Finishing Notes
By Jerry Cousins

I was wondering how you finish your furniture...
A large chest, computer desk, and little box...

Jerry: (revised version)

I've been using shellac for several years and here's my take on some details.

  • Using a coffee grinder speeds
    mixing / dissolving wonderfully.

  • I then strain it through a paper
    cone/mesh paint filter.

  • Smaller pieces, I pad it on -
    as someone described.

  • plane taking off and landing.

  • I usually put on 3-4 coats of 2# cut -
    then sand with 350.

  • Another 2 coats - then sand with 400.

  • Switch to 1# cut and put on another 3 coats.

  • Sanding with 400 then 600.

  • I find that the 1# cut really disolves the
    previous layers and smooths things out nicely.

  • After that and it has cured for a couple of days,

  • I usually polish with Pumice and some swirl remover.

  • Larger pieces I have found that spraying 1# cut
    is the way to go

  • Gives a great base

  • Maybe 4-5 coats

  • Then some padding to rub it out.

  • Jerry

    Jerry: (original version)
    For things like
    Jewelry boxes and wall hangings
    (things that don't get a lot of hard use), my usual finish is:
  • 6 coats   of   Shellac. (dewaxed)
  • 4 coats of   2# cut
  • 2 coats of   1#.
  • Polished with   Pumice   &   Rotten Stone.
  • Finished with   2 coats of wax.

  • For desks & chests:
    (thinking they get more use):
  • Same number of shellac coats
  • 3 coats   of lacquer
  • Polishing and wax.

  • Applying Shellac
    Unless it's a complex piece,
  • I pad on the shellac.
  • Take a piece of clean cotton about 6" square.
  • Fold it over a wad of cotton.
  • Dampen it with denatured alcohol.
  • Put some shellac on it.
  • Then like an airplane landing and taking off.
  • (from end to end).
  • Lay on the shellac.
  • When it feels a bit dry,
  • Add some more shellac and...
  • Just keep working it - back & forth - full length.

  • Joe:
    Bending plywood, bending poplar, 1/8" stuff that bends easily.   They didn't have it...   just some 3/8" Luan that's supposed to bend into circles etc.   $27 for 4x8 sheet.

    Do you get yours locally or shipped in?
    Where do you get it and how much do you pay for it?

    I got mine at Almquist Lumber in Blue Lake
    (that's just outside of Eureka) -
    was $18.80/sheet.
    I noticed on the receipt they call it
    "Italian poplar bending plywood."
    I would think that the 3/8 Luan would not work the same - seems pretty thick.

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