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Kreg Plus | May 2016
Video Tips Plans Tips from Woodsmith Kreg Community
Tips for a Great Looking Finish

In this edition of Kreg Plus, we’ll discuss a few finishing techniques and basic shop supplies that will give you great results on your next project.

Prepare Your Workspace

The first thing to do is make sure that your work area is free of sawdust and any other debris by sweeping and vacuuming. You’ll also want to protect your workbench or finishing area from drips and spills, which you can do with newspapers or inexpensive kraft paper. Prepare Your Workspace

Spray Finishes

With a few tips in mind, you can get good results using aerosol finish. A great trick is to attach a pistol-grip handle to the spray can for more comfort and control over the application for an even finish. Follow the recommendations on the can for spraying and dry time between coats. Of course, any time you are spraying, work in a well-ventilated area and use a respirator.

Controlling overspray is the biggest obstacle with spray finishes. For smaller projects, a cardboard box provides a great “spray booth.”
Spray Finishes

Brush-On/Wipe-On

When using a brush-on or wipe-on finish, you’ll want gloves to protect your hands from chemicals. Nitrile gloves are more expensive than vinyl or latex, but don’t tear as easily. Also, they won’t disintegrate when exposed to most of the solvents used for thinning and cleanup of finishes.

After opening a can of finish, use a clean stir stick – like a craft stick or tongue depressor – to mix the finish. They’re inexpensive, disposable, and you can cut the end flat to scrape solids off the bottom of a can. Be sure to mix the finish completely.
Brush-On/Wipe-On

Prefinish Parts

It’s a smart idea to prefinish as many parts as possible. Applying finish to smaller pieces beforehand makes the process more manageable. In addition, it’s easier to prefinish areas that will be harder to reach on the assembled project.

You need to avoid getting finish on surfaces that will be glued together, like mortises and tenons. Use painter’s tape, which can be removed easily, to mask off areas. Foam backer rod can be cut to fit in to mortises and grooves.
Prefinish Parts

The Right Supplies

Keep some clean, lint-free rags on hand in your shop. You can purchase cotton rags or use old T-shirts. They’re great for wiping on finishes and cleaning up spills.

When applying finishes with a brush, be sure to pour the finish into a separate container to avoid contaminating it with dirt and dust. Small, wide-mouth jars or disposable plastic containers work well.
The Right Supplies

Simple Dispensing

A handy tip for using wipe-on finishes: Purchase a wash bottle or a condiment dispenser, like a ketchup bottle. Pour just a small amount of finish into the bottle; then it’s easy to squeeze out a controlled amount without making a mess as you apply it. Wipe-On Finishes

Proper Disposal

Always make sure that you clean up after finishing, and dispose of your materials properly. Finish-soaked rags, especially, need special care. Lay used rags out flat on concrete or hang them until they are completely dry. Never bunch up soaked rags or throw them in the trash wet. Finish can react with oxygen in the air and cause wet, bunched-up rags to spontaneously combust. Once dry, you can dispose of the rags.
Kreg Precision Miter Gauge System

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From Kreg and Woodsmith Magazine
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©2016 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc.

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