Short Shavings #4: A bird's eye spray job

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Blog entry by Div posted 08-03-2010 11:11 PM 1211 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Finishing the finish. Part 4 of Short Shavings series Part 5: Wanted: Phychoanalysis. »

Finishing is an essential part of building cabinets, but I view it as a necessary evil. Maybe I must change my outlook; they say if something can go wrong it will and that describes my relationship with finishing.

I once had a large number of cabinet doors to spray. A spray booth is still a distant dream so sunny windless days and the lawn next to my shop is my version. It went well, I would spray a few doors, carry the ones in the beginning of the line back into the shop, spray some more, and so on. By the time I was done, every available horizontal space in the shop was covered in doors. I thought they looked pretty good but I’d had enough and needed a change of scenery. I closed the door and went down to the house.

Later in the afternoon I went back to admire my work. Holy Moly! Some of the doors had white blotches all over them! What? Chemical reaction? Humidity? Wait a minute, this stuff looks familiar! Where have I seen this? On my car, on statues in parks! I looked up. A fat robin was perched in the rafters. His bloodshot eyes showed the effects of lacquer fumes.

I opened all the doors and windows wide but no amount of cursing or throwing things would move him. He watched me while I cleaned up his mess with wet rags, and while I worked I thought maybe he just wanted to admire my doors. Maybe he recognized a familiar tree in one of the doors. @$&#! He was probably letting me know what he thought of my finishing. I was throwing things at him again!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

9 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 08-03-2010 11:21 PM

maybe he sniffed a bit too much of the lacquer and was stoned.

sorry to hear that though, that must have sucked.

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

View Schwieb's profile


1792 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 08-03-2010 11:25 PM

Your description of your “spray booth” certainly sounds like the one I have and use when I need to. Especially every horizontal surface covered with drying doors, shelves, etc. But I laughed so hard about the robin in the rafters I couldn’t help it; your sense of humor is wonderful. You lifted my spirits this afternoon, Thank you! I have many thoughts to share in response to your last email, I very much enjoy hearing from you.

Regards, Ken

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2537 days

#3 posted 08-04-2010 12:42 AM

sorry for you lost time and hard work destroy´d but it was very funny story to hear
you realy have a good sence of humor…..........LOL

best thought´s

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2511 days

#4 posted 08-04-2010 12:42 AM

Hi Div,
I’m sitting here with a smile as big as the doors of a barn.
While I was reading I was trying to figure out the story, and was held exited to the end.
I have to come and visit you.
Thank you!
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2440 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 05:06 AM

Sorry to laugh Div, but the way you described this was funny and we all were cursing at the stoned Robin along with you! We know how you felt!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2763 days

#6 posted 08-04-2010 07:29 AM

have to laugh , know how that feels
if it’s not one thing ,
it’s another .
i spray outside too .
but the bugs really wait until it is the last coat ,
and wander over it

spray both is the only way to go
i still haven’t found that wipe on wipe off finish yet .
it a real bummer working on something for a week ,
then spending a month sanding and refinishing ,
over and over .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2756 days

#7 posted 08-15-2010 07:33 PM

Good story and good laugh Div. I wonder if that Robin lives there just so he can enjoy the fumes. I can never, never spray outside as it is constantly windy where I live. I honestly can’t remember one wind still day this whole summer and winter is windy, wet and cold so no help there either. I wonder if a finishing tent could be a good idea? Some of the new camping tents are pretty easy to set up.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2362 days

#8 posted 08-15-2010 08:53 PM

Well Mike, then I guess I’m lucky to have many windless days! The finishing tent is a thought, but I think I am to lazy to set it up and take it down all the time. I do get windy days and it can blow like hell.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2537 days

#9 posted 08-15-2010 09:24 PM

Div . we have some ligt gardentents here and if there are secure well with a cupple of exstra strings
they hold up pretty well
and we also have some witch is used as boatcovers in winthertimes they can hold to havey storms
we have a blacksmith in town and he has some ached tents they have hold minum the last 15 years

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