Credenza / Entertainment Center #5: project from HECK #1 - pre-finishing

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Blog entry by jamsomito posted 03-28-2021 09:16 PM 331 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: bottom panel Part 5 of Credenza / Entertainment Center series Part 6: project from HECK #2 - assembly »

So I put on my edge treatments, sanded everything down – 120 grit, 180 grit, 220 grit. Took a long time for all the pieces. It always seems to take me hours longer than expected and I’m not sure why. I use the pencil “trick” and sand till the pencil marks are gone, then move up to the next grit. As far as I know I’m doing it right…

Anyway, lots of little pieces.

After all the struggle with the legs glue-up and squaring, I gotta say I’m happy with how they look after sanding.

sanding ALL the grits. ugh. Finished with a hand-sanding over every surface with 220.

I stuffed some blue shop towels down in the dowel holes and taped the tenons on the slats, then put on a coat of stain. Looked great going on.

Later on though the problems started. I noticed sanding swirlies. EVERYWHERE. I made a thread about this and found my diablo sandpaper may be to blame.

But anyway, I swore off my power sander and went back to 150-grit by hand. Took absolutely forever getting the stain and swirlies out, but eventually… and I mean eventually, we got there.

Thankfully I hadn’t done the top or the bottom panel yet, so I only applied the new method to those. Finished with a hand sand at 180 because I’m staining. Decided to hit it all at once this go-around.

I swear this will be the last project I ever stain. At least until after the next project when I cool down. There were sanding scratches from my HAND sanding even. And even more marks I didn’t see. Probably because I ordered this plywood delivered from Home Depot at the beginning of the pandemic. They weren’t exactly careful with this sheet. Ugh. I eventually gave up and said “whelp, the “rustic” look is in nowadays…” and it will have to be.

These scratches were everywhere, and they were pretty deep. Definitely not up to my standards – I’ll be picking up my own plywood and from elsewhere in the future. Since I had burned essentially a month of my free time on this already, it was time to press on.

Next was finish. I chose Arm-R-Seal for this project. I put 3 coats on all sides of all pieces, which took a while – I waited at least the full 24 hours in between flipping parts to finish the 2nd part. At least the finish was turning out (for now…).

By now the weather was starting to get cold, so I moved everything down from the garage to my basement for the last coat. For some reason we have exhaust fans in the family room down there – not sure what the previous owner used it for, but it’s great for finishing – doesn’t stink up the rest of the house.

Before applying the last coat, I sanded everything with 400 grit per the directions and applied as usual. Came back to some really nice 400-grit scratches in the finish all over the piece now. What the heck!?

Still swirlies under the stain. ugh.

And the basement was apparently more dusty than the garage – now I had dust specks all over it too. Fantastic.

Once this was cured I gave it the brown-paper-bag buff which at least made it smooth to the touch. Disappointed again I decided to press on – these issues will likely not be seen where the piece is going to live.

Next up is assembly.

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