My shop is one stall in the garage and it's getting chilly here in
Wisconsin, just as I'm about ready to finish my rolling kitchen cart. I
plan on using a diluted oil-based poly for one of those "you can't make
a mistake with this" finishes. The garage has a forced air heater and
I'm not happy about letting the finish cure with a lot of air moving
So ... what's the minimum temperature at which I can safely apply this
finish. Figure it's getting down to the upper 40s in the garage at night.
PS: SWMBO asked me to stain this the same ugly off gray color as the
kitchen cabinets. What a terrible thing to do to walnut and hard maple!
Been to the movie, you can't get there from here.
Just another reason I left Ohio for SoCal.
Wait till spring and at least 60F minimum temps.
BTW, as long as you are going to paint/stain it ugly, build another
cart using MDF and poplar.
If it is gettimg below about 55 your finish will stall in the drying
process and maybe never dry correctly. Poly takes a good 12 hours even
when using a wiping method. However, after a few hours it will be dry
enough to bring inside or run a heater. Wiping poly will only catch
nibs for an hour or two at most. It will skin over pretty quick but
isn't actually dry.
Nope. Don't give a crap anymore. I don't have your energy and
enthusiasm to beat the snot out of someone that I want to sell a job
to these days. I don't stand on principle unless it is mine. My ego
and checkbook learned long ago that the customer should get what they
want, and my role is as a service provider. I am there to facilitate
their wishes, not push my agenda.
Besides, how many people have refinished a kitchen full of cabinets?
Not repainting, NOT putting a new top coat of clear on the wood, NOT a
scuff sand then top coat, but a real honest stripping to bare wood and
a real refinish? Have you? Have you ever taken a kitchen full of
cabinets apart, **chemically stripped all components to bare wood**,
cleaned every nook and cranny with little brass brushes, sanded out
all the imperfections and started over with your finishing routine?
Conditioned and colored the stained and discolored areas, filled in
the tiny checks and cracks, worked over the wear marks cabinets get so
you can make the cabinets look as close to new as possibile?
Nonsense. Unless you are a weekend warrior with plenty of time on
your hands OR you are happy with a crappy end product, refinishing of
kitchen cabinets isn't practical. It is almost completely impractical
for a professional finisher. I don't mind stripping a large vanity,
or certain piece, but a whole kitchen full of cabinets with all the
drawers, doors, rails and stiles that have to be stripped in place,
and all the protective precautions you must have when working in
someone's house? Seriously?
It is a much better value to replace doors, and paint or veneer the
stiles and rails once you pass just a few doors.
I am not the ancient craftsman that toils away in the darkness,
eschewing powered tools, using ancient methods to further my art.
Nope. I am a businessman. I left the world of the proud, ancient
craftsman that did things his way (only) years ago. I learned in the
mid seventies how to build cabinets and fixtures, then large entry
doors, and later learned framing, deck building, etc. I left the
world of the ancient craftsman of doing things >>my way<< when I got
tired of starving. After all, clients do have choices, and never more
true than today, choices are often price driven.
I buy cabinets these days from an old outfit I like, and he will sell
me doors only if I want to change existing. Outside of a vanity, a
replacement or utility cabinet, I haven't made a cabinet for client in
years. Although I will remake or rebuild door jams, I buy prehung
doors if possible, and get anything I need for a job as close to
finished as I can before I buy it.
At one time I was very proud of my skill set, but just don't care
anymore. The ugly reality of keeping a business afloat for almost 30
years has taught me that the world doesn't work the way I want it to,
and I need to do what I need to on any given day to get work to keep
the ball rolling. I take pride in my work, but more as doing a good
job over anything specific.
My business model is simple. I give a competitive bid for work I know
I can warrant with my 100% no-shit warranty. That's it. I am not
their taste buds, nor do I try to predict the future of their home for
I don't care if someone wants me to paint their cabinets pink, or pee
yellow. I am not their taste buds. Nor do I care about someone that
might buy the house in future (and their thoughts on the current
client's work) or anyone's nieces, nephews, next door neighbors, or
any other peanut gallery. They guy that signs the check has my
undivided attention and efforts.
No condolences needed. I **like** getting along, and my partner in
life is certainly as strong willed as I am. I don't really give a
crap about paint or clear finishes enough to cause friction between me
and mine. We are about 50/50 on these things, so that is close enough
If I am sitting on the back porch with a cold beer and cigar while
smoking a brisket, >>knowing that all is well inside<<, I couldn't
care less about paint/stain/urethane etc.
But, that's just me.
On 11/16/2011 12:41 PM, email@example.com wrote:
And, so were they. (Some were captured contractors, certainly, but even
there it's certain a lack of performance would result in another willing
set of hands to take the slot).
As another saying goes, "Farming w/o a profit motive is gardening."
Don't hold back Robert, tell us how you really feel!! ;-)
Right on brother, I know exactly of what you speak. I can't tell you the
number of times I have had to "make do" and have it work out just fine. And
I have done a whole bunch of jobs for far less than some starry eyed
The customer is always right. It is just that simple. That what contracts
are for. If the customer is unhappy, you just pull out the contract. But
if the customer wants a room done in hot pink, you do it in hot pink.
Besides, most customers won't admit they made a mistake anyway. Give them
what they want. You will get in less trouble that way and you won't lose
The only exception to that rule is if it becomes a safety issue. I won't do
something that is dangerous. Not only because I wouldn't do such a thing,
but for liability issues. But taste??? People like all kinds of things.
Strange things. Bizarre things. AND THEY PAY MONEY to have somebody make
these weird items for them!
One thing I do though, is try to steer people towards simpler solutions if
possible. I just let them know if they want that insanely complicated
finish on the project, it will double the price. That usually calms them
down and makes my life simpler. But I will do what they want if they me pay
I remember the wise words of an old timer who told me this, "There are two
kinds of workers at what I do. There are working craftsman and there are
starving artists. I like to eat. So you can guess which one I am".
Only comment I'll make is that winter temps in Wisconsin are
considerably different than they are in San Antonio, at some 6-800
miles lower latitude.
Don't think you will be able to achieve your described thermal profile
after a week of ZERO temps typical several times during WI winters.
Sorry you are so closed minded. One can extract the unique value from
a whole host of techniques and materials if they have any talent.
There is more to life than pure tung oil on hand planed and scraped
On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:17:12 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"
That's OK. I'm leaving all that pine and Minwhacked and plastic to
youse guys. Enjoy!
The problem with borrowing money from China is
that thirty minutes later, you feel broke again.
--Steve Bridges as Obama
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