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Posts posted by protectedvoid

  1. If this was me and I'm hand applying. Don't use shellac as a transfer agent. Use either denatured alcohol, water, lacquer thinner with the Transtint. The reason being, supposes you get lap marks? It's easier to control color directly on the wood. Also, you can rid a dye coat of lap marks with a light scuff with 320 grit sanding pad. Tinted shellac is hard to control by hand applying, especially larger surfaces and multiple coats.

    Me...I would dye the wood first, then carry on with the remainder of the finishing schedule, so no tinting of any barrier coats.

    Thanks, Ace. I am hand-applying, so the denatured alcohol sounds like the right approach. So, once the wood has been dyed, should I use the 2# cut of shellac as a seal coat before applying the stain, or is a barrier coat not needed, and I can apply the stain directly overtop of the dye?

  2. http://www.woodessen...ox-P207C62.aspx

    Use the link above for the RTM colors and codes. If you do a little digging. You can figure out the base colors and apply that to the code on your wood sample. Shhhh! Don't tell anybody. Another good way to learn color.

    Just click on the wood sample.


    I think the RTM 16 or the RTM 111 is pretty much the exact finish I'm looking for. Thank you for that link!

  3. Wow, such awesome answers. So, rather than trying to reply to everyone individually, let me try to answer everyone's questions:

    Spraying: Unfortunately, no, I do not yet have an HVLP system. It's on the purchase list for this year, as it looks like there are a couple moderately priced models from Earlex that would be good choices.

    Topcoat: I was leaning towards the Satin GF Arm-R-Seal. I want a nice even sheen, but I also want the wood "touchable", if that makes sense. I am not a big fan of thick topcoats, at least not for most furniture items. I prefer something close to the wood.

    Sealcoat: I used the 2# cut of the Zinnser Shellac to help reduce the amount of stain that the pores will absorb. In my test samples, I was pretty happy with the results I achieved from this.

    Stains: I prefer to use the oil-based products...partly because my experience with water-bourne finishes is limited, and partly because the water-bourne finishes I've used thus far have not overly impressed me as far as the color results are concerned. Again, this could be lack of experience.


    So, it sounds like I need to stop the sanding at 150 to help the oak absorb more color. So, I'll give that a go on another scrap sample of the red oak. As for the Gel Stain, I haven't used one of those before, so I'm somewhat hesitant to make this project a "test project" for using the gel stain on a large surface area. The regular stains are just more familiar to me. As I mentioned, I really like the kona stain...and I think I will try mixing two parts kona to 1 part autumn and see what results that yields with the 2# seal coat.

    So, a followup question: If I decide to use the TransTint, which would be the better layer to tint? The sealcoat, which hits the wood first -- or the barrier coat, which is applied to block off the stain from the top coat?

    I'm not far from the local Woodcraft, so I can definitely pick up some GF Gel Stain to practice with. I just don't see this project as being the right one for experimentation. :)

  4. Hey guys...looking for some help in the finishing department for this project.

    So, I have a basic 30" base cabinet, with solid oak facing and doors / drawer. I will be using cabinet grade red oak ply for the sides and back, and adding red oak posts on the four corners. Basically, I will be transforming this simple (read: cheap) base cabinet into a multi-purpose island in the kitchen.

    I've been playing with a few different approaches in regards to finishing. I want the finished base cabinet to be a warm, dark espresso color (almost like a dark walnut, but with more of a chocolate-like warmth). I found a stain, made by Rustoleum (yeah, I know, it's not a GF), called Kona that I really like, and when it goes on, is very close to the color I want, albeit slightly "cooler" than I want. The problem is, when I wipe the excess off after about 10 minutes, that rich color mostly vanishes, resulting in a much lighter overall stain, with very dark pore accents.

    So, here's what I've tried thus far on some samples. All samples have been sanded to 220 (I'm thinking I may need to stop at 150?). I have applied the stain directly to the bare wood, waited about 10 minutes, wiped, let dry overnight, then apply a second coat of a lighter, warmer stain, waited 10 minutes, lightly wiped, and let dry overnight, then applied a barrier coat of dewaxed shellac.

    I've also tried using an initial coat of the dewaxed shellac on the bare wood as a sanding sealer, let dry for 1 hour, lightly scuff-sand (again, using 220), then applied the Kona stain. After about 10 minutes, I wiped the excess, let dry overnight, then applied the warmer stain (Autumn), and lightly wiped the excess after roughly 10 minutes. This method seemed to prevent the pores from absorbing too much stain, so the overall appearance of the grain was somewhat deemphasized. Again, I applied a barrier coat of the dewaxed shellac.

    So, here's where I need some guidance. I am pretty sure I want to use a 2lb cut of the dewaxed shellac as a sealer prior to staining the wood. I was much happier with the pore appearance when starting with this method. But, I was also thinking about using a TransTint dye, mixed with the shellac, to help get a more even tonal consistency between the late / early wood growth and pores. The question is, when should / do I apply the TransTint?

    Should I use the TransTint in the sanding sealcoat on the bare wood first, then stain it? Or should I stain the wood first, and then use the TransTint in the barrier coat of dewaxed shellac before my topcoat? This will be used on all the solid oak pieces, as well as on the oak ply on the sides / back as well (If that matters).

    Any help / guidance here would be awesome.


  5. So, I finally have a job where I have the ability to purchase a couple new planes a month (if I so desire), and one of the ones on my list is a low-angle block plane. But, in looking at the offerings from Lee Valley, I came across this Small Bevel-Up Smooth Plane:,41182,52515

    Based on the dimensional information, the Small Bevel-Up is very close to size, and almost the exact same functionality as, the low-angle block. So, I'm really leaning towards the Small BU Smooth plane, and I'm just wondering if there's any benefit a low-angle block plane will provide that the small bu plane wouldn't, and I'm just not seeing it? Additionally, has anyone used the Small BU Smooth plane. If so, what were your impressions.

    Additional information: I already own a standard block plane.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Like 1
  6. Plum, from my experience, is trouble. The stuff I have is very difficult to dry. It twists and checks like nothing else. It is pretty though. I'd recommend sealing the end grain well.

    I definitely plan to do that. Do you have a particular sealer you'd recommend?

    I don't have help to offer, but I do encourage you to save and use the plum. I recently got most of a dead plum, since I live in the Mojave Desert it was nearly dry. While most of the center of the main trunk is punky, the outside few inches, and some good branches have yielded beautiful wood. The attached picture shows an example from one of the branches, about a 5 or 6 inch diameter one. I used three flitch cut boards, bookmatched to cover a speaker ( finally replacing the missing original glass top). post-489-0-24391800-1305212332_thumb.jpg

    That is pretty. As I mentioned, I'll likely make some walking sticks to put up on etsy out of the thinner branches. I also plan to slice a few rounds from the trunk base at about 12/4 to do some natural shape trays. The rest, I'd like to use to build a bed for my daughter. I guess I just need to find a sawyer near me that will also kiln dry the lumber. Provided that's the direction I should take.

  7. My father-in-law has graciously agreed to allow me to remove a large plum tree that recently died due to infection from his back yard. The trunk is roughly 24" in diameter and has a large, multi-branch crotch (?). The larger sections of branches I plan to sculpt into walking sticks or other "sculpture" type pieces. My hope is that I'll get some good usable pieces from the trunk. The question is, how do I go about slabbing this up? And, once it has been cut, how do I go about drying it? I live in Wilmington, NC and would be willing to drive some distance to have it done right, but honestly, I don't even know where to begin.

    Anyone have any experience in this area?

  8. I'll add another vote for the Bosch. I also have the 1590evsk (D handle) and like it very much. Recently, I had to remove some rotting 3/4" plywood under a sink (the slow leak is now fixed) and ended up doing a plunge cut (indexing off the front of the base and tilting the bade down. Probably not a good idea, but it was the only tool I had handy that would fit in the space...) and it worked flawlessly. It works great in normal use, too :) .

    You're a pretty brave guy. Cool to know you were successful with the cut, but honestly, I would've chickened out.

    I've heard very good things about the Bosch jigsaw. Some lower-end models don't have a dust port, from what I understand, and that can be useful even if it is just to get rid of the fines. I have the Festool Trion jigsaw. Yes, I like it, but I'm not certain it's leagues ahead of the Bosch. It's advantage is a three-point hold on the blade to minimize wandering (like bearing guides for a bandsaw). I don't know what the Bosch uses. If the blade doesn't wander, though, points moot.

    I'd just add that I greatly prefer the barrel grip to the D-handle. Reminds me of ironing. I hate ironing. Kidding aside, I feel that I have better control over it in more situations than a D-handle could provide.

    From what I understand, the blade support on the Bosch is pretty solid. I've had some people tell me there's no wander at all - others say that it's very minimal, and only when making difficult curves. Like you, I much prefer the barrel grip. I think the grip is more natural than a D handle, especially where fine control is needed.

    Although, I was never a fan of ironing, either, so maybe I suffer the same dislike as you. :)

  9. I also own the 1590evsk, and it is one of my favorite tools not only because it is awesome! or because it was a gift from my girlfriend! or that it sports the bosch badge! because it does what it claims to do better than the other brands at a competitive price.

    Yeah, the 1591 EVSL is basically the newer version, with the new Loxx box container - similar to festool's systainer. I'm glad to hear so many people have had good luck w/ this. I guess that'll be my next purchase when taxes finally come back. :)

  10. Another trick is to put the panel on a flat surface (assembly table), put a flat panel on top, and then use weights to provide clamping force. I've heard of people using 5 gallon buckets full of water. This is nice because you can get good pressure in the center of a large panel.

    Those are both very good ideas. I've actually used both methods to apply pressure to wide 2' x 4' panel glue-ups where I needed a total of 2 1/2". I know that when I laminated my router table top, I used contact cement to bond the laminate (formica) to the MDF / Masonite, then used a j-roller to make sure I had a flat and air-free bond as I removed each dowel. That worked very well.

  11. The frame and panel construction idea actually seems like a decent way to go. I have a router table now, so constructing the frame and panel should be relatively easy. And actually, after working with the design sketches a bit further, I think that would actually be the best way to go. I did know about laminating both sides, but I forgot to mention that in my OP. I think it's probably going to be more helpful when I post the sketches I have. Hope to have those finalized and posted this weekend.

    - One quick question, though - with 1/16" veneer, what would be the best way to attach that to the substrate? Contact cement or some other quick-bonding adhesive?

  12. I've been finalizing some sketches for a toy box / window bench for my 3 year old's bedroom. Her room is not large, and she has a single double window that occupies 2/3 of a long wall. I'll post the sketches once I've finalized the design. My question is really more focused on construction principles, materials, etc. Right now, I have several bf of 1/4 to 1/2" birdseye maple that I'd like to utilize in this project. I haven't decided on the other wood species just yet. I keep teetering between walnut and mahogany, both of which are about the same price per bf in my area. Whatever I decide to do, I'd like to minimize cost as much as possible, so I've been playing with the idea of constructing the carcass using 4/4 poplar (planed to 3/4), then laminating it with the birdseye and walnut / mahogany to get the 5/4 to 4/4 final thickness. This will allow me to use the birdseye I already have, while also allowing me to make the most use out of a couple 4/4 boards of walnut / mahogany resawed down to 3 5/16" pieces.

    In some respects, this feels a little like cheating, to me. I don't know if that's normal, if I really am cheating, or if I'm just being silly. Anyway, I'd like to get thoughts on this idea. Is laminating a poplar substrate with the birdseye and walnut / mahogany acceptable? Will there be stability issues w/ regards to excessive movement using this approach, or would the converse be true, would I be limiting seasonal movement by laminating two different species with differing grain directions and dimensional properties? Is there a better substrate I could use, like perhaps 3/4 MDF or ply? I'm looking for a wide range of experienced advice here. Being a father of two children and having limited disposable income, the idea is to design this piece to serve as a toy box (for now), later to be used for storing blankets, linens, jeans, etc. as she gets older...and remember, no matter what I do, I have to be able to justify the cost to my wife. :)

    One other question: what is the recommended finish for birdseye to prevent it from "yellowing"? I'd like to keep it as close to it's original dry coloring as possible, preferably without using a white dye.

    Thanks in advance.

  13. So, another tool that I am replacing in the immediate future is my jigsaw. The thing finally died (after 15 years). So, in my research, my options have been narrowed to the Bosch Barrel Grip and the Festool Barrel Grip. What I'd like is feedback from anyone who's had experience with one or both of these jigsaws. The Bosch seems very impressive, and at $160 is an excellent price point. The Festool seems equally impressive, especially it's advertised ability to chew through 8/4 hard maple. I don't mind the $310 price tag, especially for Festool quality. However, I'd seen some reviews were some Festool users were less than successful at getting it to accomplish that feat, but I tend to take online reviews with a grain of salt. I'd much rather have input form experienced woodworkers, and I am.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

  14. Well, on the bright side, no one was hurt. It's scary to think what a spinning flying piece of carbide like that could do to someone.

    Yeah, thankfully the 18" X 24" piece of polycarbonite I was using for my router base completely covered the project, so the debris was contained in the tray.

    I use 1/2" and 1/4" without issue (so far)... but then I don't leave the bits sticking out of the collet either. :) I believe they make extenders if your router doesn't adjust far enough.

    I've been meaning to pick one up. It's not very often that I actually would need to use one, except on bits where I need the complete profile exposed. Being as I was in a pinch, you wouldn't think dropping the bit by 1/3 the shaft length would really make that much difference, since fully 2/3 are still secured in the collet. I have a VS router, and I guess even set at mid-speed, it's still too high an RPM to get away with that on a 1/4" shank.

  15. So, I've been using drum sanders on my drill press, and they do a fairly good job. I've been considering purchasing a bench-top oscillating spindle sander and would like everyone's input on which brands & sizes to consider. As much as I'd love to have a floor model, space is at a premium and will be for the next few years, so I'm looking for good quality and power in a compact unit with a solid, durable top.


  16. Don't write off 1/4" shanked bits entirely. Trim routers and laminate trimmers don't typically accept anything else, unless it will take a metric bit.

    Yeah, in a trim router I know they're unavoidable. At the same time, I'm not going to be hogging as much material or doing anything heavy-duty using a trim router, so in that case, the 1/4" should be fine. I probably should have been more specific in the application sense in my OP...meaning, I won't be purchasing 1/4" versions of bits used primarily for heavy duty stock removal or shaping.

    likewise core box bits with diameters less than 1/2", and I'm sure there are several other types of that nature as well. Wherever possible I recommend using 1/2" shanks but you can't really avoid 1/4" completely.

    I suppose. I'm going to be very selective on the bits I choose from now on, though, that much is certain.

  17. So, I'm in the process of making 3 maple-leaf shaped trays using a pattern I created and the dish-carving bit from Eagle America. Unfortunately for me, I ordered the 1/4" shank -- something I will not be doing again. The trays are a bit deep, so to clear the divots left by the forstner bit tips, I needed to extend the bit's reach by a little. So, I loosened the collet, extended the bit by about 1/3", re-tightened the collet, and proceeded to clean out the bottom of the tray. All went well. That is, until, I started releaving the backside of the tray. I forgot to re-seat the bit all the way into the collet, and while clearing material from the bottom of the tray, sparks flew, and the shank twisted and broke. I'm not exactly sure what happened -- I think it must have hit a knot or something, or some particularly heavy figure in the walnut section I was working on.

    Anyway, that'll be the last 1/4" shank router bit I purchase. I know it was probably stupid to try and extend the bit, even by that much, but still....that must have been one hell of a knot or figure.

    I'll be posting photos here in the next few days...hopefully in time to (possibly) win a guild membership. :)

  18. I have this drill press. The lazer alignment sucks and the gears to raise and lower the table grind after a while. To re-grease them you have to take the gear housing apart.

    Amazon is notorious for highly inflating the "regular price". You can get this drill press numerous places for $829 with free shipping. But, Amazon is as good as any.

    Yeah, I've noticed Amazon has a tendency to do that. Most of the time, I use Amazon for the free 2 day shipping + the fact I don't have to pay the ridiculous 8% NC Sales Tax. It's a shame, though, that you've had such trouble with this press. The lasers are a gimmick to me...I never use mine. I always align mine manually. Taking the housing apart to re-grease the gears is a bit ridiculous as well. As I mentioned above, I'll have to keep a closer eye on the Powermatics and catch them on sale w/ a free shipping offer.

    Pity...this press had such good reviews.

  19. Bummer... the recent Powermatic sale included their 18" VS drill press. Very nice and was $799. I saw a few dealers talk about free shipping. I snagged one from a local dealer. I now wonder why I used my benchtop DP for so long... impossible to keep calibrated; seriously, if I needed a dead straight hole, I used a drill guide and brace.

    I'll have to keep an eye on the Powermatics. It seems every time I check them, I miss the sales. :( Thanks for pointing it out, though.