tack cloths?

I understand store bought tack cloths leave a residue that can interfere with a stain or finish. I can brush, vacuum and blow air to remove surface sanding dust but still some dust remains.
How can I make my own cloth to pick up sanding dust. Ive heard simply a cloth spayed with Endust is the best.
any thoughts?
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trs80 wrote:

As far as I know, the standard varnish-based tack cloths could only interfere with water-based finishes. I've never had any problems when using them before various oil-based finishes - tung oil, danish oil, urethane varnish, poly gel, etc. If I were using a water-based finish, I'd probably wipe down the workpiece with a water-dampened rag, sand lightly if grain was raised, and then wipe it down again. Good luck, Andy
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The following are instructions for making tack clothes which I found in a very old book on finishing methods published by Rockwell-Delta (just goes to show how old the book is). A well worn cotton handkerchief makes the the best tack rag. It should be soaked in warm water, then wrung out lightly. The clothe is sprinkled with turpentine, after which about two teaspoonfulls of varnish are poured on. The clothe is then folded and twisted, repeating this operation several times until the clothe is nearly dry. The rags can be kept in good condition by lightly sprinkling with water and turpentine, folding and storing in an airtight container. You will have to make your own "make or buy" decision.
Joe G trs80 wrote:

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trs80 wrote:

Store bought (varnish) tack rags only interfere with water based products. Any oil, solvent, or alcohol based product shouldn't be affected.
To "tack down" in preparation for a water base finish, blow or vacuum off as well as you can. Then, _lightly_ dampen a lint-free cloth and wipe the dust off in one direction only. Fold the rag to a clean spot often. Since the first coat of water based sanding sealer will raise the grain anyway, I usually wait to re-sand until after the sanding sealer coat.
If I've stained with an oil based or NGR stain, or if I've colored the wood with BLO or shellac, the water based sealer or cloth won't raise the grain much. The oil and/or stain binder seals the surface enough to seal out a lightly dampened cloth.
I don't bother with a tack cloth before staining, compressed air or a vacuum is good enough for me at that point.
I wouldn't spray anything with Endust at anytime in a finishing process. In fact, I don't want Endust, Pledge, Armor All, etc... in the shop.
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I have good results using a Microfiber tack cloth I found at Lowe's, I believe it's made by Norton or 3M. It does not use any chemicals to attract dust but requires washing to rid the cloth of dust.
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You can get 16 x16 microfiber cloths at Sams Club for about $12 per 25 pieces.
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You can buy microfiber cloth by the yard at your local fabric store. However, unless you can get it on sale for less than $3.50/yd, the Sams' version is cheaper.
--
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Auto paint stores carry several varieties of tack rags, most of which are wax and silicone free. I have been using the lowest tack of these clothes for some time, tacking surfaces before each coat of water-based finishes. I have had no problems with adhesion of the coats or fish eyes in the finish. My neighbor, being somewhat reluctant to use tack rags in general, now uses these auto-store-rags all the time also with no problems. I do not trust the tack rags sold at the BORGs for good reason - I had numerous problems with these before switching to the wax and silicone free ones from auto paint stores.

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You understand correctly. At least partially: any solvent-based tack cloth has the potential to interfere with a water-based finish, and vice versa.

Yep, that's why tack cloths were invented... :-)

I've had *very* good results using microfiber cloths. I bought a couple of small ones at AutoZone for about five bucks. You can also get microfiber fabric by the yard at some fabric stores, and lately they're available as dishcloths too. No need to apply anything at all to them, just wipe them across the wood. It's astonishing how much dust a microfiber cloth will pick up from a board that you would have sworn was clean -- even after vacuuming and blowing off with compressed air, there still remains a *lot* of dust that a microfiber cloth will pick up.
I don't use anything else now.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

That sounds interesting.
Which finishes have you used since the switch?
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Shellac, and two different brands of wipe-on poly. Results are much smoother, with far less sanding between coats, and with lighter grits besides.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Water or oil poly?
Cleaning supply houses have packages of yellow microfiber dust cloths, the size of double roll paper towel packages, for under $7. I love how well they work on the car and so want them to work in the shop. <G>
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Oil; sorry, should've thought to specify that.

Give it a try. If my experience is any indication, you'll be pleased. They're pretty good for cleaning up in the kitchen, too.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Can you just throw them in the washer once they've been used a little while, or is there some other way to clean/recharge them? Do they actually rely on some kind of electrostatic principle to pick up dust, or is just a physical property of the fibers that captures a lot of dust? Thanks, Andy
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I just rinse them by hand in the sink, wring them out, and hang them up to dry.

Physical property of the fibers. They're very, very fine (whence the name "microfiber") and thus the surface area of the cloth is much greater, so it can hold a lot more dust.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Jan 24, 4:05 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Thanks Doug (and others)! Maybe I'll have to try one of those - I think there's one collecting dust (pardon the pun) under our sink right now - LOML prefers the disposable swiffer pads. Andy
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(Doug Miller) wrote:

For best results micro fiber towels should be washed and dried by them selves and or with items that do not produce lint. Additionally you should not use anti static sheets in the dryer when drying micro fiber towels.
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Doug Miller wrote:

This weekend, I'm going to try some birch ply test panels with sprayed Ultrastar, Ultrastar sanding sealer, and Sealcoat using the yellow janitorial supply cloths I have.
I plan on three panels. One with 3 coats of Ultrastar, one with one coat of US SS and two top coats, and the last with Sealcoat and two coats of Ultrastar. I'll use the dust cloths for initial pickup and cleaning the scuff waste off.
I'll post results next week. <G>
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Seems ironic that a product that is used to prep a surface for paint or varnish would interfere with the application of that product.

I don't think so.
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great tips. thanks

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