I am finishing up my very first non-carpentry/non-trim wood working
project. I have made a "mail sorter" to hand on the wall to organize
the tons of mail that tend to pile up around the house. It is made
out of poplar (was cheap) using dados and some tongues and grooves for
All I have left to do is apply a finish and glue things up. Because I
won't be able to get a brush (or other applicator) between the
"shelves" of the mail sorter once it is glued up, I need to apply the
finish first. So, my question is: Do I need to keep the finish out of
the joints that will be glued?
I am using an oil-based stain (Minwax Red Mahogany--nicely compensates
for the yellow-green color of the poplar) and will then follow up with
several coats of poly. Would it be bad to get either the stain or the
poly on the mating surfaces of the joints I will be gluing?
Glue works by going into the wood. If it is finished, it can't soak. That
said, a dye would probably be okay, though I haven't tried it.
Or, glue it up with epoxy or polyurethane. They won't care about the
Trouble with that, though, is that the strength of the joint is then limited
by the strength of the bond between the finish and the wood. While that may be
sufficient for some applications, be aware that it will produce a *very* weak
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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