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Proper order of operations for assembling and finishing

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Forum topic by erikreagan posted 12-30-2016 01:51 PM 409 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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erikreagan

5 posts in 351 days


12-30-2016 01:51 PM

Hey folks!

First 101 question I have for you guys is about the train table I’m building my son. We want to paint it white to match the other furniture in his room. This being one of my first real projects, I’m not sure what the proper order of operations is. I know I need to sand it, clean the surfaces, paint it, assemble it, etc. But is there a specific order I should be doing the painting and assembling?

In the event that the answer is “it depends”, what questions should I ask myself to determine which step should come first?

Thanks for the help!

Erik

-- Slowly learning to build things in my "spare time"


5 replies so far

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Ron Aylor

1786 posts in 485 days


#1 posted 12-30-2016 02:10 PM

I for one do not do a lot of painting, but would think painting would come after assembly … sand/clean the parts as you go … final sanding after assembly and before you paint. Will the table ever be disassembled?

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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OSU55

1425 posts in 1827 days


#2 posted 12-30-2016 02:13 PM

I prefer to assemble all glue joints then finish so I don’t have to keep finish off glue areas. Anything screwed gets assembled after finish. Most table/furniture tops screw on various ways to allow for wood movement, so do the top separate from the frame. Paint the bottom of the top to limit moisture travel to the same as the top to prevent warping/cupping. “It depends” – just as you did here, include the finish process in the design phase of the project. Sometimes the design will be altered for easier finishing.

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rhett

742 posts in 3505 days


#3 posted 12-30-2016 02:18 PM

Rough cut lumber
Mill to size
Cut the joinery
Sand/face prep pieces
Assemble furniture
Final sanding/inspection
Finish

This is how I did it. I also tried to prefinish anything that would be difficult to finish after assembly, like insides of cabinets or bottom of tabletops, etc.

Good luck and don’t forget to have fun.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

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erikreagan

5 posts in 351 days


#4 posted 12-30-2016 02:18 PM

I for one do not do a lot of painting, but would think painting would come after assembly … sand/clean the parts as you go … final sanding after assembly and before you paint. Will the table ever be disassembled?

Noted, thank you.

And as far as disassembling the table, it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll disassemble it.

Anything screwed gets assembled after finish. Most table/furniture tops screw on various ways to allow for wood movement, so do the top separate from the frame. Paint the bottom of the top to limit moisture travel to the same as the top to prevent warping/cupping.

Sounds like a good rule of thumb.

“It depends” – just as you did here, include the finish process in the design phase of the project. Sometimes the design will be altered for easier finishing.

Oh, great suggestion. I’ll keep this in mind for future projects. Thanks!

-- Slowly learning to build things in my "spare time"

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erikreagan

5 posts in 351 days


#5 posted 12-30-2016 02:19 PM

Thanks Rhett. I’m a bullet-list kinda person. That’s helpful.

-- Slowly learning to build things in my "spare time"

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