Fixing shellac orangepeel?

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wrote:

I think this is my problem. I'm expecting the wiped surface to be smooth and shiny when you actually have to sand and polish to get that look.
Where do you find felt blocks for rubbing out. I'm sure they're available, but I don't consciously recall seeing them for sale either in a store or catalog.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 17:24:19 -0800, Tim Douglass wrote:

I've seen 'em at Rockler. I just stick a rectangle of felt between sandpaper and sanding block.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
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Tim Douglass wrote:

The last one was purchase at Rockler:
http://www.rockler.com/ecom7/product_details.cfm?&offerings_id !84
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Do yourself a favor and try the Menzerna polishing stuff. I got some from www.homesteadfinishing.com and now the pumice and rottenstone sit on the shelf waiting to be tossed.
On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 17:24:19 -0800, Tim Douglass

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Once the build is thick enough sand level with a smooth backing board. Then pad a thin coat. Let cure then start rubbing out for sheen wanted. Careful at edges where shellac has pulled away leaving a thinner coat.
On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 11:37:21 -0800, Tim Douglass

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Have seen suggested lightly sand off ridges using a flat block backing for sandpaper and when build is adequate lightly sand for uniform dullnes with no glossy spots then apply a thin coat that will level well, let cure then start rubbing for sheen wanted. Menzerna polishing compounds available from www.homesteadfinishing.com are awsome.
On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 11:42:49 -0800, Tim Douglass

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First off - orange peel only happens one way. Your first coat or two were too dry. It may be because of poor atomization of your gun, or it may be from poor technique. Bottom line - too dry. You end up with little bumps of material on the wood with lots of spaces between them. Next thing you do is put more coats on and it starts to fill in the spaces, but it also builds up on the bumps. As you build up coats, it flows together a bit and you end up with those gorgeous orange peel finishes. To prevent this, practice with your gun (read the directions that came with it and set it up properly). Learn to spread on a layer of finish rather than fog on coats. The delicate balance is in laying down a nice wet coat without getting runs. Practice makes perfect, but wet coats finish smoothly, dry coats don't.

400 is too coarse. Start with 1000 and moderate elbow grease. See how it goes. Don't rush it, keep sanding and use a sanding block to keep the sandpaper nice and flat to the surface. Try wrapping your sandpaper around a paint stirrer and use it. You should be able to knock down a lot of orange peel with 1000, but if it's not going down, then move down to maybe 800 or so. Be careful in how fast you move down in grit though or you'll burn through your finish. No need to do that. Sand it down until it's as flat as you want. You can get it all the way down to the low points (the craters) of the orange peel with no risk, but once you hit the bottom of the craters, you shouldn't push any further. Wet sanding helps keep the paper from clogging up so bad and makes the cutting more consistent.

Maybe - I really don't know how shellac reacts. Try it with one wet coat and see what it does. The worst that can happen is that you go the route of sanding it.

Bad approach. Get your finish where you want it and then add wax.

Nope. You're just not done yet.

Dead flat huh? Well, then wrap that sandpaper around a paint stick and grab a small bucket of water and get sanding. Flatten it out nice and then rub it out with a rubbing compound to get it back to the level of shine you want.
--

-Mike-
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My understanding is sand to level then spray for final coat OR start rubbing the dull level sanded finish if the build is adequate. Shellac is like lacquer in new coats meld with previous into one contiguous finish.
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 23:40:40 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

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That's basically what I said in the other part of my comments that you snipped. I realize I made it a bit confusing by posting the comment below and then elaborating more later on, about how to deal with orange peel. My bad.
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-Mike-
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Wasn't chucking spears but trying to use different words for same end result.
On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 12:31:02 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

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Mike Marlow wrote:

Thanks, Mike, for all the help. I sure appreciate it.
-Phil Crow
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Hey Phil - I'll preceed everything I have to say by saying that I don't finish with shelac so my comments are strictly related to spray painting techniques and practices. Others can augment what I have to say by bringing shelac specific knowledge to the conversation. A lot of these things are universal, so the discussion is meaningful.

This would be a universal question. You are right in that a good wet coat is on the verge of wanting to sag or run. But... it won't because you didn't put it on that heavy. Nice and even. Think of it as spreading plastic wrap over your workpiece. You want to envision yourself doing exactly that with your spray gun. It will take practice to develop the ability, but the key is to be able to watch your spray going on. You can't do this stuff by feel until you've spray painted for a good long time. Even then, because of an infinate number of variables like humidity, temperature, etc. you will find that you have to always watch the spray pattern going on the workpiece. This means good lighting. Don't take a shortcut on the lighting. No shadows, no glare, good well lit work area. Make sure each pass just overlaps the previous pass and it creates a growing wet surface without overlapping too much and creating an area that is too wet and sags, or that is too far apart and creates a dry line. The edges of your spray pattern out of your gun are dryer than the cigar shaped center of the spray pattern. This works to your advantage. The top of your first pass will be a little dryer than the center of it, but when you overlap slightly on the second pass - with a slightly dryer bottom to the pattern than it's center, the overlapped area ends up receiving essentially the same amount of paint as the center of the spray pattern. Am I making sense? You should be able to watch your "plastic wrap" grow as you make your passes up the workpiece. Nice and even in wetness and texture. No dry spots and no heavy spots. Study your owners manual for your gun. It will give you valuable information on tip sizes for various viscosity materials. Live by that information until you develop spraying skills.
Practice on scraps. Lay some down flat and experiment. Your owners manual will tell you about setting up your gun. You'll need to adjust the spray pattern for a nice cigar shaped fan and you'll need to set your needle for proper atomization. The later is very interactive and dependent upon the pressure setting. Hold your gun about 6" from a vertical piece of scrap and as quickly as possible, just pull the trigger all the way and immediately let off. You should typically have a pattern that is about 8-10" high and maybe 3" wide. The pattern should be a vertical eliptical shape - or cigar shaped, nicely rounded and defined - not a blob. The edges should fade out to nothing. You should not have an evenly wet cigar. The fade is rather abrupt - not a gentle fade. So - you have a nice wet center that is maybe 7-9" high and 2 inches wide and it fades a half inch or so on each side. Depending on your gun you may not be able to hit those dimensions, but you get the jist.
Practice by pulling the trigger all the way and developing the speed that is right for making a nice wet, shiney spray pattern across the scrap. Make a few passes - overlapping each other to achieve an nice even coverage. That's your first focus point. Always pull full on the trigger and use speed to regulate your coverage as you move across the piece. There are times when you will fog with less than a full trigger pull, but this requires a careful eye to fog and watch build up until it hits the right level. Not for the intial practice. Concentrate on developing a body rhythm. After you get a feel for this - and it will take you a few scraps of wood, move on to trying the same thing on a vertical piece of wood. You'll find - as you probably assume, that you have to speed up a bit because the vertical piece will sag quickly with the same amount of material as the horizontal piece accepted. Just keep thinking about stretching plastic wrap and watch the material go on the workpiece.
It may not seem worth it all and in fact for some pieces, it probably is not worth spraying. There's cleanup and all that stuff to contend with when you spray. But... for other pieces, you just cannot beat a sprayed finish. When you want it, you need to know how to do it.

I tend to use the term water when referring to wet sanding out of habit. Others like to use mineral spirits and for woodworking I'm sure it's fine. I would not worry about raising grain, as that becomes less of an issue as buildup happens. Once you seal the wood well you should not have a problem with raised grain. If you prefer mineral spirits though, it should work just as well. Forget the stuff about mineral spirits lubricating better than water, as I've read here. There's not a lubrication issue in wet sanding. The liquid does help cutting as it keeps the paper from clogging, but water will do this every bit as good as anything else. Most wet sanding is done by hand and there just isn't going to be a friction issue in that case, and even wet sanding with a DA or a ROS (not sure what a fan I would be of that), if done properly - slowly, will not create friction issues if done with just water. So - pick your poison. Either one will work. Again - with respect to shelac, others may have some input relative to it that I would have to defer to.

Yes - you can use the same rubbing compound that one would use on a car. I have lots of it around here, so that's what I use. Others use compounds and materials that I'm not familiar with and they seem to like the results. They'd have to offer their comments on this practice - I'm just not familiar with anything besides good old 3M rubbing compound.
Shellac and lacquer give two different finishes. Again - I'm not well versed in the use of shellac so the other guys can chime in, but as I understand it, shellac does not really seal - it more fills. As I understand it you typically overcoat shellac with a sealer of some sort. Lacquer is a sealer. It fills by build up in a way similar to what shellac does, but it also seals. For dead flat I would probably go with just lacquer as long as the look of lacquer is what I was after. I wouldn't bother using anything else to fill the grain since the lacquer is fully capable of doing that and subsequent coats will provide the buildup. I'd lay it on as smoothly as I could and then I'd either wet sand it with 1000 or 1500 and buff it out, or if I sprayed a nice smooth coat I'd skip the wet sanding. All that said - that's only to answer your specific question about shellac vs. lacquer. Then there's oils, etc. We won't go there for now...
I just got done spraying a '52 Dodge over the weekend. Some of the panels came out like glass and I'm just going to bolt them back on the car. Some panels orange peeled a bit due to some problems I had with my gun. I'll knock those down a bit with 1000 and then buff them out. There's just no absolute rules. Sometimes it all just comes together and the dust gods aren't paying attention to you and you end up with a really nice, ready to go finish. Sometimes it just don't work that way. Other times you want the protection of a particular finish - for example, lacquer, but you really don't want a high gloss plastic look. So - you knock it down with steel wool to flatten it back. There's just a ton of options.
Hope this helped.
--

-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:
Snippage of GOOD HELP

It sure did. I had an emergency side job to do, so I didn't even touch the blanket chest until last night. Just like you said, wet sand with 1k grit, rather vigorous rub-down with burlap (I didn't have any compound) and 2 coats of wax. The top looks like a freakin mirror. Admittedly, it looks a little plastic, but I'm so proud of being able to make it look that way, I think I'll leave it.
Armed with my new spraygun knowledge, I plan to do some sprayin' on some scrap soon to improve my technique. To quote the old adage, "How do you get to your own show on PBS?"
"Practice."
Anyhow, thanks a blanket chest full, Mike.
-Phil Crow
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I love it when a plan comes together. Great job Phil.
--

-Mike-
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