Proper time to use Mineral Spirits......

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 09-30-2011 03:33 PM 104159 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3294 days

09-30-2011 03:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mineral spirts saw dust

Hey guys, I am about to make some humidors for the guys in my wedding party, so thought I better step up my finishing game a little. Usually after sanding and before putting on a finish I just vacuum the dust off, and thats it. I typically dont create high end projects with amazing finishes, so its usually not that big of a deal. However, I really want these humidors to be as nice as possible. So here’s my question

When is it proper to use mineral spirits to wipe on the project to help get rid of the dust? Are there types of stains/finishes that you would not do this prior to?

Once first coat is on and you want to sand the finish a little, do you use mineral spirits again (depending on staining/finish)???

Thanks in advance. Just trying to understand the process. Any tips on how you guys do it would be great as well! Thanks a lot

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

11 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21740 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 09-30-2011 03:46 PM

Hi Doug. I usually don’t wipe a part down after sanding. I use a air hose and blow it off completely. You’d be surprised how much dust gets in the pores. Then I stain it and let it dry and apply the finish. I wet sand after the first coat of finish and wipe it off with a clean dry cloth before applying the subsequent coats. I avoid wiping a part down with a solvent because of reactions. Especially if using spray finishes. I think they have a lot of new chemicals ( maybe green ones!!) that seem to react more easily with different solvents…..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#2 posted 09-30-2011 03:49 PM

mineral spirits is used to cut (usually to remove) the finish, not to clean the project and not to remove dust.
unless you are trying to thin down your finish or remove existing finish there is no need to use mineral spirits whatsoever. just wipe your project and dust it off and put the finish on it. sand between coats and wipe dust with a cloth (using mineral spirits will remove the previous coat of finish – not really what you want happening)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 09-30-2011 03:52 PM

I kind of figured (knew) you didnt use mineral spirits after you already applied the finish, however I was just making sure.

I’ve read a lot of places that you use mineral spirits on a rag to wipe down the wood to get the fine sawdust off. Most articles say it is fine to do it because mineral spirits will completely evaporate…..

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#4 posted 09-30-2011 04:00 PM

min.spirits would evaporate, but using it to wipe does not have any benefits of using just lightly damp cloth (with water). I’ll usually try to minimize exposure to fumes and chemicals in the air I breath and use whatever natural things I can.

blowing with an air gun and air filter near by, vacuuming, and using a damp cloth with water will probably be as good as it gets.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3346 days

#5 posted 09-30-2011 04:20 PM

With the above (air, vacuum, clean cloth) I use a tack cloth. Lightly wipe to get all the dust. Too heavy might leave a residue. This can be used between finish coats also.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Raspar's profile


246 posts in 3351 days

#6 posted 09-30-2011 04:37 PM

Have not seen this mentioned so will throw in my 2cents… usually humidors are lined with spanish cedar and should be left unfinished to season the cigars. This was told to me by someone way back when I made mine. If not using cedar then not sure if it matters.

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

View DrDirt's profile


4511 posts in 3945 days

#7 posted 09-30-2011 05:25 PM

I usually use either mineral spirits or alcohol to wipe down, not to get rid of dust, but to show any glue squeeze out that sanding missed.

-- β€œThe two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4085 days

#8 posted 09-30-2011 11:00 PM

I have been using MS to remove dust for a while now and really like it. It works great. A little bit of Googling shows that a lot of other people do this too. If you use a white rag, you will see all the dust it removes.

It also will let you see any glue marks and gives a vision of what the little baby will look like.

But I do not know the answer to your question. I have used it before using oils and polys with no problem. I would think that shellac and varnish wouldn’t mind either.

But I certainly am no expert here.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4025 days

#9 posted 10-01-2011 04:15 AM

There is no problem with using mineral spirits to wipe off the dust from sanding either the wood or finish itself. I gave up tack cloths long ago in favor of mineral spirits. If you can sand it then mineral spirits will not have any effect on oil base finishes and shellac is not not harmed at all. Steve has some pretty good comments.

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

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3007 days

#10 posted 10-01-2011 03:24 PM

I’ve used MS after sanding, and have never had any problems with finish. just be sure it dries completely before you do put anything over it. dats my $.02

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View dakremer's profile


2742 posts in 3294 days

#11 posted 10-02-2011 04:38 AM

Thanks guys for all of your responses! It seems like it is ok to use mineral spirits, its just up to the user if they want to or not. Maybe I’ll just stay away from it for now – just one more thing for me to screw up! haha. I will just vacuum it and blow it off a lot more and make sure I get as much dust off as possible!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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