Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coming to the HomeStretch and Using MinWax Wipe On Poly

     Work continues on the bookcases, almost done with the finishing process.  I'm trying a new product from MinWax (new to me) which is a wipe on, polyurethane.  For my solid wood furniture I typically use a natural oil finish that is top coated with a multiple, hand applied finish.  For solid wood, the sheen and feel of the wood is beyond compare.  When using cabinet grade sheet goods, even the best quality ones that you can find, the veneer simply isn't thick enough to achieve the same sheen.
     The concern for woodworkers everywhere, when it comes to the finish, is how to apply it and not have it become contaminated with dust during the drying process.  Dust is a big enough issue here in the desert but now add the typical woodshop environment and you compound the issue considerably.  The wipe on poly eliminates that concern completely.  It's simply wiped on with a clean, cotton rag and dries so quickly the dust doesn't have any time to settle.  A plus I discovered with it is that it will remove any stain that has dried on the surface or oozed out of the pores.  If you've ever stained Oak, that tends to be a problem.  Oak is so porous that it'll allow the stain to settle below the surface and then ooze out and harden sometime over night when you're not there to wipe it off!  In the past, you would have to remove this with some solvent before applying your top finish.  In any case, the Wipe On Poly works well.  A very light sanding between coats is all that's required.
     At this point, everything has three coats except for the base unit which only has two.  The glass wasn't ready for pickup on Friday (think they went home early) but it'll take some time to install the doors and get them adjusted.

Base Unit

Upper Unit
Being able to move the unit around on furniture dollies is a big plus.  Since the backs won't be attached until the doors are in and adjusted it was easier to get to the entire unit and see what's going on in there.

This has three coats of the Wipe On Poly, I like the way the crown molding and the skirt came out.  Even though these are new units I think they have an aged appearance and will look like my client has had them for years, maybe passed on from generations past!

The door frames are ready to have the guide pins, knobs, and glass installed.  The pieces laying in front of them are the door stops that will limit the travel of each door as it slides back into the case.

Door Frames

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