Tag Archives: wax

Organized Finishing Shelf

Winter Shop Cleanup: Finishing Products I Keep On Hand

During #Woodchat Wednesday last week we talked a lot about what you can do with just a little shop time. Sometimes you get just a little shop time after dinner, or sometimes you’re in the shop all day waiting for glue or finish to dry and you have a short amount of time where you could be productive instead of sitting on your thumbs.

Saturday I had some time while waiting for a finish to dry so I organized my shelf of finishes.

Organized Finishing Shelf

Organized Finishing Shelf

Finishing Products I Keep On Hand

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On the far left in the back I have gallons of Denatured Alcohol and Mineral Spirits. In front of those I have my Enduro Var. In the center back, I have a collection of General Finishes Water Borne Dye Stain which is now my favorite way to add color to wood. With a fine mist you can tint, tone, and because these are compatible with Transtint Dyes you can make your own custom color.

In front of those you can see the finishing bottles I bought from Eagle America. These are great for keeping shop chemicals handy when using them in small amounts. They help a clumsy guy like me prevent spills too so I have some extras on hand in the back. They keep me from dunking dirty rags into full cans, and from the lids of my cans getting ratty.

Furniture wax and Renaissance Wax which is a microcrystalline polishing wax and is great for tools and furniture. I’ve used this with a power buffer before to bring up a shine on a glossy desktop.

I have a few Transtint Dyes which I keep on hand and really like because they are completely compatible with the General Finishes Water Borne Dye Stain. I mix these into alcohol when I’m using them solo.

On the far right I have rattle cans of Shellac and Lacquer, and quarts of Danish Oil, Boiled Linseed Oil, and Minwax Wipe On Poly which is a good wiping varnish right out of the can. You can make your own wiping varnish, but why bother when  Fine Woodworking rated the Minwax very highly.

Considerations When Organizing Your Finishes and Chemicals

  1. Safety: wear gloves and eye protection.
  2. Expiration: Many products have a shelf life, if your finish is past its shelf life, don’t use it.
  3. Mixing: don’t mix a product from one can into the other. The formulation may have changed, or the expiration dates may vary.
  4. Disposal: if you’re going to dispose of any finishes or chemicals, do so responsibly.
  5. Replacement: because of expiration dates don’t replace a supply unless you’ll need it in the near future.
  6. Storage: ideally my chemicals would be stored in a metal locker that is more suitable.

Other Finishing Supplies I Keep on Hand

This just covers the items that are on my chemical shelf, and doesn’t cover the Preval gun or the Timbermate wood filler. I keep a lot of other supplies in the shop that are related to finishing:

  • Wooden stir sticks bought at a craft store. These are essentially tongue depressors but are great for stirring chemicals or mixing up epoxy.
  • Small paper cups bought at a grocery store. These are wax free cups and are great for removing small amounts of chemicals from a can, or for mixing up epoxy.
  • Rags from the paint store. These are essential for any wipe on finish like the Minwax Wipe On Poly, and are also used for buffing wax. They can also be used for shellac, dye, and stain.
  • Respirator stored in a gallon zip bag to keep it clean. I wear this consistently (now) and I’m glad I do.
  • Spray gun tips, cleaning supplies, extra cups and finish filters, maybe something from vacuumkoo.com even – to make sure it’s clean all around.
  • Paper towels to clean up spills. Dispose of all rags properly.
  • Gloves to keep hands clean and protected.

Tip: when putting the lid back on a can, cover with a paper towel before tapping closed, this will catch any splatters.

Organizing the shelf took longer than writing this blog post. I’m really glad I took the time to go through the supplies on my shelf and get things organized. This freed up half a shelf which I now use to store my spray gun and related accessories in a sealed bin. I hope you see that in little bits of time you can get things accomplished and be productive in the shop.

After seeing my clean shelf and all the great products on hand I was inspired to do some finishing on a small gift project.

Thomas Walnut Dresser: Done and Delivered!

Yesterday I had a great day with my little shop helper at the Shrine Circus. After the day was done and the shop helper was sound asleep, I hit the shop. After a long night last night and a few hours today, the dresser is done and delivered.

Here’s what’s happened in the last 48 hours:

  • Two coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly
  • One coat of paste wax
  • Bottom legs installed
  • Knobs installed

The Original Plan

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Pictures of the Final Project

Remember the original design below, one change was to make the drawer dividers come all the way to the face.

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Here’s the final with the pulls installed. I like pulls the customer selected and the positioning.

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Check out the grain, and here you can see the base.

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Another front shot.

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From the side you can see the cool patterns on the front.

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Another side shot.

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From the right side.

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From the right side, down along the top. Flat and waxed, looks good.

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Here’s the back you can see the bases from behind. This piece could be in the middle of the room and the back would look nice.

Celebration

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Now that this project is done, this Bakon Vodka Bloody Mary is my celebration. Wednesday night I’ll clean up the shop, it’s a bit messy after the last few intense days. Next Sunday I’ll start the next project, a saltwater fish tank stand out of maple for GAKMAN. I’ll do a post in a few days about things I learned on this build.