LumberJocks

Finishing a projectd before assembly

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Redford1947 posted 1274 days ago 891 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Redford1947's profile

Redford1947

35 posts in 1407 days


1274 days ago

Obvioulsy it would be easier to finiish all the parts of a project while they are flat on a table before assembly. However, I am concerned about damage when assemblying. What do you guys do? I am making a chest and it would be harder to sand, stain etc. when it is a box rather than flat pieces.

Appreciate any suggestions.

Redford


8 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2419 days


#1 posted 1274 days ago

Redford, I will generally finish the inside of my casework before assembly because, as you mentioned, it is easier to get to it- especially where the corners are concerned. I will mask off any areas that will come in contact with glue. And you are right the prefinished pieces may get scratched during the milling and assembly process. However, this is easier to correct, in my opinion, as opposed to trying to sand and apply finish inside of the cabinet.

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

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1647 days


#2 posted 1274 days ago

I’d have to agree with both comments above.

It’s much easier to finish things, and finish them consistently when they’re flat, even when, and sometimes especially if, you’re spraying.Your corners and joints will tend to look better as you’ll have a more evenly applied finish if you finish the flat surfaces before assembly.

Not that you always have to finish things before assembly, as Barry says. With something like a chest though, you may get a better end result by finishing it first.

Try this: do a dry-fit with clamps, etc. Then imagine where you might have problems finishing it if you were to assemble it all first. Is it going to be more work to use tape and be extra careful when assembling, or is it going to be more difficult to get into all those tight spots and get an even coat of finish without missing anything, or applying too much, getting runs, etc.?

It also depends on the finish you want to apply.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View riverb's profile

riverb

45 posts in 1271 days


#3 posted 1271 days ago

i might try it on my next project. it will have a lot of smaller pieces. It sure would be nice to have them done before hand.

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1726 days


#4 posted 1270 days ago

I started pre-finishing with floating panels to avoid unfinished edges from appearing. I now do it all the time to virtually all my components. Its a lot easier when there are no corners. Another big advantage is that you can wipe glue squeeze out right off with a damp paper towel. No muss no fuss. You can still add glazes and effects after assembly too. To me its a win win situation.

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1922 days


#5 posted 1270 days ago

Finish as much as possible first. It saves SO MUCH frustration. And like the guys say above. you can protect from squeeze out with blue tape, etc. etc.

Charles Neil did a great article in FWW recently enough about it. Here is the link to it:

http://www.finewoodworking.com/PlansAndProjects/PlansAndProjectsPDF.aspx?id=32986

View indianawoodbutcher's profile

indianawoodbutcher

34 posts in 1286 days


#6 posted 1270 days ago

I have been trying different techniques to cut the finish time. So far, pre-finishing is the best idea. However, one must be careful about what gets pre-finished, and what does not. Finishing pannels is a great idea. But to try to finish the rails and styles before assembly eliminates the ability to clean up the joints with a good bit of sanding. As far as the inside of projects, it all depends upon how much will be seen/touched. I try to be reasonable. If there is a piece that is not going to be seen, then I don’t give it a lot of attention. To some, that is lazy, to me it is working smart.

View Redford1947's profile

Redford1947

35 posts in 1407 days


#7 posted 1254 days ago

Appreciate all the suggestions. One question (a stupid one): does the glue stick, cure to poly surfaces or do I have to mask joints that will be glued?

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1583 days


#8 posted 1254 days ago

The glue will absorb into the wood better if there is no poly on it. I personally would mask any areas that will be receiving glue.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase