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Unformatted text preview: Taunton’s COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED Guide to Finishing JEFF JEWITT ➤ Flawless Surface Preparation ➤ Repairing and Hiding Defects ➤ Custom Dye and Stain Colors ➤ Glazing and Toning ➤ Brushing and Spraying Finish Taunton’s COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED Guide to Finishing Taunton’s COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED Guide to Finishing JEFF JEWITT C Text © 2004 by Jeff Jewitt Photographs © 2004 by Susan Lawson Jewitt Illustrations © 2004 by The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Pp The Taunton Press, Inc., 63 South Main Street, PO Box 5506, Newtown, CT 06470-5506 e-mail: [email protected] EDITOR : Paul Anthony D ESIGN : Lori Wendin L AYOUT: Cathy Cassidy I LLUSTRATOR : Mario Ferro P HOTOGRAPHER : Susan Lawson Jewitt Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Jewitt, Jeff. Taunton's complete illustrated guide to finishing / Jeff Jewitt. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN-13: 978-1-56158-592-2 ISBN-10: 1-56158-592-0 1. Furniture finishing. I. Title. TT199.4 .J48 2004 684.1'043--dc22 2003018326 Printed in Italy 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 The following manufacturers/names appearing in Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing are trademarks: 3M®, Abralon®, Arm & Hammer®, Bear-Tex®, Bondo®, Bullet Super-Glue®, Chinex®, Citristrip®, Clorox®, Dremel®, Fre-Cut®, Hot Stuff®, Lewis Red Devil Lye®, Mirka®, Orel®, Porter-Cable®, Regalite®, Scotch-Brite®, Scott®, Stanley®, Surbuf®, Tynex®, Velcro®, Viva®, Wal-Mart®, Watco®, X-100 Natural Seal Wood Stabilizer®, X-Acto® A b o u t Y o u r S a f e t y : Working with wood is inherently dangerous. Using hand or power tools improperly or ignoring safety practices can lead to permanent injury or even death. Don’t try to perform operations you learn about here (or elsewhere) unless you’re certain they are safe for you. If something about an operation doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Look for another way. We want you to enjoy the craft, so please keep safety foremost in your mind whenever you’re in the shop. For my wife, Susan. Acknowledgments W RITING A BOOK REQUIRES MANY PEOPLE that contribute ideas, products, technical advice, criticism or just plain inspiration. For technical assistance, proofreading and expertise, thanks to: Bob Niemeyer, Paul Fishbein, Paul Willard, Bob Mellete at C.A. Technologies, Greg Williams and Pat Devine at Mohawk Finishing Products, Dave and Adam Fuhr at Fuhr International, Jeff Weiss at Target Coatings, and Chris Carlson at Bosch. At the Taunton Press, Helen Albert and Jennifer Peters. For the scanning electron microscope images my gratitude to David Matthiesen, John Sears, Alan McIlwain, and Lara Keefer at Case Western Reserve University. For product assistance, thanks to: Paul Warmoth at Warmoth Guitars, The Bartley Collection, Bosch, IC&S, Vince Valentino at Cleveland Lumber, Mohawk Finishing Products, Zinsser, Porter Cable, Jet Equipment, StewartMacDonald Guitar Shop Supply, Marc Adams, Jim Kirby at Sandy Pond Hardwoods, The Beall Tool Company, C.A. Technologies, Accuspray, Kremer Pigments, DSI Distributing in Solon Ohio, Benco Sales and Turbinaire. Finally a heartfelt thanks to my editor, Paul Anthony. Also to my father-inlaw George Weatherbe, who pitched in and helped at Homestead and my friend and able assistant Barry Reiter. And finally to my wife Susan whose photographic style and composition bring my words to life. Her patience and enthusiasm made this long project a reality. Contents Introduction • 2 How to Use This Book PART ONE ➤ SECTION 1 • 3 Tools • 6 The Finishing Environment • 8 8 A Space to Finish 9 Temperature and Humidity 10 Lighting 11 Heating and Ventilation 13 Spray Booths 15 Storing and Dispensing Finishing Products 17 Holding and Moving Work 19 Fire and Disposal Safety 13 Spraying Finishes ➤ SECTION 2 Tools for Surface Preparation • 21 38 Sharpening ➤ SECTION 3 51 Brushes Finishing Tools • 42 53 Spray Equipment PART T WO ➤ SECTION 4 65 Flattening by Hand ➤ SECTION 79 Simple Profiles Surface Preparation 58 Preparing Flat Surfaces • 60 68 Power Tool Flattening 5 • 71 Smoothing Veneer 72 Preparing Edges Preparation of Curved and Complex Surfaces • 74 81 Moldings and Carvings 83 Sanding Moldings 85 Turnings and Shapes ➤ SECTION 95 Preventing Problems 6 Fixing Defects • 86 96 Repairing Damage PART THREE ➤ SECTION 7 97 Filling Gaps Coloring Wood SECTION 8 133 Applying Glazes • 99 Disguising Fillers 100 Stain Basics and Application • 102 114 Hand-Applying 117 Spraying Stains Stains ➤ 98 Knots and Cracks 119 Dye Concentrates 120 Specialty Colors 121 Fixing Stain Problems Glazes, Padding Stains, and Toners • 122 135 Distressing 137 Padding Stains 138 Toners ➤ 148 Natural Dyes ➤ Natural Dyes, Chemical Stains, and Bleaches • 140 SECTION 9 149 Chemical Staining S E C T I O N 10 166 Controlling Stain ➤ S E C T I O N 11 185 Finish as a Filler 152 Whitening and Ebonizing Controlling Color • 153 168 Unifying Color PART FOUR 151 Bleaching 170 Selective Staining 171 Color Matching Fillers and Sealers • 174 Filling Pores • 176 186 Oil-Based Fillers 187 Water-Based Fillers 188 Partially Filling Pores ➤ SECTION 194 Sealer Basics 12 196 Specialty Sealers PART FIVE ➤ SECTION 213 Evaluating a Finish ➤ SECTION 232 Oils and Varnishes Sealers • 189 13 Finishes 198 Choosing a Finish • 200 215 Brushing Basics 14 • 217 Spraying 220 Special Situations Reactive Finishes • 222 235 Conversion Finishes 237 Paint ➤ SECTION 248 Shellac ➤ S E C T I O N 16 280 Rubbing Out by Hand Index Water-Based Finishes • 257 270 Spray Application S E C T I O N 17 Resources Evaporative Finishes • 239 252 Lacquer 267 Hand Application ➤ 15 284 Rubbing with Power • 287 • 288 Rubbing Out Finishes • 273 Introduction inishing. It’s the aptly named final detail of making furniture. Finishes not only protect wood from stains, water damage, and other mishaps, they also make it look richer and deeper and add dimension and luster. For me, finishing is the most enjoyable part of working wood, because it’s where everything comes together. Whether you get a tingly feeling from wiping a coat of oil or shellac on highly figured curly maple or excitement from matching an old finish, you’ll find finishing is one of the rewards of making things from wood. Yet I’ll wager that for most of you finishing isn’t fun or has been an unpleasant experience. Sadly, most woodworkers find out the hard way that Murphy’s Law begins with the introduction of a finish to wood. Just think of the phrases used to describe finishing problems: “fisheye,” “wrinkling,” “splotching,” “bleeding,” or “orange peel.” You want that on your furniture? This book will guide you through the finishing process and make it as exciting for you as it is for me. I learned finishing by making mistakes, lots of them, and you probably have neither the time nor the furniture to practice on the way I did. I’ll guide you through the tools, the products, and the techniques for gaining control over the process, which is the point at which finishing becomes fun. You won’t find a F 2 dogmatic style or preachy opinions in these pages; I’ll show you proven, classic ways of doing things alongside new techniques using modern materials. You’ll see that almost 30 percent of this book is devoted to surface preparation, techniques not often shown or elaborated on in other finishing books. Proper surface preparation is what makes great finishes heads above others. Then we’ll move on to coloring, which is where most finishing problems arise. A full chapter will be devoted to troubleshooting and overcoming staining problems. From there we’ll look at how to choose a finish by its physics and chemistry, as well as aesthetic qualities. We’ll finally get to applying clear finishes, and you’ll learn how to French polish, spray lacquers, and work with water-based products. Above all, keep an open mind. While there really aren’t secrets or tricks to finishing, there is practical advice to get you started, so I’ll show you as many options as possible to accomplish the same end, whether it’s staining, filling pores, or applying a finish. Hopefully, some of the techniques may spark an idea of your own to try out. Even after 25 years of putting finishes on wood, I’m still learning, so use this book as a reference guide and feel free to experiment a bit and make something your own. How to UseThis Book irst of all, this book is meant to be used, not put on a shelf to gather dust. It’s meant to be pulled out and opened on your bench when you need to do a new or unfamiliar technique. So the first way to use this book is to make sure it’s near where you do woodworking. In the pages that follow you’ll find a wide variety of methods that cover the important processes of this area of woodworking. Just as in many other practical areas, in woodworking there are often many ways to get to the same result. Why you choose one method over another depends on several factors: F Are you in a hurry or do you have the leisure to enjoy the quiet that comes with hand tools? Time. Y o u r t o o l i n g . Do you have the kind of shop that’s the envy of every woodworker or a modest collection of the usual hand and power tools? Do you prefer simpler methods because you’re starting out or are you always looking to challenge yourself and expand your skills? Your skill level. In this book, we’ve included a wide variety of techniques to fit these needs. To find your way around the book, you first need to ask yourself two questions: What result am I trying to achieve? What tools do I want to use to accomplish it? In some cases, there are many ways and many tools that will accomplish the same result. In others, there are only one or two sensible ways to do it. In all cases, however, we’ve taken a practical approach; so you may not find your favorite exotic method for doing a particular process. We have included every reasonable method and then a few just to flex your woodworking muscles. To organize the material, we’ve broken the subject down to two levels. “Parts” are major divisions of this class of techniques. “Sections” contain related techniques. Within sections, techniques and procedures that create a similar result are grouped together, usually organized from the most common way to do it to methods requiring specialized tools or a larger degree of skill. In some cases, the progression starts with the method requiring the most basic technology and then moves on to alternative methods using other common shop tools and finally to specialized tools. Is the piece you’re making utilitarian or an opportunity to show off your best work? The project. 3 The first thing you’ll see in a part is a group of photos keyed to a page number. Think of this as an illustrated table of contents. Here you’ll see a photo representing each section in that part, along with the page on which each section starts. Each section begins with a similar “visual map,” with photos that represent major groupings of techniques or individual techniques. Under each grouping is a list of the step-by-step essays that explain how to do the methods, including the pages on which they can be found. Sections begin with an “overview,” or brief introduction, to the methods described therein. Here’s where you’ll find important general information on this group of techniques, including any safety issues. You’ll also read about specific tools needed for the operations that follow and how to build jigs or fixtures needed for them. The step-by-step essays are the heart of this book. Here a group of photos represents the key steps in the process. The accompanying text describes the process and guides you through it, referring you back to the photos. Depending on how you learn best, either read the text first or look at the photos and drawings; but remember, they are meant to work together. In cases The “VISUAL MAP” tells you where to locate the essay that details the operation you wish to do. The “OVERVIEW” gives you important general information about the group of techniques, tells you how to build jigs and fixtures, and provides advice on tooling and safety. S E C T I O N 8 OV E R V I E W S E C T I O N 8 OV E R V I E W Glazes, Padding Stains, and Toners Applying Glazes ➤ Subduing Bright Stains with Glaze (p. 133) ➤ Spraying a Glaze (p. 133) ➤ Striking Out (p. 134) Distressing ➤ ➤ Physical Distressing (p. 135) Padding Stains ➤ Applying Padding Stain (p. 137) Surface Distressing (p. 136) ven after wood has been initially stained and sealed, you can open up a whole new world of color and tonal possibilities by modifying the finish with glazes or toners. Glazing is the process of sandwiching a layer of color between the initial sealer coat and the top coats of finish, whereas toning is the technique of mixing color directly into the finish itself for application. Glazing is often employed to highlight open grain and add texture, to selectively add color, and to E 122 4 How to Use This Book A “SECTION” groups related processes together. Toners ➤ Toning for Consistency (p. 138) ➤ Shading (p. 138) ➤ Hiding Mistakes with Toner (p. 139) ➤ Spraying a Sunburst Pattern (p. 139) accent “distressed” elements to create an aged appearance. Both glazing and toning allow you to adjust the color and tone of a finish or to darken it. They can also be used to eliminate splotching and to make the overall appearance more uniform. In this section, I’ll discuss the nature and uses of glazes and toners and explain my methods for mixing and applying them. Glazing Basics A glaze is a thin coat of color applied between the initial sealer coat and the top coat of finish, as shown in the drawing at right. All glazes need to be top-coated after application, which not only protects the glaze but provides the optical mechanism by which glazes add richness and depth. Glazing is only done between coats of hard, film-forming finishes like lacquer, varnish, and shellac. Glazes have a multitude of uses in finishing. They can be used to alter overall hue or value, control splotching, highlight pore structure, add richness to the wood, subdue stain brightness, and imitate age or grain. Glazes are always pigment-based, as opposed to dye-based. In fact, they are very similar to pigment stains in that they contain pigment, binder, and thinner. However, glazes are modified to extend their dry time and viscosity for easier manipulation. The two major criteria for a glaze are that it cannot contain any solvents that may dissolve or soften the sealer and that it’s able to be easily wiped around on the surface. Glazes can be applied over a coat of sealer by spraying, brushing, or wiping with a rag. Then they are either wiped off clean—leaving a thin coat of glaze behind—or they are manipulated by hand to create certain effects before they set up and start to dry. The best thing about working with glazes is that you can easily wipe them away if you make a mistake or if you don’t like the way a particular glaze looks. That’s because glazes don’t attack the sealer coat, so starting over is as easy as erasing a blackboard. ANATOMY OF A GLAZE Clear top coat Glaze Sealer Wood Glazes are similar in composition to pigment stains and will react to the texture of wood. However, unlike pigment stains, glazes are sandwiched between a sealer and a top coat of finish. The reddish-brown glaze applied to the right side of this cherry panel subdues the brightness of the underlying golden dye stain seen at left and shifts the color to a richer golden-cherry color. One of the more common uses of a glaze is to subdue the brightness of a stain. At the same time, you can alter the overall hue, making it redder or greener, for example. You can also alter its “value” to make the color darker. Because the surface has been previously sealed, splotching will be controlled as well. Another useful application for glazing is to highlight the wood’s pore structure or to bring attention to features such as carvings. Glazes, Padding Stains, and Toners 123 where there is an alternative step, it’s called out in the text and the visual material as a “variation.” For efficiency, we’ve cross-referenced redundant processes or steps described in another related process. You’ll see yellow “cross-references” called out frequently in the overviews and step-by-step essays. When you see this symbol ! , make sure you read what follows. The importance of these safety warnings cannot be overemphasized. Always work safely and use safety devices, including eye and hearing protection. If you feel uncomfortable with a technique, don’t do it, try another way. ▲ “STEP-BY-STEP ESSAYS” contain pho- tos, drawings, and instructions on how to do the technique. At the back of the book is an index to help you find what you’re looking for in a pinch and Resources to help locate hard-tofind supplies. Finally, remember to use this book whenever you need to refresh your memory or to learn something new. It’s been designed to be an essential reference to help you become a better woodworker. The only way it can do this is if you make it as familiar a workshop tool as your favorite bench chisels. —The editors “CROSS-REFERENCES” tell you where to find a related process or the detailed description of a process in another essay. C O N T R O L L I N G S TA I N A C C O N T R O L L I N G S TA I N B Preloading Using Stain Controller Applying Gel Stain over a Washcoat Apply the stain controller liberally, brushing it onto the entire surface (A) . The areas that soak up the controller almost immediately are the sections that would have been prone to splotching. After letting the controller soak in for 10 to 15 minutes, wipe off the excess (B) . Immediately apply your oil-based stain with a brush or rag (C) . After you wipe off the excess stain, the surface should exhibit a consistent overall color (D) . prone wood. Make a 12⁄ -lb.-cut of shellac by mixing 1 weighed oz. of shellac flakes with 1 pt. of alcohol. If you’re using premixed shellac from a can, dilute it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, or consult the chart on p. 242. Applying a Washcoat Using a rag, apply the shellac liberally to the surface of the wood (A) . After it dries thoroughly, sand the surface with 320-grit sandpaper (B) . Remove the dust and apply your gel stain. Although the stain used here is labeled “Country Maple,” the color looks pretty good on this cherry top (C) . To darken it, apply a second coat of darker gel stain. B Apply the washcoat using a rag or foam brush (A) . Wipe off the excess immediately, then let the work dry overnight before smoothing the dried surfaces with 600-grit sandpaper (B) . After thoroughly removing the sanding dust, apply the stain (C) . A on p. 242. I prefer to mix my own from flakes because it allows me to make lighter or darker-colored shellac, depending on the choice of flakes. D The “TEXT” contains keys to the photos and drawings. ➤ See “Shellac Conversion Ratios” chart [ TIP ] You can wipe away a drip immediately with your finger as long as you don’t risk damaging a delicate toner or glaze underneath. Respray the affected area afterward. Washcoating wood before staining is a great technique for preventing splotching. However, its success depends on picking the right product for the job. It’s crucial that the dried washcoat won’t be dissolved by the stain applied on top of it. If you’re not sure, test compatibility on scrap first. A This is one of my favorite techniques for foolproof staining of cherry—a notoriously splotch- [VARIATION ] Thinning pure tung oil one-to-one with mineral spirits will make it dry faster. Preheating the oil isn’t necessary in this case. “TIPS” show shortcuts and smart ways to work. B “VARIATIONS” show alternatives for doing a step. C ! ▲ WARNING When spraying stains, always wear respiratory protection and work in a well-ventilated area. “WARNINGS” tell you VA R I AT I O N C 166 Controlling Color Controlling Color 167 specific safety concerns for this process and how to address them. How to Use This Book 5 The Finishing Environment, page 8 Tools for Sur...
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