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Applying the final finish while continuing making sawdust.

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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 11-26-2014 11:41 AM 1156 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blackie_

4535 posts in 1979 days


11-26-2014 11:41 AM

I did a search before asking this question but not finding anything that I’m looking for, my question is what are most of you workshop owners doing when it comes to applying a finish to a completed project but yet still making sawdust in your shop.

I currently have a 12’ x 16’ shop, 192 Sq Ft stand alone in the back yard, next week after the Thanksgiving week I plan on going down to the city office in order to pull a new building permit, I’m going to be adding onto my existing shop an additional 8’ x 16’ making it 320 Square foot total, there will be an off set area 4’ x 8’ that I was hoping I might be able to use as a finishing booth, (non spray).

As of right now I have an additional 8’ x 10’ metal storage building that I’ve been using for finishing in, away from the workshop.

So I’d like to know what others are doing in there shop when it comes to applying a finish and making sawdust at the same time.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs


22 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#1 posted 11-26-2014 12:24 PM

In my case, unless I’m using a quick drying finish (shellac or waterbornes, no lacquer inside the shop) I can’t make sawdust when finishes are curing. I’m convinced that varnish actually has an electrostatic charge that attracts every spec of dust floating around in the room. So if I use varnish, I stop all other work until it sets up. My dream shop would have a separate room for finishing. Unless I hit the lottery (low odds for me since I don’t buy tickets) that’s probably going to remain a dream.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1602 posts in 2420 days


#2 posted 11-26-2014 12:32 PM

Super blonde shellac and/or French polish is my all time favorite finish. Dries up so quickly that dust is seldom an issue, and it’s probably the most forgiving finish to work with on the face of the earth. Also, applied with a Taklon brush, it goes on very smoothly, so requires little cutting back. My favorite by far. I have spray equip but almost never use it anymore.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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jeffswildwood

1331 posts in 1444 days


#3 posted 11-26-2014 01:27 PM

My problem, when the finish starts, the saw dust stops! This has really caused me delays when I have multiple orders.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4535 posts in 1979 days


#4 posted 11-26-2014 01:29 PM

I failed to mention that I use a tung oil off the bat with a quick wipe, once cured I then do a couple coats of wipe on poly, I guess this is something I’m just going to have to test.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Jake's profile

Jake

850 posts in 1097 days


#5 posted 11-26-2014 01:49 PM

I have a roughly 280 sqft dungeon workshop and I have the same issue, I have used 2 options:

1. I dust everything off and let the dust settle overnight, then go in and apply finish during the next day. (a couple of times when I have been in a real time crunch I have actually finished during the night, waking up every 2 hours to re apply finish, so I get 5-6 coats done from 10pm to 8pm..)

2. I have a roughly 3’x6’ walled off area for finishing when I am using a finish which takes longer to cure.

The thing is that unless you have a totally separate area for finishing (not connected to you workshop in any way or shape) you can’t really achieve total dust free environment. If your finishing area is attached to your workshop in any form, your finishing room should be a higher pressure than your other areas, so when you open the door the air wants to escape form your finishing area, rather than come in there, that is the only way to achieve true dust free environment. But that also needs a slew of air filters for incoming air and so forth. (I know that since in fibre optics where I worked in before, we had a whole section of the factory built like that, because that was the only way to achieve as close to dust free as possible)

So all in all, regardless of shop size, dust is an issue unless you want to drop serious $ at the issue. So we just need to work around it and I mostly just take the day or two hit to fait for the finish to cure to a dust dry state.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#6 posted 11-26-2014 01:56 PM

On nearly all my projects, before the finish goes on, the machines are shut down, and the air scrubber is turned on…..I run it during the application, and leave it running for a good 2 + hours to “clear the air” while the finsih is setting up….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1402 days


#7 posted 11-26-2014 01:56 PM

That’s a tough problem for all of us, I think. I honestly don’t make much sawdust if I have finishes drying. I either call it a day or do something small and relatively dust free like doing intricate handwork or something. No big tools though. One process I have seen done that helps the issue is by Andrew Pitts. He spreads wipe on poly over the surface, lets it sit for 15 minutes while sort of continuing to move it around on the surface til it just starts to get a little tacky. Then he wipes it off to the point where it is basically dry. He has a lot of good youtube videos if you want to see his method in action.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1602 posts in 2420 days


#8 posted 11-26-2014 02:09 PM

My comments above presumed that the shop is relatively clean to begin with. I grew up in a one man body shop where working and painting was always going on simultaneously. Hence, my father was pretty strict about keeping the shop appropriately cleaned up. Between the dust collection system and frequent sweeping and vacuuming, my shop is almost always clean. Which is pretty easy, really if I don’t let it pile up, which I don’t. So I usually don’t have to do much to begin finishing.

As you say, dust, shavings, and other detritus do not mix with finishing. I’m frequently pretty amazed at the general lack of cleanliness of the shops a lot of folks work in. But then, I know your shop would never look messy like that.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4535 posts in 1979 days


#9 posted 11-26-2014 03:00 PM

Ok great info, thanks everyone, sounds like after reading the comments I’m better off continuing using the method I have now with the separate metal storage building using it as my finishing area, I don’t / can’t preserve being disciplined enough to keep the shop totally clean and doing a complete stop on all woodworking during finishing time, ain’t going to happen, I was hoping I could get away with doing a makeshift plastic walled in area but as most have stated dust is still going to be a factor.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7708 posts in 2309 days


#10 posted 11-26-2014 04:23 PM

Randy,

Late to your party but you can assemble a frame of 1×2’s and staple 8 mil plastic on all sides but your door which can be a cheap air filter framed by the 1.2’s.

A more elaborate one is currently being made by “The Down to Earth Woodworker” on the Highland Woodworker’s YouTube channel.

Good to hear your adding on.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Yonak's profile

Yonak

979 posts in 988 days


#11 posted 11-26-2014 04:42 PM



Ok great info, thanks everyone, sounds like after reading the comments I m better off continuing using the method I have now with the separate metal storage building using it as my finishing area,

- Blackie_

That sounds like a very good plan. I carry things outside to dry, in such situations. If it’s raining, I dry it in the garage.

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

17188 posts in 2572 days


#12 posted 11-27-2014 12:23 AM

I stop all machining operations if finishing in the shop. Sometimes I take smaller pieces out of the shop for wipe on finishes .

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

View Tooch's profile

Tooch

1352 posts in 1343 days


#13 posted 11-27-2014 01:38 AM

i am lucky enough to have “2” shops, one at school and of course one in my garage. i make 90%of my dust at (school) then bring all my stuff home to sand, stain, and finish.

it sounds like, essentially, you have the same set up. Except your 2 shops are 23 miles closer together than mine are…

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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tomd

2027 posts in 3237 days


#14 posted 11-27-2014 01:52 AM

My other hobby is gardening and having a small greenhouse which is empty from June to Feb. I use it as my finishing room, it has heat and ventilation. I think you could set up your present finishing storage building as a full finishing room.

-- Tom D

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1776 days


#15 posted 11-27-2014 10:40 AM

You need fast drying finishes. You need to plan you work so you put your finish on toward the end of the day just before quiting time.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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