Just don’t glue up any of the PVC joints so the frame can easily be broken down between projects. The whole “booth” costs less than $60 to put together!!

-- If you don't have time to do it right, do you have time to do it twice?

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3141 days


#8 posted 12-17-2009 07:15 AM

NoSlivers, that might be a bit risky, sucking fumes into your vacuum!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#9 posted 12-17-2009 11:39 AM

Thanks Bob and NoSlivers. The cheesecloth might be a good idea. The only problem with that might be that the fabric would eventually become permeated with dust and even though I could vacuum it before use I might not be able to get all the dust out. I like the idea though, and maybe there is some other type of material that would work the same way, but be easier to keep clean. NoSlivers I am, like Bob a little skeptical about sucking fumes into the vac. Bob is an electrician and knows about this kind of stuff. On the other hand, you have apparently been doing this successfully without problems, so it obviously works for you. My shop is, totally insulated and pretty sealed tight this time of year, so I don’t think I would attempt your solution, but I thank you for taking the time and trouble to try to help me out.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#10 posted 12-17-2009 06:25 PM

Ok folks, I found a solution! Have you seen those cheap closet shelves with canvas sides that hang from a garderobe? Well, I can get one locally for about $12. It has 6 shelves in a size that works for my small projects. It’s open on the front part, but I can get a similar hanging bag without shelves that I can put the shelf unit into, and it zips up tight. When I’m not using them they collapse into 15” squares about 5” high. All for about $24 (That’s cheap in Norway).

Thanks to all for the helpful suggestions which got me thinking about these shelves.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Walnut_Weasel's profile

Walnut_Weasel

360 posts in 2687 days


#11 posted 12-17-2009 07:27 PM

Good idea Mike. Thanks for posting the follow-up!

-- James - www.walnutweasel.wordpress.com

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Moron

5032 posts in 3358 days


#12 posted 12-17-2009 08:08 PM

inexpensive good poly stapled to inexpensive 1×3 strapping, then taped and sealed. They sell inexpensive self adhesive zippers (made specifically for keeping dust out of others rooms during renovations) that you stick onto the poly, un zip it, cut the poly behind the zipper….............and Bingo, a inexpensive temporary finishing room that can be rolled up and put away.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

1041 posts in 2609 days


#13 posted 12-17-2009 08:08 PM

Mike, I’m glad to see you have solved your problem. This solution won’t take the place of yours, but from the response you recieved I think someone else may want to check out these products.

http://www.zipwall.com/prod-desc.html

They are spring loaded aluminum poles with attachment pads at the top and non skid feet on the bottoms. Using painter’s plastic, I can set up any size tent in under 5 minutes. If you are doing larger projects (cabinets) or multiple jobs at once, these are priceless. The Downside is the price. They’re about $50/pole. I am lucky in that I had to have them for my business. I do not sell them, and have no affiliation with them, but I can tell you they work great. OK, now I’m going to have to right a review, aren’t I?

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3141 days


#14 posted 12-18-2009 04:59 AM

Will yoiu get enough air exchange to do the drying? The cheese cloth is expendable. i wouldn’t try to clean it :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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stefang

15512 posts in 2799 days


#15 posted 12-18-2009 12:29 PM

That’s my main concern now Bob. I might have to figure out some way to vent it in a way that allows air exchange, but still keeps dust out. It will probably work anyway, but just take a lot more time. However, that isn’t a big problem since I can continue with other work in the shop. I could always open up the bag when I leave the shop for the night. By that time the dust will mostly be falling vertically so shouldn’t be a problem. I will just have to use the trial and error method to find out. I don’t even know where I could buy cheesecloth and besides, I hate the idea of having to throw it away after each coat of finish.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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