Woodturners of South West Florida

FACTS  on  FINISHING
Tips from the March '04 demonstration

Phil Krym         by PHL KRYM


TO GET A FLAWLESS FINISH,
YOU NEED A FLAWLESS SURFACE!

Surface Preparation:

* Do as much as possible while your piece is still on the lathe.

* Keep cutting tools sharp. This reduces tear-out, leaves fewer tool marks to sand out, and cuts the wood without bruising.

* When sanding, use quality abrasives, and sand in a well lighted area with good dust collection equipment. 

* Avoid high speed sanding, as this quickly dulls the abrasive surface and burnishes the wood.

* Fill voids which will not be a credit to the work with  wood putty, epoxy filler (i.e.. Inlace), or cyanoacrylate (CA) glue mixed with coordinating or complimentary wood dust or metal fillings.

* Sanding sealers can be used to first coat the fibers to bind them to the surface, but should be avoided if your final finish will be oil-based or shellac. Sealer is not a good grain filler.

* Grain fillers are useful to fill porous areas of end grain. They do not fill voids well, and may discolor the surrounding wood.



A GUIDE TO CHOOSING YOUR FINISH


* Oil finishes
         Easiest to apply
         Most natural look & feel
         Penetrate & protect
         Don't "layer" well
         Don't fill grain well

* Lacquers
         Fairly durable, but soft
         Dry quickly
         Resist most household chemicals
         Hot finish - each coat chemically bonds to previous coat
         Should be sprayed for best results
         Can fill end grain, but won't fill voids
         Prone to "orange peel" and "fish eyes"

* Varnishes, Urethanes, and Polyurethanes
         Very hard & abrasion resistance surface
         Very chemical resistant
         Cold finish - each coat is a separate layer
         Fills end grain and small voids well
         Prone to "orange peel" and "fish eyes"

* Shellac
         Easy to apply with brush, spray, or rag
         Hot finish - each coat chemically bonds to previous coat
         Makes a good sealant
         Is not alcohol resistant
        
* Wax
         Best protection against moisture when properly applied
         Cannot be refinished with traditional finishes
         A mixture of peanut oil & beeswax makes a good, but matte, salad bowl finish
 

    
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