Please help - Mexican Furniture Phenomenon!

Hi
Im hope someone here can help...Ive scoured the internet but have come up with nothing...
I own a number of pieces of Mexican pine (the heavy/solid stuff). It is in a room with other 'non mexican type' furniture also but around evert few days there is a layer of 'dust' that seems to appear on the Mexican pieces but NOT anything else (ie not on the dado, skirting, windows other furniture)
It gets dusted, and it goes...but then a few days later comes back...
The dust (or whatever it is!) seems to follow the grain in the chairs of the dining table and weirdly only seems to appear on the vertical surfaces (and not table tops etc)
Ive tried 'fiddies' waxing the pieces to see if that helps, but it doesnt seem to
One thing I have noticed is that about this time of year a couple of our solid wood doors start to stick slightly, which I think is high humidity in the house (its about 65-70% at the moment) - the dust problem seems to get worse when this happens??
Has anyone any idea what it is?
Im not trying to get out of dusting! - But you can tell in this room there is a 'dusty' smell until the items are cleaned...!
Thanks
hw
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I have heard time and again that this type furniture, the kind with rusted metal trim and worn out latches and hinges is finished with a concoction that would probably cause cancer in California. More than once I have heard that the finish is usually a combination of used motor oil and gasoline. This is hard to believe but the results support the possibility. I can assure you that this combination will attract dust.

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A mexican furniture mfg in Monterey told me they used asphalt cut with gasoline. Imagine telling that to your insurance company! But then again I watched mex labor dip primitive furniture in metal livestock tanks filled with boiling lye water fueled by wood fires underneath to strip paint. They were wearing elbow length rubber gloves but can you imagine a splash that would take meat down to the bone! This was in Juarez just across the border.
On Wed, 8 Aug 2007 08:05:25 -0500, "Leon"

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On Tue, 07 Aug 2007 23:42:43 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@digiviews.co.uk"
[snip] | |Im not trying to get out of dusting!
Didn't they tell you when you bought this stuff that they expect you to hire a Mexican illegal alien as a maid to dust it? ;-)
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Any possibility that it's powder post beetles? Look for tiny round holes in the wood. Their "dust" would be falling out of the holes toward the floor.
Pete Stanaitis ---------------
snipped-for-privacy@digiviews.co.uk wrote:

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This is likely the result of the used motor oil and industrial sludge used to stain fruniture from Mexico. It sounds like it has a high static charge for some reason, probably the residual heavy metals. I think a room ionizer might help but not sure.
wrote:

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Thanks for the replies, I didnt realise that the use of the materials used to coat could attract dusts this way?
So, Im guessing no cure other than,
a) get rid
b) put up with it!
"finished with a concoction that would probably cause cancer in California"
Oh dear!
Thanks again...
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2 or 3 coats of a good varnish should solve the problem.
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wrote: ...

Cheaper, poorly-drying finish on the vertical surfaces, possibly mineral oil, or Danish oil applied too heavily and not wiped back promptly -- it's following the grain because it's weeping. Is it worse on end grain?
You could probably seal in the weeping oil with blonde shellac.
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OK, so it looks probable that the crappy finish on the furntiture is the cause...
I wouldnt mind trying the varnish route - but the wood is supposed to look 'rustic', so a really high gloss effect might look strange?
Can you buy 'non gloss' varnishes (clear) that would do the job of helping to seal the wood (and hopefully reduce the dust) but at the same time still not maker it look like polished pine etc?
Thanks!
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Satin finish polyurethane doesn't look bad on the "Mexican" style furniture. I use it on "Southwest" style.
Max
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Thanks for advice...
Could you give me any idea of the product name(s) for a good 'Satin finish polyurethane' - I live in the UK, so Im not sure if the same products are available?
Lastly, Im not experienced in varnishing, are there any methods/do's/ donts anywhere on the web that may help me getting the right technique?
Many thanks!
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You will probably get the best results if you use a gel varnish. It is easily to apply and will give you good results. Wipe a little on with a rag and with a clean lent free rag wipe off the excess. Plan on applying about 4 coats.
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On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 11:50:10 GMT, "Leon" |> | |You will probably get the best results if you use a gel varnish. It is |easily to apply and will give you good results. Wipe a little on with a rag |and with a clean lent free rag wipe off the excess.
Unless you're Catholic, in which case you should use a "lint" free rag.
(I'm sorry, I just couldn't control myself.)
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;~) You were paying attention. LOL
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wrote:

My choice, when I need to use poly.. http://www.minwax.com/products/protective/wipe-on.cfm Very easy to use, just follow directions.. It "seems" to be available in the UK, but that info should be on the site somewhere..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Hi, Ive tried searching on google.co.uk / products and E-bay for the Minwax product mentioned, but it doesnt seem to come up as available easily in the UK??
Does anyone know is any UK online sites sell the Minwax Wipe-On Poly OR are there are any other recommended makes of similar product (I like the idea of a rag application!) - ie Ronseal etc??
Thanks
Jon
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Minwax Wipe-on Poly isn't that unique. I have used several brands of "wipe-on" poly and achieved virtually identical results. Try whatever brand you can find and your results should be very nearly the same as you would get from the Minwax version.
Charley

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Wipe-on poly is just highly dilluted poly. Any oil based poly can just be thinned to be used as wipe-on. It is nearly fool proof application.
Typically on the can it will say "Don't thin more than x." but you can just ignore that.
Take normal oil poly and mix it 2 parts minerial spirits and one part poly. You can be even more drastic if it still feels too thick. It takes lots of mixing to get it blended well and should be stirred often (not shaken, makes bubbles.
I prefer to apply it with a brush and really flood the surface, a small area at a time. Then wipe it down almost immediatly with smooth rag that is already damp with the same solution, leaving a very thin but even coat of finish. Be very careful about overlap. Even though poly dries really slow, with this method it gets tacky real quick so just over lap the wet edges. Let dry 8 hours between coats or up to 24 hours. Watch for seepage where you have cracks or joints. Just check 20 minutes after application to see if anything seeped and wipe it out. Minimum of 2 coats and as many as you want depending on how much is sucked into the wood. Sometimes it is 3 or 4 coats before it feels \looks kike anything is happening if the wood is porous. You can 400 sand or steel wool between coats if it feels like it needs it but be careful or you will flatten it so much it goes to a plastic flat feel. I typically do 3 coats, then steel wool, then a final coat and steel wool again with wax.
wrote:

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