Low-Tech Finish for Wood Turnings
Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I'm not expecting some kind of magic bullet. I'm great at the technical aspects of running the business and making the wooden doodads, it's the finishing that is killing me right now. I don't care if it's dip finishing, spray finishing, wipe on finishing, brush on finishing - as long as it's quick and effective. I don't mind doing some kind of assembly line rotation (several batches in various states of finishing). I'm not even sure where to start. Right now I use Minwax poly and it's horrible. I just started using Deft lacquer. I'm trying to get away from this ridiculousness.
From the original questioner:
I do have a minor love affair with shellac. I recently tried spraying it via HVLP and quite enjoyed it. It was my understanding, however, that this type of finish doesn't hold up well to human handling. I'm really interested in the notion of dip finishing a product. Are there any good resources for learning about dip finishing?
From Contributor N:
When I read your post, dipping seemed to me as your best option. There is a whitewater oar and paddle maker in my neck of the woods and that's how they finish their wooden goods. They have a steel trough 8' long filled with spar varnish, they dip them in then hang them over a metal race that feeds the drippings back into the trough. I thought it nothing less than barbaric but they come out with a good looking and durable product.
For you; you might try dipping your product into shellac to seal it, then give it a sand and then either a dip into some polyurethane or polyurethane modified tung oil and ragging off the excess or maybe just a wipe on poly and then hang to dry (I like these last options better, faster drying, less mess and all three are not terribly temperature sensitive). You should be able to come out with a fairly smooth and attractive finish in a day. Please note - the soiled rags are an extreme fire danger.
How about spin finishing while you have it on the mandrel? A rag or Scotch-Brite dipped in wipe-on poly. Use the lathe to burnish it in.
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