Finish Problem: "seams" appear days after poly is dry

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Forum topic by Kwit posted 236 days ago 730 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kwit's profile


82 posts in 583 days

236 days ago

I seem to have a problem with finishing some oak red oak tables made from 3.5” and 2.5” strips, 1.5” thick, glued together using TBIII, then finished with Minwax Dark Walnut

here’s a post of what I thought was a finished product:

It seems that after applying 4 coats of Minwax oil-based poly – then sprayed an apparently great finish coat – There were flaws developing nearly 3-4 days after drying. It may be a small bubble – or it seems like something is seeping out from the seams to create a very slight – be albeit – visible line at the seams in certain areas

It is not all over the pieces – just in certain areas – I built 4 tables like this.

I let my poly coats dry 24 hours – then 220 grit sand – clean with Mineral Spirits and microfiber cloths

My work shop temp is not super stable – but it has been between 62 and 57 degrees during the process

Any ideas appreciated

-- don't talk about it - be about it

9 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 662 days

#1 posted 236 days ago

Wazzat? A picture of a snowman in a blizzard? A polar bear laying on a cotton sheet? You promised a pic of red oak – show me the oak!

Without pics, any chance it is a glue-line you’re seeing?

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Kwit's profile


82 posts in 583 days

#2 posted 236 days ago

Yeah – sorry about the missing pic – here’s a link to my project post

I didn’t think glue would still be an issue after much sanding, then stain, then multiple coats of poly

how long should I have waited after glue-up????

-- don't talk about it - be about it

View a1Jim's profile


112008 posts in 2201 days

#3 posted 236 days ago

It seems that your experiencing what Charles Neil calls push back.the pores your oak has absorbed to much finish and is seeping out of the pores ,it’s possible that you did not let your walnut stain dry well enough before top coating . It would have helped to use a grain filler be for putting any finish on.

-- Custom furniture

View CharlieM1958's profile


15683 posts in 2842 days

#4 posted 236 days ago

I had the exact same problem on a project once. I just assumed it had something to do with moisture content and wood movement. I sanded everything smooth and added more finish coats. Once everything was perfect again, I brought the piece to its permanent home in my office. About two months later, the raised seams had returned, once again leading me to believe it is a moisture content situation.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View KnickKnack's profile


971 posts in 2190 days

#5 posted 236 days ago

I asked a somewhat similar question 1915 days ago here.
A couple of additional ideas there that may help.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Tony_S's profile


420 posts in 1707 days

#6 posted 236 days ago

You mentioned that you also refinished the restaurant’s existing tables. Any issues with the finish on those, or just the tables you made?
I would assume at this point that you used the same finishing process in both instances?

-- "The trouble with people idiot-proofing things, is the resulting evolution of the idiot."

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


210 posts in 247 days

#7 posted 236 days ago

How long did the Titebond dry before coating? It develops full strength fairly quickly, but the adjacent wood has to dry out again; the water has to go somewhere and will take awhile to work its way out. If the wood is sealed with plastic varnish, it has nowhere to go.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View Snipes's profile


15 posts in 869 days

#8 posted 236 days ago

glue creep?

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View gfadvm's profile


10711 posts in 1314 days

#9 posted 235 days ago

I’ve seen that term “glue creep” before and suspect that is the problem (even though I’m not sure of the definition of “glue creep”.
I’ve had this problem with Titebond3 on Jatoba glue ups.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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