I made a sort of cubbyhole unit to mount over my desk. It's a long box
about 5' x 1' x 1' with two vertical dividers splitting it into three
sections. For reasons that no longer seem so smart, the main box is
made of some sort of hardwood plywood (I was told it was oak but I'm
pretty sure it isn't) and the face frame is made of 1 x 2 oak. All of
it is stained a dark red/cordovan (to match other furniture in the
I have chosen to finish the face frame with Minwax Tung Oil finish (3
coats, steel wool in-between) and then wax. The "box" will just have
two coats of satin poly for ease and durability. There will be all
sorts of stuff in this unit (bills, books, fax machine) so the inside
won't be that visible.
I decided that it would be easier to do the two different finishing
methods before the face frame is glued to the box. But it has now
occurred to me, after two coats of the Minwax product, that I will
have to clamp the "finished" face frame on while gluing.
My plan is to put on the last coat of Tung Oil Finish on and let it
dry for at least a day, then glue and clamp it WITHOUT steel-wooling.
Once the clamps come off I'll steel wool the face frame and wax it.
I'm hoping that any marks left by the clamping will be erased by the
steel wool. If that fails, I guess I could sand it little more
agressively and then put on another coat of the Tung Oil Finish.
I'm wondering if there's anything I should put between the pipe clamp
jaws and the finished wood besides the usual wood blocks. Do you think
the wood blocks might stick to the finish? Any other tips?
As swingman said, use cork on a wood block but I would add to cover the cork
with clear packing tape or waxed paper. Sometimes the cork will stick to a
fresh finish. Don't over tighten the clamps and when using PVA glues its
not necessary to leave the clamps on more that a few hours.
OK. I think I get it: Cork for no hard edges, like a wood block would
have, something non-sticky and non-porous over it. But what about my
idea of leaving the final steel wool step and the wax for AFTER I take
the clamps off? Does this make any sense?
What is PVA glue? I've been using Titebond Wood Glue.
Thanks in advance.
I've gotten into the habit of putting a "protection" coat of poly on
pieces before gluing them together (er, mill wood, poly, then cut
mortises and tenons) so that I don't have to worry about glue ruining
the finish later. However, I only do one or two thinned coats, and
re-sand and re-finish after gluing.
I've also been finishing drawer bottoms and door panels before
installing them, so I don't get unfinished lines around the edges when
the panels shrink later.
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