Popular Woodworking 2007-06 № 162, страница 8

Popular Woodworking 2007-06 № 162, страница 8

Letters

continued from page 14

Pining for Finishing Advice

I find finishing articles are often confusing so I skip them, but Glen Huey's "Finishing Formulas" was interesting and easy to follow (issue #161). One question - I am making a pine chest. What finish do you recommend?

Don Alexander via e-mail

Pine, be it clear white or Southern yellow, is different from the wood I used for most of the projects described in the article. Other than the painted cupboard, those projects are hardwood; pine is a softwood. Pine readily exhibits blotching when staining, so you wont obtain the same results with the aniline dye finishing methods from the article.

In a previous career (homebuilding), it was common to apply a "wash coat" of thinned shellac (1# cut) before staining it with oil-based products. It's a tricky scenario at best. Too much or too thick and the shellac prohibits the stain from penetrating and actually staining the piece at all. It might be worth your time to experiment on scrap wood.

Today, I'd suggest using a gel stain. Gel stain is thicker than regular stain and doesn't penetrate as much as the aniline dye stains. Therefore, the gel-stained finish on pine is likely to show less blotchiness. But there's no guarantee — experiment on scrap to arrive at an acceptable finish.

— Glen D. Huey, senior editor

What Glue for Cutting Boards?

I wish to make cutting boards but am not sure what glue to use. My cutting boards will get wet so the glue must be waterproof but also not cause people to get sick. Is there some special glue made for this purpose?

James "Tommy" Tompkins Graham, Washington

Years ago, I made a lot of cutting boards using epoxy. It's a good choice, but brittle; a drop to the floor can break the glue line. This was before the advent of Gorilla Glue or Titebond III. Today, I think I would use Titebond III.

— Robert W. Lang, senior editor

A Shine-free, Durable Topcoat

Your finishing article in the April 2007 issue was very timely; I am finishing a large cabinet and have some questions about it.

The cabinet is for our mud room and will see some abuse. The lower shelves will be for storing boots and shoes and so must hold up to water, mud, dirt and scratches. For this reason, and because I want as low-maintenance a finish as possible, I decided to go with polyurethane for the top coat.

After I had it stained, my better half informed me that she does not want any shine or sheen to the finish - not even that which you get from satin polyurethane. Is there a good compromise between the amount of shine and the durability of the top coats?

I am interested in the antique appearance from shellac that you discuss, but have some questions:

1) How does shellac hold up compared to polyurethane?

2) Would shellac be an adequate choice for the abuse this piece will be getting?

3) Would I have to use spray equipment to apply the shellac?

Eric Torola Dassel, Minnesota

I wouldn't choose shellac for a tabletop or anything else that will likely get a lot of abuse (such as the shelves in your project). That's the ideal finishing situation for polyurethane or even something harder, such as catalyzed lacquer or varnish, some of which are available in a dull sheen.

And no, you don't have to apply shellac with a spray system. Most often, shellac is either brushed or wiped onto a project.

By the way, if you already purchased the polyurethane and the sheen is the only issue, simply rub the finish lightly with #0000 steel wool. That's a way to knock off the high sheen in a topcoat. It might just do the trick, and make both you and your wife happy.

— Glen D. Huey, senior editor

Wooden Handplane Restoration

I now have four books on wooden planes and can't find a thing about restoring the wood portion of these planes. Articles on the web suggest a variety of treatments, soaking in boiled linseed oil among them. Then on the tool dealers sites I see such things as "properly oiled and waxed." I have learned not to take information found online as gospel. But I trust the staff of Popular Woodworking.

If you were to purchase some old wooden

handplanes and wanted to restore them for use, collecting or to sell, what would be the best treatment (after removing dirt and grime)? And what about this wax I'm hearing about?

Almost every unused wooden plane I have seen is very dry, shows small cracks and would likely benefit from some kind of oil treatment.

Terry Miller Albion, New York

There is a lot of bunk out there about wooden handplanes. They don't need to be soaked in linseed oil, and they don't need special waxes. Just treat the wood like it's wood. Any cracks in the stock of the plane are probably due to the plane being stored improperly. There's not much you can do about it now — oiling sure won't close the cracks.

Clean the plane with a rag and a little mineral spirits. Maybe put a coat of paste wax on the tool to make it look nice. Then turn your attention to the sole, the mouth, the escapement and the wedge. Those things are far more important than applying voodoo to the stock. PW

— Christopher Schwarz, editor

QUESTION? COMPLAINT? WRITE TO US

Popular Woodworking welcomes comments from readers about the magazine or woodworking in general, as well as questions on all areas of woodworking. We are more than happy to share our woodworking experience with you by answering your questions or adding some clarity to whatever aspect of the craft you are unsure about, and if you have a complaint, we want to address it whenever possible.

Though we receive a good deal of mail, we try to respond to all correspondence in a prompt manner. Published correspondence may be edited for length or style. All correspondence becomes the property of Popular Woodworking.

Send your questions and comments via e-mail to popwood@fwpubs.com, via fax to 513-891-7196, or by mail to: Letters

Popular Woodworking 4700 E. Galbraith Road Cincinnati, OH 45236

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Popular Woodworking June 2007

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