Dust free place to apply poly

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On 6/27/2012 7:05 PM, Leon wrote:

Ok, just got done with the second coat on all that above, 90 minutes.
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My shoulders are aching from weedeating down a 6' wide, 4' deep trench 200' long in 80F weather yesterday and raking and bagging (fourteen 33 gal bags) them today, then loading all that on the truck to go to recycling. I would MUCH prefer to have done a quick rubout on those few shelves of Leon's. I wonder if I can get him to trade the next time he does it...
-- Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. -- Abraham Lincoln
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On 6/27/2012 11:29 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Until recently I was cleaning up the leaves in my dad's yard. Live Oak leaves. Those drop in the spring and do not break down, they will lay there for years. Each Spring I have to gather them in 45 Gal contractor bags and normally 20~24 bags at a time. Repeat 3 weeks later.
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wrote:

I'd have rented a riding leaf vac and let it do the work for a large job like that. Mulched leaves take up less space, too.
-- Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. -- Abraham Lincoln
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On 6/27/2012 4:30 PM, Leon wrote:

I have been varnishing the interior woodwork on my sailboat and only have a single wall and some trim left to do. But no varnish left.
I think I'll give your Old MAsters Gel a try See what that's like.
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On 6/27/2012 8:41 PM, Richard wrote:

It is an interior finish so if you think it is going to be exposed to water don't use it. Be sure and wipe it down 2 times with separate wiping cloths after applying varnish. Basically wipe it down smooth immediately and apply several coats.
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Try Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. Wipe-on, fast dry, stays water clear, durable enough for rifle stocks. No poly AFAIK.
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Repeat
No, not at all. It's completely different stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfiber
Get some true microfiber cloth, e.g.
http://www.harborfreight.com/4-piece-microfiber-cleaning-cloths-68440.html
then wipe down a freshly-sanded piece with a t-shirt until you're convinced you have removed all the sawdust -- then wipe it again with the microfiber cloth. You will be astonished at how much dust remained after you were sure it was all gone.
Always wash your microfiber cloths *by hand*. Put one in the laundry just once, and you'll discover that it picks up lint just as readily as it picks up sawdust.

So do I -- somewhere. I haven't used it since the first time I tried microfiber cloth, as suggested by someone else here so long ago I've forgotten who or when. Probably close to ten years.

Alcohol will raise the grain of the wood somewhat, not as much as water does, but still noticeably. You may not be happy with the results.
A vacuum cleaner does a pretty good job of lifting dust from the pores of the wood. But you still should use a microfiber cloth afterward.

Or plastic. It also works just fine on wood, and it's what I normally use for sanding between coats of varnish.
Also note that grades finer than 320 are not widely available in anything but silicon carbide. I've only rarely seen 600-grit aluminum oxide or garnet, and I've *never* seen it in 800 or higher. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, though. :-)

That's not an issue when sanding varnish between coats: a quarter-sheet of wet-or-dry paper, *used dry*, will easily take care of 2 or 3 square feet of wood -- as long as the varnish is dry. If the sandpaper loads uniformly with fine dust, that's great; if it loads in spots with little clumps of varnish, you need to let it dry longer. If the varnish is the least bit sticky to the touch, it's not ready to sand.

Yes -- no water. The paper will stay usable long enough, and if you're using wipe-on poly you don't want water anywhere your project until you have at least three or four coats on it. The stuff gives a much thinner coat than brushed poly or sprayed lacquer, and a single application is *not* waterproof.
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On 6/27/2012 8:46 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

FYI a much better deal at SamsClub, slightly larger and 24 for $12.
http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId 8756
I dry my truck with two of these after washing and they still pick up dirt.

We buy the big packs at Sams and collect them until we have a load for the washer. We wash them by themselves, so no lint, and use no fabric softener.
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Oh, yes, it does. Try the experiment I suggested to Bill: wipe a freshly-sanded workpiece with a tee-shirt, as many times as you want. Then wipe it again with a microfiber cloth, and see how much sawdust the tee-shirt missed.
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I use my shop vac with a brush attachment. This pulls dust out of the pores, lets me clean tight areas like the inside corners of cabinets, and cleans out recesses like dado's or shelf pin holes. For me the shop vac is faster, easier, and more thorough than trying to wipe the dust off.
No matter what you do, the first coat of poly will always have little dust nibs and raised wood fibers. Do a light sanding with 320 grit and clean with the shop vac again between coats. Works great for me even in a dusty garage workshop.
Anthony
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On 6/28/2012 10:18 AM, HerHusband wrote:

I use my Festool sanders and Festool dust extractor, not dust to remove! ;~)

That will depend on the type poly you are using, I typically dont have that problem with gel varnishes since they dry so fast. If I do have the occasional nib I use printer paper to smooth up the surface.

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88.198.244.100:

Next time, once you finish vacuuming, wipe the workpiece with a microfiber cloth to see how much dust the vacuum failed to pick up. I predict you'll be surprised -- I know I was.

It'll work even better if you use a microfiber cloth between coats, instead of the shop vac. Vacuum cleaners work very well for sawdust, but they really aren't very good at picking up the very fine dust left by sanding with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper.
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I have my Dewalt ROS attached to my shop vac and it leaves behind virtually no dust either. :)

I've never understood the air hose method. It may temporarily clear the dust off the work piece, but it also gets blown into the air where I'll breathe it in or have it settle back on the work piece.

I actually did that recently while finishing some cabinets for my in-laws. I received a free microfiber cloth with a Rockler order and decided to try it out. There was a VERY minor bit of dust left from the shop vac, but not enough to worry about. On the other hand, some woods (especially birch plywood) really snags the cloth, even when sanded smooth. Not to mention, the veneers are already so thin I try not to go too crazy sanding.

If I was working on an heirloom piece of furniture, that level of detail might make sense. But, I'm usually building cabinets or other utility furniture that doesn't have to be perfect. For my needs, the shop vac and brush attachment work great. The brush loosens up any stubborn dust, and I have a fine filter bag in the vac to prevent the dust from being blown back into the air.
Anthony
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On 6/28/2012 6:09 PM, HerHusband wrote:

Really and truly the fine dust in the air is not going to make a bit of difference 99.999999% of the time. The air is naturally full of dust. In 30 years I have never had a problem with blowing the dust and it settling back down and causing more of a problem than normal dusting doing the same.
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On 6/28/2012 8:16 PM, Leon wrote:

What he said.
--
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
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Ditto. Most of my work is utilitarian and the vac brush works great between finishes. I do want to be more picky about the final coat of finish (on visible parts of cabinets) though so I gotta get one of those microfiber cloths and give it a whirl.
John S.
On 06/28/2012 06:09 PM, HerHusband wrote:

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With respect to the polyurethane issue: A clean area is all that you need. It need not be a class 10,000 clean room. Because polyurethane is a slow drying finish, you will always get some dust nibs embedded in it. I simple dust all the horizontal surfaces in my work area including the floor, let things settle for about fifteen minutes, and then mist the floor with water to hold down any dust that might get kicked up. Whenever I apply polyurethane, I always lightly sand every coat to remove the nibs before applying the next coat. The top coat is the one that requires rubbing out. This process will remove any last nibs and can result in a smooth mirror finish if you put the time into it. If not, you will have a very smooth finish that may have a few dust nibs but nothing like the first coat.
Good Luck.
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Thin coats, let soak in for 10 minutes or so and wipe back until almost dry. You'll need more coats, but the few dust specks that manage to stick can be cut back easily with 400 - 600 wet dry or wool.
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Bill wrote:

Hint from the auto painters: The environment in which the painting takes place works best if it can be watered down. That is, the floor (bottom) should be wet. The dust sticks to the wet floor (bottom of your container) instead of the object you're painting.
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