" Finishing woodwork projects can be one of the most frustrating things for most woodworkers. In and effort to find something that is easy to apply and is little affected by the dust in your workshop ... we present Jesse's formula, which by the way isn't really a secret, but once you have tried this technique, consider yourself a member of the Pro Finishers!! Its easy to apply and looks fabulous, we think even you will be amazed.

Editors note: I have had the pleasure of knowing this woodworker for a some years, he's talented, knowledgeable a willing to try new techinques ... we think you will be very happy with the results if you follow his technique.

 The first step in any finishing is preparing the wood. Now this may seem like an obvious thing, but when we say prepare the wood we really mean prepare it because finding problems AFTER you have finished your project means tonnes and tonnes of extra work and can be very disheartening for many.

Jesse often starts his preparation by using a good quality belt sander with a 180 grit belt and fairly light pressure. The purpose of the belt sander is to take off just enough wood to make sure there is absolutely NO lip at glue joints. His technique of going across the grain first of all to ensure a smooth surface, then with the grain to take out cross scratches works well.

Next he selects an random orbital sander starting with 220 grit, then with 320 grit, to put a finish on the wood. Depending on the hardness of the wood, he often will go to 320 grit and a 600 grit on a palm sander to put the final lustre on the wood. At this point the wood is prepared and it is ultra smooth.

The secret finishing formula is now mixed, or it there is some left over from the last project (it keeps very well in sealed glass or metal containers ) The formula consists of equal parts of glossy Varathane , Tung Oil and Turpentine. It is then stirred well to mix all the ingredients.

The finish is then applied, somewhat sparingly to the wood with a soft cloth and swathed onto the surface. Make sure not to put it on too thick, it is meant to be thin and if it applied too thick you will end up with runs and a gooey mess. After the formula has been applied, let it sit on the wood for a few minutes, then with another dry, soft cloth wipe, or even rub the excess finish off until it is somewhat tack-dry. At this point the project needs to be left overnight to dry.

It is recommended that you give your projects a second and even a third coat of this formula. After each coat is recommended that you rub the previous finish with an ultra fine steel wool such as "triple 0" or some other similar abrasive material ... being very careful not to sand away all of the first coat ... just take the "edge" of the coat. After three coats your project should be looking pretty fine ... even if you don't say so yourself.

 This finish looks well and will last for many, many years. This finish is not water proof although it is somewhat water resistant if the water is wiped up right away. This technique is used by many professional finishers as an easy to apply finish that looks great and doesn't require huge amounts of preparation, dust free environments or complicated supplies and materials. It does require a wee bit of patience and once you see the finished project, we thing you will be impressed too with Jesse's secret finishing technique.

copyright Colin Knecht


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