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Forum topic by James posted 06-05-2020 04:04 AM 487 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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James

142 posts in 2563 days


06-05-2020 04:04 AM

What I really like in anything, whether it’s a car’s paint, or a piece of furniture or a girlfriend’s nails, I like smooth.
I usually use 320+ grit sandpaper with linseed oil or one of the brand name oils, possibly some wipe on, or spray on (if I’m lazy) and that’s fine. But I want PERFECT. I want smooth, blemish free, glass worthy gloss sometimes or a perfect matte haze. What chemical or finish (lacquer, varnish, whatever) should I be using with which type of sprayer or applicator? I’ve got a decent compressor. I’ve got a gravity feed gun for car type paint but that’s not the same. I’ve got a bunch of Festool, a cabinet saw, planer, etc just to give you an idea of what I have invested. I’d be looking between $200-$500 and don’t be shy with the $200 models. I don’t mind saving money.

-- James - Semper Fi


12 replies so far

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

800 posts in 955 days


#1 posted 06-05-2020 11:56 AM

Air assisted airless.

Precat for a little durability or regular lacquer for versatility.

A lot of finishing is in the prep work.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4720 posts in 1597 days


#2 posted 06-05-2020 12:07 PM

Learn to French polish... properly. This impromptu video was made by a friend… drags out a bit as it was unrehearsed/planned and I didn’t edit it… but it covers a lot that other YouTubers don’t.

If interested, suggest you download, grab a few beers and settle in to watch (maybe in installments).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View James's profile

James

142 posts in 2563 days


#3 posted 06-05-2020 07:33 PM

This french polish thing looks like exactly what I want but the products involved are confusing af. Is shellac actually a solid? and I have to mix that with the alcohol? I need to watch THIS video rather than a shorter youtube one. Thanks for putting me on this track


Learn to French polish... properly. This impromptu video was made by a friend… drags out a bit as it was unrehearsed/planned and I didn t edit it… but it covers a lot that other YouTubers don t.

If interested, suggest you download, grab a few beers and settle in to watch (maybe in installments).

- LittleBlackDuck


-- James - Semper Fi

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LittleBlackDuck

4720 posts in 1597 days


#4 posted 06-05-2020 11:41 PM


This french polish thing looks like exactly what I want but the products involved are confusing af. Is shellac actually a solid? and I have to mix that with the alcohol? I need to watch THIS video rather than a shorter youtube one. Thanks for putting me on this track
- James

Hopefully the video should cover all your questions… as I said it goes on and on, but it has a wealth of information that are not covered in a single video elsewhere.

The chap is classified as a ”Master Craftsman” so he knows his craft and will teach traditional French polishing, from making a rubber to small paint brush applications on joints….

Can’t remember whether he refers to metho, however, if he does it’s denatured alcohol in Yankee speak.

Here is a link to the pound-cut mix I use… just alter to your requirements. Moved the video there and another fair write-up… I just find the video easier to read (I hate reading).

Couple of tips:
  • Shellac (especially mixed) has a relatively short shelf life… not more than 12 months and you have no idea how long it’s been on the shelf with suppliers. I keep both my flakes and liquid in the fridge when not being used… The flakes in fridge is an overkill, but at least I always know where it is.
    I have a dedicated bar fridge in the workshop for all my glues, shellacs and perishable liquids (like scotch)...
  • To check for shellac expiry, put a drop between thumb and forefinger and separate repeatedly. If it gets a tad tacky its still live, however, if no tack at all it’s vintage ”sanding sealer”.
    (Much like CA… when it wont keep the MIL’s mouth shut, it’s expired.)
  • Stale liquid shellac makes a great sanding sealer. Usually cut down… shellac to metho in 1:10 ratio (depending on original pound cut).
  • For that added 110% touch, I recommend, what I jokingly refer to as drinking metho. It is 100% alcohol. Here in Australia metho is normally retailed as 95% alcohol and 5% ethanol (the ethanol stops me drinking it). It will work well but 100% is better and bloody more expensive and quite hard to find… Usually a special order/supplier (at least here in Australia).
  • Shellac flakes are a pain to dissolve, especially for 4lb cuts… I use a coffee grinder to further break down the flakes prior to the cocktail mix.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

519 posts in 163 days


#5 posted 06-06-2020 12:29 AM

For a glass like finish, my go to is nitrocellulose lacquer. But that’s because I build guitars. Don’t get caught with it in some states or you’ll be eating peanuts thrown through the bars. :) I use Mohawk instrument lacquer. I spray with a Sata mini-jet HVLP gun. 8 to 12 coats with some levelling and wipe sanding in between and a last coat of 50% thinned lacquer, wait for a month and then rubbed out with Meguairs compounds and you can comb your hair in the resultant finish. Plenty of other solutions but this one works for me on wood., or at least wood guitars.

-- Darrel

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4720 posts in 1597 days


#6 posted 06-06-2020 01:09 AM


... rubbed out with Meguairs compounds…
- Foghorn

Actually Meguars products with a good buffer is a absolute finish for lacquers…

... can comb your hair in the resultant finish….
- Foghorn

And where the hell can you buy that hair? (My picture is old and features a comb-over beard!)
Maybe reword to sweep your hair off…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

519 posts in 163 days


#7 posted 06-06-2020 01:21 AM


... rubbed out with Meguairs compounds…
- Foghorn

Actually Meguars products with a good buffer is a absolute finish for lacquers…

... can comb your hair in the resultant finish….
- Foghorn

And where the hell can you buy that hair? (My picture is old and features a comb-over beard!)
Maybe reword to sweep your hair off…

- LittleBlackDuck


I’ll rephrase that to comb what hair you have left in the resultant finish. :)

-- Darrel

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4720 posts in 1597 days


#8 posted 06-06-2020 01:29 AM


I ll rephrase that to comb what hair you have left in the resultant finish. :)
- Foghorn

Thanks Foggie... a few more growth rings and I’ll be able to buff the Meguars on my crown… without the furballs.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3189 posts in 2271 days


#9 posted 06-06-2020 06:58 AM

+1 Prep is everything when it comes to perfect smooth finish.

Any top spray top coat will look great on properly prepared surface.
Many different kinds of equipment can be used.
But the prep needs to flawless.

If you want smooth: Learn all difference ways to grain fill.
All kinds of methods can be used. When using straight oil finish, sand with oil, or use clear filler like Crystalac. When using a stain, can use water based grain fill like Timbermate or WB filler from Behlens.
or can also use old fashion method of using many coats of shellac via french polish.

So many options, so little time to type every detail out.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

519 posts in 163 days


#10 posted 06-06-2020 03:11 PM


+1 Prep is everything when it comes to perfect smooth finish.

Any top spray top coat will look great on properly prepared surface.
Many different kinds of equipment can be used.
But the prep needs to flawless.

If you want smooth: Learn all difference ways to grain fill.
All kinds of methods can be used. When using straight oil finish, sand with oil, or use clear filler like Crystalac. When using a stain, can use water based grain fill like Timbermate or WB filler from Behlens.
or can also use old fashion method of using many coats of shellac via french polish.

So many options, so little time to type every detail out.

Best Luck.

- CaptainKlutz


Very true. My favorite grain filler is Zpoxy for woods that aren’t going to be stained or when toners are sprayed. Woods like maple don’t require grain filling but a lot of others do and as the Captain says, any flaws in the surface will show if prep is not carefully attended to.

-- Darrel

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1189 posts in 503 days


#11 posted 06-06-2020 03:23 PM

Another thing worth mentioning along with prep is environment and equipment.
You can’t have stuff floating in the air.
and if your using conventional air compressors, you need to be able to completely filter out the contaminates coming from the compressor, and then you need good clean air lines. old lines can also release contaminates.

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2648 posts in 2766 days


#12 posted 06-07-2020 01:51 AM

What gravity feed sprayer do you have? Should work, you just need the correct needle/tip set for the viscosity being sprayed. Nothing works better for a fully filled, glass like, piano type finish than solvent lacquer, plain nc or precat, rubbed out to a mirror shine.

However, different applications and gloss levels need different finishes and methods. The “one size fits all” does not apply to wood finishing. Start with educating yourself on finish types and application methods. Here are my book recommendations. Next, practice, practice, practice on scrap boards before touching a project. As others said prep and finishing environment are extremely important. BTW, you do much finishing you will get over your obsession with PERFECT – it doesnt exist, there’s always a flaw somewhere.

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