Popular Woodworking 2003-02 № 132, страница 18

Popular Woodworking 2003-02 № 132, страница 18

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Q&A

continued from page 16

low-tech and aggressive approach is to simply use sandpaper or a belt/disk sander.

I protect my planes with camellia oil, which is available from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks (800327-2520 or lie-nielsen.com). It goes a long way and does an excellent job of preventing rust on all my hand tools.

— Christopher Schwarz, senior editor

Why Won't My Portable Planer's Rollers Grip My Lumber?

I have a question regarding my portable planer. Sometimes the rubber rollers do not seem to grip the wood well when passing stock under the cutterhead. Is there something that can be done to rejuvenate the rollers? The rollers have a small amount of sawdust built up on them.

Tim Dewberry Fullerton, California

I'd start by getting the sawdust off. Wipe the rollers down with a coarse cloth. If that doesn't do it, try a mild solvent (such as naptha) that won't degrade the rollers. The sawdust is likely your problem as the rollers themselves should prove adequate for many years. You also should try to improve the slickness of the tables using a commercial spray-on lubricant, or just some paraffin wax. This will reduce the friction on the tables, making the rollers work less.

—David Thiel, senior editor

When Should I Use an Oil Finish?

I am installing an Andersen In-swing French door with an all-oak interior finish, and I'm trying to decide how to finish it. I was originally considering Minwax Antique Oil Finish or the company's Tung Oil Finish. Or should I consider something that will cure hard to protect the finish from kids, water, spills, stains, etc?

From reading your magazine I understand that wiping varnish (thinned varnish) will cure hard. An oil/varnish blend (oil with a resin) dries soft. I would really appreciate some help and guidance.

Brian Klodaski via the internet

Many of the woodworking magazines and some of the manufacturers represent oil/varnish blends as oil with resin. This is misleading and makes the product seem mysterious. It's simply oil (usu

ally boiled linseed oil) mixed with varnish and thinned with paint thinner. One common natural resin that you should be familiar with is amber. You put amber in linseed oil and it just sinks to the bottom.

Traditional varnishes were made by cooking linseed oil and natural resins. This changed the chemistry, like heating yeast and flour, and made varnish - which cures hard. Any product with oil mixed in (rather than cooked in) cures soft, so the excess has to be wiped off or the surface won't be functional. Modern varnishes are made synthetically to imitate the old cooked varnishes.

As far as when each is appropriate, that's a personal preference. I can't tell you when to use these finishes for the same reason I can't tell you when you should use dowels and when you should use mortise-and-tenon joints. In the case of finishes, there's too much aesthetics involved. You might like the look of a thin, satin oil finish more than a glossier film-building finish. You might also like the ease of applying oil - wipe on and wipe off. You can't mess it up.

I can say that the thicker you build a finish (within limits) the more protective it will be, and that oil finishes aren't very protective because they are too thin.

But then you're finishing doors. How much protection do you need?

You can always try the oil and then coat it over with something else - wiping varnish or polyurethane (or anything for that matter) - if you decide the oil isn't protective or durable enough. Just be sure the oil has had a week or so to fully cure. PW

— Bob Flexner, contributing editor

WRITE TO US

Every day we get questions from readers on all subjects about their woodworking. Some are letters; many are e-mail messages.We are more than happy to share our woodworking experience with you by answering your questions or adding some clarity to whatever aspect of your craft you are unsure about. In addition to the hundreds we answer privately every month, we want to share the best questions here with readers.

Send your questions via e-mail to popwood@fwpubs.com. Or send us a note by mail to: Popular Woodworking, Q&A, 4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236.

CIRCLE NO. 146 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD.

18 Popular Woodworking February 2003

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