Varnishing tip

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I am working on a kitchen job and am currently varnishing the doors. Always a PIA but not this time. My TS has an 18 roller out feed extension table that makes a great location to paint/varnish the backs of the cabinet doors. Because 90% of the cabinet doors that I build have a rounded/chamfered/styled front perimeter edge the edges of the door do not come in contact with the surface it is on until it is turned over. Basically the paint/varnish does not come in contact with the table or work surface. Moving the piece can be troublesome however. I discovered that the roller out feed table makes a great place to paint the doors and affords me the ability to roll the door to one end or the other to paint the edges and it allows me to reach from beneath to carry the door to another location with out getting paint on my hands.
Today I picked up a set of painters pyramids, those small plastic things the allow you set the door on top of them with the door elevated a couple of inches so that you can paint the edges, or reach underneath to move the piece after painting. Wow what a simple solution that works really really well. I wish that they had been available or that I had known about them about 300 doors ago. Yes I had been using small blocks of wood, etc but these only make contact in a very small area on the bottoms and are less likely to disturb a finish that is not totally cured yet. $6 for 10.
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"Leon" wrote:

AAMOF, I learned the following "poor painter's pyramid" about 2000 years ago:
Scrap plywood "blocks", 2" x 2" square, with a 3" drywall screw through the middle of each.
Use four of the blocks (with the screw tip up, Woodie!) to lay your work piece on.
And make a few dozen while you're at it .... easy and cheap!
:)
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Last update: 8/18/08
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The next progression:
For kitchen/bath cabinets, drill a small hole in the top or bottom (depending on the location of the door) of the rail on the unseen edge.
Put a tiny hook in the wood and hand it on a "clothesline" in your shop. Finish on one end of the line, and then slide the wet door to the other side out of line of fire to dry. Applying finish to both sides at once, you cut your finishing time in half.
No one sees the tiny hole in the top of a 42" cabinet door when the hook is removed, or the bottom of a regular full sized base cab door. I don't even fill them.
Robert
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wrote:

The next progression:
For kitchen/bath cabinets, drill a small hole in the top or bottom (depending on the location of the door) of the rail on the unseen edge.
Put a tiny hook in the wood and hand it on a "clothesline" in your shop. Finish on one end of the line, and then slide the wet door to the other side out of line of fire to dry. Applying finish to both sides at once, you cut your finishing time in half.
No one sees the tiny hole in the top of a 42" cabinet door when the hook is removed, or the bottom of a regular full sized base cab door. I don't even fill them.
Actually I considered using cut coat hanger wire to hang the doors from by hooking them in the 35mm hole for the hinges but General Finishes Arm-R-Seal goes on pretty think with a foam brush, 2 coats is typically all that is needed. Hanging, I would have runs.
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Leon old salt, one day we have to get ya sprayin'. As much work as you do I don't know how you have been able to stay away from a low power HVLP. Even the conversion guns these days are pretty damn good, and you don't need to buy a whole system.
Once you use a gun that is set up properly with the correct viscosity of material in it, you will truly wonder why you didn't switch sooner. And honestly, it just isn't that hard.
Imagine going over to Swing's house on Saturday. "Whatcha doin'?"
"Foamin' on some finish."
"Still?" (For effect, take a long thoughtful pull off your adult beverage.)
"Yeah. Should be finished by tomorrow if I stay on it. I should be able to flip these later this afternoon."
(You hoist your pants up and look thoughtful.) Welp... I finished all of my final coats yesterday and just thought I'd stop by and see if you might want to go to the Festool liquidation sale I heard about... but if you're busy...."
You could get some mileage out it as well as making your life easier!
Robert That might cause some panic!
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wrote:
Leon old salt, one day we have to get ya sprayin'. As much work as you do I don't know how you have been able to stay away from a low power HVLP. Even the conversion guns these days are pretty damn good, and you don't need to buy a whole system.
Once you use a gun that is set up properly with the correct viscosity of material in it, you will truly wonder why you didn't switch sooner. And honestly, it just isn't that hard.
Imagine going over to Swing's house on Saturday. "Whatcha doin'?"
"Foamin' on some finish."
"Still?" (For effect, take a long thoughtful pull off your adult beverage.)
"Yeah. Should be finished by tomorrow if I stay on it. I should be able to flip these later this afternoon."
(You hoist your pants up and look thoughtful.) Welp... I finished all of my final coats yesterday and just thought I'd stop by and see if you might want to go to the Festool liquidation sale I heard about... but if you're busy...."
You could get some mileage out it as well as making your life easier!
Robert That might cause some panic!
Thanks for the mental picture, ;~) I should probably start spray'n but old habits are hard to break.
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I can relate to that. When I look at a project that includes finishing, I wonder how long it will take us to tape everything off and establish drift barriers.
Then some wiseass says something like "you know Robert, you could just brush this one".
*gasp*
Really?
I always have to take the time to remember that it does take time to set up the guns, thin, and then clean everything up at the end of the day. Not to mention carefully transporting the equipment to the job if needed.
Sometimes I just don't feel like fooling with the equipment.
I have to say though, I have not become one with foam pads. It took me so damn long to learn how to use a brush correctly, I seem to gravitate towards it when I am applying finish. I do like the short bristle pads for poly, and even for short brushable lacquer projects.
Like you said, old habits...
Robert
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wrote:
Snip
Then some wiseass says something like "you know Robert, you could just brush this one".
I typically use a gel varnish and only turned to the foam brush because of the recomendation on the can. I was absolutely shocked with the results. I will say that I only use a "better quality" Wooster brand foam brush. They can be easily cleaned and reused.
A couple of shallow dips in the can will cover a couple square feet of surface and leave absolutely no brush marks when using General Finished Arm-r-seal. Start to finsih for a single coat on one side of the 19 doors and all edges takes me about 1 hour, but uh 1 coat ber day X 4.
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Not bad... not bad at all. 19 doors in an hour is really moving for hand work. Then you really have to contemplate the setup and cleaning of the gun, and what it takes to set up your spraying to be able to get both sides at once. An hour is just three minutes a door... smokin'!
What size foam brush are you using?
Robert
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wrote:

Not bad... not bad at all. 19 doors in an hour is really moving for hand work. Then you really have to contemplate the setup and cleaning of the gun, and what it takes to set up your spraying to be able to get both sides at once. An hour is just three minutes a door... smokin'!
What size foam brush are you using?
Robert
Robert I was using a 2" brush. Remember General Finishes Arm-R-Seal and a "Wooster" 2" foam brush. Those brushes hold a "LOT" of varnish. I rarely dip the brush more than 1/2" into the can and a 16" x 27" door only requires 3 may be 4 trips back to the can of varnish. It's one continuous stroke from one end to the other and I can typically get up 3 passes with each dip. Naturally the first coat takes a bit more time but after the first coat is down the following coats require less varnish and fewer dips. Seriously, I spend more time steel wooling, vacuuming and tack ragging between coats than varnishing. If you have never used the Wooster brand foam brushes, found at Lowe's, you should check them out. Less than $3 each and they clean out easily with thinner on oil based varnish. That said, I have never used these brushes for any product other than General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. I choose these brushes over my Purdy brushes for this type application.
I used a 4" Wooster foam brush on the cabinet side panels.
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SNIP of good info...

Well, crap. Now you know at $3, I will have to try it. How could I not? Actually, I am going to Lowe's to get some drawer slides today and I will have to remember to get foam brush. Thanks for the tip and the good instruction. Nothing at all like hearing from someone with practical experience.

To me, the Purdy line is highly overrated. Some speak of those brushes as if they had attained the holy grail when they buy them.
I like a brush with a deeper well, and with more bristle area. For me, they are easier to control not only in the accuracy or running out a straight line, but the fact that I have better luck leaving a nicer finish. I also can't get the Purdy brushes to last well (especially considering what you pay for them) with day in and day out use.
But a $3 foam brush that does a good job... I'm in!
Robert
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Can't comment on the foam brushes specifically; however, The Wooster Brush Company else since I grew up in Wooster.
A bunch of Wayne County farmers who have been in the brush business for over 100+ years who do things the right way, because anything else is unacceptable.
YMMV
Lew
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wrote:
SNIP of good info...

Well, crap. Now you know at $3, I will have to try it. How could I not? Actually, I am going to Lowe's to get some drawer slides today and I will have to remember to get foam brush. Thanks for the tip and the good instruction. Nothing at all like hearing from someone with practical experience.

To me, the Purdy line is highly overrated. Some speak of those brushes as if they had attained the holy grail when they buy them.
I like a brush with a deeper well, and with more bristle area. For me, they are easier to control not only in the accuracy or running out a straight line, but the fact that I have better luck leaving a nicer finish. I also can't get the Purdy brushes to last well (especially considering what you pay for them) with day in and day out use.
But a $3 foam brush that does a good job... I'm in!
Robert
The Wooster brushes have a plastic handle and ferrel and IIRC come on a card board hanger. These brushes typically have a much smaller foam cell scructure compared to the regular stick, stuck in the foam, brushes.
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Correction, I used a 3" and 2" brush. There are no 4" brushes in this style brush.
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you
Question to Leon on this. How does one know if foam brush is good quality? Foam brushes are available everywhere. Have you got a part number for those brushes Leon. Fortunately, Lowe's is now up here in Canada with one <10 miles from where I live.
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wrote in message

This is the one I have from Lowe's ... I'm pretty sure it is the one Leon is talking about, but not absolutely certain, although I did it based on his advice sometime back, and the below works as he has stated:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId3419-159-L3102-3&lpage=none
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http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId3419-159-L3102-3&lpage=none
.
That it the one. The 2 Walnut night tables with drawers that you have so graciously admired were varnished with this brush, 2 coats.
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is
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId3419-159-L3102-3&lpage=none
Thanks. The last foam brushes I bought were a bundle of sizes from Lee Valley. They did what I wanted for the quickie paint job that I was doing at the time, but I did notice that the foam tended to lose a good deal of its rigidity after about 20 minutes use. I certainly wouldn't have considered trying to clean them for reuse even if it was a varnishing procedure not painting. Not Lee Valley's fault of course since they were sold cheaply as a use and toss item.
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wrote in message

These brushes have a comfortable white plastic handle and ferrule, they actually look more like a regular paint brush. Also their cell structure is smaller than the typical cheapo foam brush, I suppose this is what allows them to wick more varnish up into in the foam with out slinging every where. It is easy to load it up too much so a minute or two of practice will be very beneficial. Start by dipping only the tapered wedge into the varnish and let it drip back into the can for a moment.
Go here and at the search box on the bottom left side type in FOAM. It will bring up the foam brushes at the top. UPC #'s 0-71497-10203-4, 0-71497-10204-1, 0-71497-10206-5
http://www.woosterbrush.com/search.asp
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I usta do that too but the points on the dry wall screws could and sometimes did leave small holes, the pyramids are blunt pointed and allow for moving the piece around on top of them if needed with out scratching the bottom surface.
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