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Finish Work Methods for an Inlaid Picture Frame

Finish Work Methods for Lasting Beauty


Finish Work Methods Include Surface Preparation


Completed Cosmati Picture Frame - Finish Work MethodsFinish 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


Cosmati Picture Frame - Finish Work Methods - Card ScraperWhy 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? 


Cosmati Picture Frame - Finish Work Methods 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


Cosmati Picture frame 086After 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.


Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Segmented Woodturning video of the 9″ x 12″ Vase

Segmented Woodturning – 9″ x 12″ Vase

Segmented woodturning has taken its hold once again. In this woodturning video we are back at the wood lathe with our turning tools working on a new woodworking project, a segmented vase comprised of 18 rings and 432 segments. You’ll see the segmented woodturning process from the very beginning along with edited clips displaying the various wood gouges chosen to cut and shape this decorative vase of mahogany, cherry, maple, and walnut.

When the actual segmented woodturning is completed we will break out the sandpaper and illustrate the sanding process and prepare for finishing the vase. Initially, Sealcoat shellac sealer is used on the vase (inside and out). Once the sanding sealer has dried it is then time for a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper. Next the dust is removed and we are ready for an application of Arm-R-Seal satin finish. Numerous applications of the wipe on satin finish are applied to the  vase once it is completely prepared.

(Note: all segmented wood has been glued with the same grain direction to allow for wood movement.)

Segmented Vase 9 x 12 Mahogany, cherry, walnut, maple - Segmented woodturning

Watch more Woodturning Videos:

Let’s Turn Salt and Pepper Mills – How to Woodturn

Segmented Wood Turning – Fruit Bowl…part 1

Segmented Woodturning – Fruit Bowl – part 2

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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