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Forum topic by JAshcroft posted 12-10-2010 05:43 PM 918 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JAshcroft

20 posts in 2996 days


12-10-2010 05:43 PM

Good morning everyone! I just finished sanding a narrow bookcase for the bedroom and my wife decided that she would prefer not staining the wood but apply a clear finish. The bookcase is Red Oak.

All prior projects I have done were stained then a clear coat applied. How do I go about prepping for just a clear coat? Do I need to condition the wood first for clear coating? I’ve not applied just a clear finish before.

Joel

-- It's all good... http://spcascades.railfan.net/westernLumberCo.html


4 replies so far

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2314 days


#1 posted 12-10-2010 06:22 PM

Hi Joel—

The only time you need conditioner prior to clear coat is with woods that tend to blotch—maples, pine, alder, for example. I can’t see what species your bookcase is.

What you do next depends on the finish material. If it’s a solvent based product (polyurethane, varnish, Watco type stuff) you can sand to 150 or 180 and wipe or brush away.

If it’s in the lacquer family, then 120 is as far as you want to go; the smoothness will come from sanding after the sealer coat.

If it’s waterborne poly product, then I recommend you sand to 150, mist it thoroughly with water (not to puddling) and let it dry and then sand it again. That will get rid of a lot of the raised grain which you’ll see/feel after the first coat. That will require sanding with 220 to flatten it before subsequent coats, at least 3.

My recommendation, given all the intersections of your project (assuming it’s the pic on your home page) is a wipe on finish. My mix is one part clear Watco to 1 part satin oil based polyurethane. I wipe it on, let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes (shorter if it’s warmer) and then wipe excess off. Let it dry overnight, sand it lightly with 400 (by hand) and add subsequent coats at identical intervals as desired.

I hope this helps you. It comes from a fellow Oregon woodworker (Redmond) who knows a Shay when he sees one!

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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JAshcroft

20 posts in 2996 days


#2 posted 12-10-2010 06:51 PM

Close-up of the bookcase before any prep work. Oak.

Joel

Lee, a Shay? Ah! You’re breaking my heart! Willamette! LOL!! You probably see the Mt Emily Shay on a regular basis out there in Redmond. Nice loco.

Cheers!

-- It's all good... http://spcascades.railfan.net/westernLumberCo.html

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2314 days


#3 posted 12-10-2010 07:37 PM

Hi Joel—

Oil based wipe on, that’s the ticket. I’ve done acres of oak this way, and it’s a good marriage.

Shay wise, I’ve also seen the one on permanent (then, anyway) display in Cadillac, Michigan.

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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mfike

100 posts in 3129 days


#4 posted 12-11-2010 07:44 AM

I agree with Lee, wipe on poly is very easy to use. The first coat will get soaked up really quick, then you can start building up the finish. I always sand to 220, but that’s a personal preference thing.

Mitch

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