How do I tackle complex shapes?

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 03-29-2018 10:23 PM 562 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

609 posts in 2072 days

03-29-2018 10:23 PM

I’m currently building a cabinet with 7 drawers that have built-in dividers (special purpose, for holding collectible trading cards). The dividers are spaced pretty closely, only 2-3/4” between each. There are tons of inside corners.


I’m looking for a feasible way to apply finish to these parts that doesn’t take an eternity and will give me a good result. I’m going to be using oil-based polyurethane. The drawers have already been hit with one coat of BLO that has cured for about a week and a half so far.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

4 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 2044 days

#1 posted 03-29-2018 11:19 PM

Spray it. Use a rattle can if you don’t have a sprayer. Or one of these:

$5.00 at the borg

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2212 posts in 2097 days

#2 posted 03-30-2018 12:23 AM

If you do have equipment to spray on finish, or want to use rattle cans; then suggest you need to apply finish to interior parts before assembly.
I frequently stain and apply 1-2 coats of armrseal to inside of cabinet carcass before assembly. Add some painters tape to catch glue squeeze out, and no one can tell. When cabinet is done, occasionally add one last coat of poly to interior surfaces not behind a door. With drawers, I usually sand and apply finish to interiors before assembly. Drawers typically do not need durability of armrseal, so I typically use shellac or water based GF poly, which reduces time required to dry before assembly.
Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 2072 days

#3 posted 03-30-2018 02:50 PM

Okay, thanks. I have a couple HVLP conversion guns, so I will attempt to spray these. Next time I will prefinish all the parts before assembly…

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

548 posts in 1895 days

#4 posted 03-30-2018 11:49 PM

Great work. Please show it when it’s finished. I second the Captians suggestions.

-- James E McIntyre

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