17 votes

Making wood filler from sawdust

I remember hearing a while ago that sawdust and wood glue can be used as a wood filler to fill in gaps and imperfections. Yes you can do this, but note that the term "sawdust" might be slightly ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
16 votes

Finishing a desk or tabletop?

oiling and applying something like polyeurethane which seems to be used in all the youtube tutorials OK need to run though a number of basics first. Firstly a general caution, lots of people who ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
15 votes
Accepted

What finish should I use to make a bowl "microwave-safe"?

Are there any finish solutions for making "microwave-safe" wood items for serving food on? It's not so much a question of "microwave-safe" finishes as "microwave-safe" materials. Microwaves work by ...
grfrazee's user avatar
  • 12.2k
14 votes

how to fix very light scratches in polyurethane finish?

You're going to have to make this look worse before it looks better. The first step is *gulp* to lightly sand or scuff the entire surface until the existing scratches aren't evident, and then do one ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
11 votes

Why does my workpiece become rough again after applying polyurethane varnish when it wasn't before?

The bumpy feeling you describe is probably the wood grains raising up after applying your varnish; especially if it's a water based one. I previously asked a question about why it's important to ...
Maxime Morin's user avatar
  • 2,410
10 votes
Accepted

Are active charcoal air filters effective against finishing fumes?

"All" (like "always" or "never") is generally a bad wording, since unless the question is "Do all people have to die?", the answer must obviously be "no". There are very few absolutes in nature. But ...
Damon's user avatar
  • 3,915
9 votes
Accepted

How do I de-nib polyurethane after it dries but still maintain its finish?

How do I avoid or remove the scuffing? Basically you can't. Until you get to really high grits (way above P1200) you will see the scratches and these are not suitable for de-nibbing. How do I ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
9 votes

What is a good finish for shot glasses?

My advice would be not to make glasses out of wood so I'll put that out there right at the start. The only sure-fire ways of waterproofing wood are to completely encase it in a film finish, or ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
9 votes
Accepted

Making wood filler from sawdust

Yes, that is a method still in use. You can use it to fill gaps. But, the unfortunate thing about this method is... You create a place on wood that is different in absorbing the oil/stain that you ...
borgs's user avatar
  • 144
8 votes

I polyed my paintbrush then procrastination left me in a predicament

I use a solvent called Brush Cleaner. It works well on both oil and acrylic based paints. It is stout stuff so wear gloves and use it in an open area. You will have to soak it for 24 hours or so but ...
Homegrown's user avatar
8 votes

I polyed my paintbrush then procrastination left me in a predicament

Did I doom my paint brush to the garbage or is there something I can still do to save it? Salvaging a brush with hardened varnish (or paint) in it is actually quite doable. It will require a long ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
8 votes
Accepted

When working with maple, do I need to seal the wood before assembling the furniture?

he suggested that the wood needed to be treated with tung oil, even before I assemble the legs, in order to protect it from expanding and warping over time. No finish will keep wood from expanding ...
grfrazee's user avatar
  • 12.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Why does my workpiece become rough again after applying polyurethane varnish when it wasn't before?

Usually when varnish makes a surface rough, it's either that it's picked up dust during the drying process, or it was being brushed/wiped too long after application. Gently sanding between thicker ...
Paul Nardini's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How to get zero height painting?

So, how do I finish to get a perfect flat surface, and no "steps" where the paint begins and starts? Build up a sufficient number of layers of finish that they go over the paint thickly enough, so ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

Does burning wood increase any mechanical proprieties?

Not burning or charring the wood, but heating it to a high temperature. In this article dealing with the "Strength properties of thermally modified softwoods..." that deals specifically with three ...
Ast Pace's user avatar
  • 3,667
7 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between wiping polyurethane and wiping varnish?

What is the difference between wiping polyurethane and wiping varnish? There can be no difference, they could be the same thing. Although note that sometimes "wiping polyurethane" refers to the ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

When working with maple, do I need to seal the wood before assembling the furniture?

REDUCING MOVEMENT Using finish While you can coat wood with a suitable finish to mitigate the effects of internal moisture changes as humidity goes up and down, for all intents and purposes ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

How do I de-nib polyurethane after it dries but still maintain its finish?

When I do this, even when I sand very lightly, like one low pressure pass with 400 or 600 or even 1000, the texture comes out nice and smooth but the polyurethane is always scuffed with little white ...
grfrazee's user avatar
  • 12.2k
7 votes

Shellac over paint, outdoors

Shellac doesn't do well with water, that's your starting point here. It's also relatively brittle and with the expected movement in the wood you're likely to see problems with cracking. Bonding to ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Process for Food Safe Finishing

I have just created my first cutting board and coated it with some salad bowl finish. My question is what is the process for finishing the project? If you like you just completed the finishing since ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What's water sandpaper for?

On the terminology first, "water sandpaper" is not the commonly used name for this type of paper. It's generally referred to as wet-and-dry, wet-n-dry or wet-or-dry paper (with or without the hyphens) ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

Protecting against water damage

You have a few options that will provide decent waterproofing, including varnish, lacquer and a one-shot poured finish. The easiest and probably most economical is polyurethane varnish. It's not the ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

Finishing a desk or tabletop?

I am bit of a Danish oil bigot. It's been so good to me that I have trouble saying anything bad about it. Realize that you will get a matte surface. About forty years ago, I made a table, which ...
Ast Pace's user avatar
  • 3,667
7 votes
Accepted

Do I need to worry about incidental contact between a finish and its thinner / solvent once it's cured?

The answer is, it depends. Finishes that "cure" after drying (like most oil-based products) will typically not be damaged by incidental contact with their solvent. Finishes that only "dry" but do ...
SaSSafraS1232's user avatar
7 votes

How to remove staining caused by a clamp

there appears to have been some sort of reaction with glue squeeze-out that has caused a sort of 'ebonzing' stain from the face of the clamp, through the glue puddle and into the wood. I hang my head ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What is an efficient way to re-use jars containing old shellac for storing new shellac?

I'm a firm believer in reusing jars used in finishing as much as possible. Especially very small jars that are handy for the small amounts of mixed finish that a single project often calls for, I will ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

Can wood be "dyed" transparent?

Apparently there is at least one method of doing this, by chemically breaking down or replacing wood lignin with acrylic. However this method may only be practical in laboratory-type settings, or at ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Filling cracks with epoxy after Tung oil

I think I may have screwed up the order of operations a bit Yup. But because you're using an oil finish it's not quite as bad as it seems. Inside the cracks and other defects the epoxy won't stick ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes

Sanding woods of different hardnesses perfectly flat

My other option might be to glue a rougher grit paper to a large flat board and use this combined with a lot of elbow grease to smooth it out. If you use the right abrasive and the right strategy ...
Graphus's user avatar
  • 65.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What kind of respirator do I need to safely work with varnish, polyurethane, and oil-based stain?

For normal chemicals and finishes, most tradespeople will wear a half mask (3M are readily available and popular) with an OV (organic vapor) cartridge and at least P95 filtration. (Filtration since ...
Aloysius Defenestrate's user avatar

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