Weekly(ish) Blog #1: 180819 Shop Blog

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Blog entry by Rob_s posted 08-19-2018 01:20 PM 883 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Weekly(ish) Blog series Part 2: Weekly(ish) Blog #3: 180922 Shop Blog »

New… Old Yankee Workshop If, like me, you grew up in the 80s and 90s watching Norm and his ilk on PBS, but then got into woodworking in middle-age 10 or 20 years later, you might be surprised to learn that the world has moved on. What was New Hotness of woodworking in 1988 may well be out of date 30 years later in 2018. Attachment methods, tool technology, and other techniques may have changed. You owe it to yourself to get caught up, and I haven’t found a better way to do that than YouTube. A few YouTubers that I’ve found very helpful so far include
The Wood Whisperer
Jimmy Diresta
Stumpy Nubs
Ron Paulk
Steve Ramsey
Frank Howarth
John Peters Art & Home
Jay’s Custom Creations
April Wilkerson
HomeMade Modern

Tack Cloths are… Tacky
A case in point relative to the above is my foray today into the world of tack cloths. I grew up here all the PBS guys constantly talk about wiping down the work with a “tack cloth” after sanding to take off the fine dust. So I ordered some up from Amazon and tried one out today. Up until now I’ve been using a damp rag with just water to wipe down the work, and it’s been working just fine.

So today, instead of using my tried and true damp rag, I got out one of those tack cloths. My god is this thing sticky! I made the mistake of getting it out with a bare hand, at which point it was pretty much too late. I wiped down my one piece that I was going to use to test the sprayer, and then dealt with the sticky hand until I could get it washed off.

I came back later after the sprayer experiment and put on gloves and used the rag to wipe down the rest of my pieces, but I think it may have left a light residue on them meaning I’ll have to ultimately come back with the damp water rag anyway.

Sand the parts, not the product
My pieces today were some basic shelves. 18×28 sheet of plywood with a 2”x28” strip glued to the leading edge on each side to make a 1&½” total thickness at the edge. What this means is that I have these inside corners behind the lips, and when I was sanding these pieces I couldn’t really get those inside corners. The reason this matters is that the rougher inside corner played hell with the tack cloth, and I suspect will do the same with the damp rag.

What I wish I’d done, and started to do, was sand the strips before I attached them to the shelves. The only difficulty in this is that I would wind up sanding 2x no matter what since when I installed the strips I left them a little proud and came back and flushed them up with the router and flush trim bit. Anyway, minutiae of this particular project, but with experience comes hindsight and I’ll know for next time.

Paint Sprayers: worth the squeeze?
I bought a HomeRight Super Finish Max HVLP Paint Sprayer from Rockler a few weeks back specifically for this project. So far I think I like it, but thank God I took the time to test it out today before I got into the production pieces.I first sprayed a small piece of cardboard using just water, then emptied that out and added the Polycrilic I’ve been using, then sprayed a very small scrap of the same plywood, tuned what I thought was a good volume of spray, and then worked on the bottom side of one of the shelves. Some lessons learned…

The viscosity matters a lot. I first tested with just water, and the spray volume for that vs the Polycrilic was massively different. I got the pattern tuned in for the Poly on a scrap, and I’m going to mark the adjustment knob in case it drifts later.

Thinning? I didn’t thin. The chart that came with the sprayer said to use a nozzle of a certain color for Poly, so that’s what I did. It seemed to go OK. Time will tell. The nozzle was pretty easy to get on and off once I figured out the wrench.

Blow then Spray. The trigger is kind of two-stage. The initial travel of the trigger just starts the air blowing. Then there’s a slight hitch in the giddyup, at least on mine, and then the pain starts flowing. It’s almost like the trigger pull on a double-action semi-auto pistol where you have some takeup at first and then the pull gets harder as the hammer starts to move.

This thing blows! Once you get that air moving with the initial trigger pull, it really starts pushing out air. It blew things off my assembly table, it blew the kraft paper edge up and over so I wound up on top of my test piece, etc. it’s a lot of air. Be ready for that.

Dropcloth. I used some Duo-Finish Light-Weight Kraft Paper as my drop cloth today, and it wasn’t good. It was too think, and since it lacks a shiny side it also allows everything to soak through. I’m sure it’s gluing itself to my assembly table as I type this. At a bare minimum I need something with the gloss back. Or maybe just use a tarp and be done. Something better has to happen.

Cleanup. So far seems pretty simple. I dumped the leftover material, ran some cold clean water through the gun, then used some warm soapy water to run through the gun, and then took apart the nozzle and used some warm soapy water to clean those parts, then ran clean water through the gun again and then rinsed off all the small parts with the clean water. We’ll see how that worked out next time I use the gun. What I think would be helpful would be to use one of the small aluminum pans I have for barbecuing to wash the small parts and
Get another paint container for the gun. Looks like they sell them on Amazon and Home Depot. That way I could just seal up the material in one container and use a fresh one to actually do the cleaning. Probably a good idea to just go ahead and get a couple.

Sherwin Williams out at Home Depot
Evidently Lowes inked an exclusive deal with Sherwin Williams, who makes Minwax, who makes Polycrilic. Not sure the ramifications of this long term, but in the short term I need more Polycrilic to finish this project and stopped at Home Depot yesterday to pick some up. Nope. Only Varathane. Which I hear is better, but which may or may not match my current project. So I wanted to stick with what I’ve got. So far my local True Value still has the Polycrilic, so maybe it’s just the big box guys not all chains. I’ll pick up some today either way. Yesterday I stopped in but couldn’t remember the sheen I’d been using.


1 comment so far

View CoolDavion's profile


474 posts in 4603 days

#1 posted 09-25-2018 12:25 AM

I like to use a coffee filter to wipe dust off of pieces/parts.
Much better than a tack cloth.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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