Finish Work Methods for Lasting Beauty
Finish Work Methods Include Surface Preparation
Finish work methods can make all the difference in a woodworker’s project. One of the major challenges for the beginning woodworker, intermediate woodworker, or even an experienced longtime woodworker can be the ability to achieve a satisfactory wood finish. Surface preparation is a key ingredient to achieving the desired results. In this woodworking article we will focus on these important woodworking skills. These finish work methods include the use of a card scraper and also the use of sandpaper with a sanding block.
The Value of Using a Card Scraper
Why include the card scraper in the finish work methods? The card scraper gives the woodworker a controlled way of leveling the surface of his woodworking project. In the woodworking video, the woodworker uses the card scraper to level the decorative wood inlay banding to the surface of the picture frame. Not only is the woodworker taking thin shavings off of the banding, he is also cleaning up all the glue lines and any excess glue that may be on the surface. It is critically important to remove this dried glue prior to applying the finish. If not removed, the glue will stick out like a sore thumb once the chosen finish is applied. So, it is imperative that we take care of that now before it becomes an issue.
Control the Wood Being Removed
Another important reason the card scraper is included in these finish work methods is because the decorative wood inlay banding is of only 3/32″ thick and the banding is inlaid and glued into a shallow depth of a 1/16″ dado. The card scraper allows the woodworker to remove thin shavings of wood at this time while eliminating the need for any heavy sanding. In this way the woodworker can carefully control the amount of material being removed. We definitely want to make sure that the inlay banding is not sanded through.
Why Sand with a Sanding Block?
Sandpaper is used with a sanding block. This woodworking technique allows for the woodworker to comfortably grip the sandpaper. This method also provides the woodworker with a great means for applying an even pressure to the picture frame surface. Keep in mind that we are looking for a smooth, flat surface for our woodworking project. Depending on how well the work is performed with the card scraper and the type of wood being used for the project, it is likely that the initial sanding can begin with 100 to 200 grit sandpaper. In the case of this picture frame, the woodworker continued to prepare the wood surface up to 400 grit sandpaper.
How to Check for Glue Stain
A portion of the finish work methods includes applying a small amount of paint thinner to a rag and then applying it to the picture frame. Why is this an important element of the finish work methods? There are two parts to this answer. The wiping of the woodworking project with paint thinner helps to clean up any sawdust that may remain from the sanding. This cleaning technique will also show us any glue that may may be left on the surface of our project. If we see any glue stain showing at this time, we still have some more work to do before we apply the wood finish. If any glue stain remains, we need to remove it with further sanding.
Sanding Sealer, Cherry Wood, and Blotching
These finish work methods lead us up to the important moment of applying the finish. In the case of the woodworker’s picture frame, he chose to apply a coat of sanding sealer to the cherry picture frame. Cherry is prone to blotching and the sealer will help to remedy this issue.
Applying the Lacquer
After the sanding sealer has been applied and given time to adequately dry, it is time to perform a light sanding. This sanding will help by giving the surface some “tooth.” In other words, when the lacquer is sprayed onto the freshly sanded surface, the lacquer will have a good surface to adhere to. (Be sure to remove any and all sanding dust prior to applying the lacquer.) The woodworker can then proceed to build up layers of lacquer to achieve a desirable wood finish for his or her woodworking project.
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