WOOD FINISHING: Glass-Smooth Results With Polyurethane


one of the biggest challenges of woodworking is finishing if Sometimes a lot easier to do a good project until you get to the finishing part And that’s where disappointment often sets in. This is especially true If you’re working in a home shop And you’re applying a finish with a brush so I want to show you a technique here that will allow you to produce glass Smooth finishes without spray equipment Just using an ordinary brush and urethane finish and you need to start with a finish of sufficient thickness, so that would be at least three coats of your thing and Preferably four The problem at this stage is that your surface is probably going to have little bumps on it from dust particles and settled up from the year there may be some brush marks [too] and These are the things that would make the finish ugly and these are the things that I’m going to show you how to remove after The fact it all comes down to the right kind of abrasion. So what you want to begin with is A piece of fine Sandpaper This is 320 grit and it’s wrapped around a piece of foam this could be styrofoam this is a little squishier than styrofoam if you don’t want to wrap it around a wooden block you want something with a little bit of resilience, but you don’t want to use the sandpaper by hand now this sample here has four coats of water-based urethane and The first step involves knocking off the dust bumps. So you’re just drawing this back and Forth across the surface Okay You’re not trying to make a significant amount This is just enough of those little high spots you want to knock off the mountain And you’re going to know if you’ve done that sufficiently with your fingertips a little bit of Movement of this sanding block paper on it is Going to yield a much smoother finish, you’ll seal you’ll feel them the difference immediately it’s going to be smooth [but] [it’s] not going to have any machine We’re more abrasion happens It’s going to be dull, [and] we’re less abrasion happened. It’s going to be shinier so further refining The surface is what happens next and that’s where Something like this comes in this is a 3M rubbing Pad, so it’s nonwoven this is the fine grit and You want to use this? believe it or not in conjunction with a random orbit Sander With no no abrasive disc on it so the sanding the sander causes the rubbing Pad to move and Polishes the surface now if you want a matte finish or something with just a little bit of gloss to it Then all you need to use is this fine Pad It’ll smooth them things out and give you just [the] tiniest little bit of sheen if you want something shinier, you’d follow this up with a superfine pad used in the same way So this is what it looks like it’s really pretty simple you one Can turn the speed of your stAndard down a little bit at least at the beginning until you get the hang of it So we’ll just switch on and start the buffing Now this is a very flat scene So you’re not going to see some reflections off, but but it is extremely smooth it just feels like a piece of glass and It didn’t start off that way Now if you want it a little bit shinier You can continue with the power blocking using this Ultra fine now it feels about the same, but you can see some some shiny reflections there it can get [even] shinier if you Buff more so you have some quite a bit of control over the level of sheen That you can achieve Now not every woodworking situation is as nice and flat and open as this sample piece I’m showing you here now But the same process can be used on any kind of shape or profile you can start with the Knocking off of the dust bumps and the only difference is that you don’t use the random orbit Sander you [just] do [all] the work by hand and these are flexible enough that they can go around contours and Along the Edges of panels where they meet stiles and rails so you can get this kind of result on any surface [you] might be dealing with

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