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ShopCam HiLites for 12/14/00
Finish Line

With the columns attached to the legs, we need to mount a foot for spraying, similar to the ones we used on the shelves. By recessing the block back from the edge, the spray finish won't adhere to it creating a ragged edge when the block is removed. A wide foot is attached to the block.

Before starting to spray, I need to screw on the new air regulator and cup. If you remember, they were damaged a few days ago when I snagged the air hose and pulled the gun off the hook.

Just so my big feet don't do it again, I removed the hook and cut the throat deeper and turned the two tines upward, making it nearly impossible for the gun to slide off. This was an expensive mistake I don't want to repeat!

Mr. D. wasn't too happy with the paucity of sapwood in the base cabinets I delivered. I'm hoping this long streak in the front edge of the mantle will make up for it.

In all my years of woodworking, I never, ever thought I'd write such a statement as the one above...;)

After getting a good coat on the mantle and columns, the only other pieces needed starting are the moldings. Originally, my finish schedule called for applying one really heavy coat with the idea this would be sufficient to lock the grain down and I wouldn't need but one sanding. This didn't work out very well due to some further grain-raising and the necessity to sand the pieces twice - one time after each coat.

For these last pieces, I'm trying a different tact. Instead of one heavy coat, I spray on two lighter coats spaced about an hour apart with no sanding in between. I'm hoping to skip one of the sandings this way if the two coats are heavy enough to prevent further grain-raising. Cross your fingers.

While the first coats are drying, I sand the shelves. I wasn't happy with the final topcoats because of the beading of the thinned finish - it created an orange-peel effect. I'm spraying the PSL straight now and I'm having no more problems.
Before breaking for lunch, the moldings and mantle get their second coat.
After lunch, I finish sanding the shelves and get them topcoated. Much Better! :)

Then I sand and re-topcoat the base cabinet tops. The light on the floor gives me a good reflection off the workpiece so I can see exactly how well the finish is flowing out on the surface.

Another good thing about the PSL I haven't mentioned before - my trash cans are looking great! :)

When the tops are done, I return to the mantle assembly for it's first sanding. The piece has been drying for about three hours and I want to get it topcoated before the end of the day.

Even though the temperature outside got a little above freezing today, the PSL didn't cure as much as I wanted and it would have been easier to sand had I waited until tomorrow. As it was, the sanding went OK...

and the topcoat came out fine with almost no secondary grain-raising. I think this refined spray schedule works better for mitigating the worst negative effect from using waterborne finishes. Maybe someday they'll make a safe lacquer which doesn't raise the grain but I'm not holding my breath.

Tomorrow's installment might be delayed. Though I'll be working, the plan is to deliver the upper cabinets and fireplace surround tomorrow night. If I can get everthing sprayed before noon and it doesn't rain, I might make it. If so, there won't be time to do tomorrow's installment until Saturday. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions or comments about Mr. D's Walnut Wall Unit, please post them at the Info Exchange.

Jim Mattson

Onward to the Next Installment

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