Finishing up!

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Blog entry by TerryDowning posted 03-24-2014 03:55 PM 1873 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This has been a long haul and a great learning experience packed with lots of firsts for me.

First time (and probably last) with this style of hinges. Too much hassle, I just need to plan better and get the right hinges.

First mortised mechanical lock. Previous boxes have either had no lock or a simple catch or hasp.

First time resawing wood for a serious project. I have resawn before but not for a project like this.

First time using Hide Glue, I’m a convert.

First time using shellac as a finish. Again, I’m a convert.

It’s been a hard slog and I mostly used hand tools. I did burn some electrons with my band saw for the resawing, a ‘lectric routah and my table saw for removing the top. All other work was hand tools. I was going to use my palm sander, but it died after more than 20 years of service.

At any rate on to the finishing process I used on this box. I’ve given up asking what is the right way and tend to just figure things out.

With the hardware removed from the fitting, I sanded all surface areas to 320 Grit. This is my sanding and finishing setup. On top of my workmate I put a box fan with a filter on the intake side this keeps a positive flow of air moving across the project and blowing it out of my garage. Sanding dust is first blown off of the project and work surfaces with compressed air and moved out of the garage.

I have learned that the compressor does not get all of the dust off and an inexpensive tack cloth is the secret to getting all of the sanding dust off. If you have not used a tack cloth in your finishing, I highly recommend it.

The finishing process is nothing more than consistent repetition.
Clean work area
Sand to desired grit
Clean work area
apply thin even coat (brush, wipe, spray, whatever application of your choice.

While this was my first go with shellac, It’s not my first experience in finishing. The secrets I have learned.
CLEAN WORK AREA, a finish is only as good as your area is clean. I find myself constantly cleaning while finishing.

Patience, wait for the finish to get to the correct hardness before continuing with the next step.

Second coat applied, sheen is starting to come up.

After four coats to the inside sanding and cleaning between each coat, I went to the outside.
This is after the third coat, the grain really popped out, the color is good and the sheen is starting to get where I want it.

The thing I liked about the shellac, is that it is a rather fast drying finish and multiple coats can be laid on the project in fairly rapid succession. This is a good mix for me as patience is often my weak spot. Between applications, I wound up doing numerous other project around the shop and house which made for a busy but productive day.

After four coats and buffing with my triple buff (tripoli, white diamond and plain string to buff the wax.)
The inside was polished by hand using scratch X to remove the sanding marks from the the 320 and waxed and buffed by hand.

For those that followed along, Thanks for your support and encouragement.

More photos are in the completed project.

Click for details

Then applied a light brush coat of shellac.

-- - Terry

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