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WB Finishes

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  • WB Finishes

    We make quite a few bandsaw boxes and have been using General Finishes High performance varnish. It applies very easily and gives a nice gloss finish. The drawback is that it takes multiple coats to build what seems an acceptable finish.
    I'd be interested in recommendations for alternate finishes.
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  • #2

    Re: WB Finishes

    Almost anything is gonna take multiple coats to obtain high gloss. General finishes are highly regarded when it comes to WB products. It may save you some time to find some sort of fast drying sanding sealer(white shellac, or Emtech WB shellac sealer?) to seal the pores before you start with the finish?

    The other option is to switch to solvent borne finishes, which self seal and dry much faster, but then you need a dedicated booth.



    • #3

      Re: WB Finishes

      A lot of production furniture had a lacquer finish because although it may take a few coats it dries very fast so you can build it up. If you dont have a spray booth you can get away with a big cardboard box or something for little bandsaw boxes. ( but open a window or two) You can get it in spray bombs from Mohawk and they also offer lacquer toners if you want that. or liquid if you want to use, and clean a spray gun.

      Ive had nice success by using wool soap and fine steel wool or fine wet sandpaper to get any pips smoothed out. normally I'd try to build some coats then do a bit of sanding then maybe a final coat thinned a bit more to flow it out.

      you can go into thicker one shot things like oil based poly or epoxy too. You might find they look a bit like a layer of plastic. those are quite durable with water and chemicals. lacquer is weak against alcohol or some chemicals which is why coasters used to be really common in living rooms.

      what was said earlier about filling the grain might help as well. another thing you might try is an oil finish like danish oil with a hard shell finish over it, like lacquer, shellac, poly or epoxy.

      If reducing the steps is critical I'd try spray lacquer. If you don't like what happens just wash it off with lacquer thinners.

      I cant; really vouch for the water based stuff. I did all the floors in my house with danish oil then oil based poly.

      some finishes may have UV blockers that can slow any darkening, I use oil based poly because I dont want to prevent darkening as I'm mostly into working on the house and restoring antiques.

      if you use oil based poly, next day it is too soft to sand, if you do it will ball up on the paper and make a mess.

      try soaking the sandpaper in solvent and use wet or dry paper. That will work on soft poly enabling that second or third coat before it really cures. funny that the same solvent used to thin the Oil based poly has little effect on it once it's dry. Just try not to break through if you sand the first coat as that can cause other issues. if that happens the solvents can creep under the old finish where it feathers out to nothing and cause a little issue.

      most of these finishes you can just pad on then throw the pad away rather than spending on brushes. a trick I like is to use a little terri towel with a bit of linen over that, dip and wipe and then chuck it out when done. foam brushes are cheap and disposable too.

      oils are in the wood, poly , epoxy ,and paint build separate coats on top of one another as they are applied. shellac and lacquer are different because subsequent layers melt into the first down, rather than building separate layers. when I began working with lacquer I had experience with paint and I kept trying to sand it and put more layers and it really didn't work too well for me until I made that distinction. Then I realized why It wasn't building like I expected.

      poly will combine chemically if the previous layers if it is put down before they cure, after that it becomes its own layer with a mechanical bond and that is ok too. It still builds in layers. like paint.

      some depends on your expectations , If you want to not be able to feel the grain and for it to feel like shiny plastic , or like a piano then that's ok , or you may be happy with the fact that you can feel and sense the grain but still want a finish. those expectations might affect your decisions on type of finish and weather to fill the grain prior. also some woods have more open pores.


      • #4

        Re: WB Finishes

        Glenn, have you considered using a floor finish? These days they are waterbased (at least in Canada), are usually a varnish/urethane type of composition and are more full bodied than furniture finishes. Finitech and Bona are probably the leaders in the Canadian market and you should be able to find a distributor near you from their websites. I am not sure about the smallest volume they sell as when I bought Finitec I was refinishing a floor so I bought a large jug. I found their customer service very helpful too.

        As far as "regular" waterbased finishes, I have found that Fuhr 255, which is a slightly amber toned urethane, is fuller bodied than it's counterparts. It is based on Fuhr's original business as a floor finish producer, but may be more difficult to get as Fuhr is no longer an independent company but is part of a consortium of finish producers. I get mine through CCI Finishworks but you would have to contact them for availability in your area.

        Whatever you choose, I think Simon's advice to use a sealer prior to the final finish is an excellent idea as a couple coats will give a very good base to build finish onto. Each manufacturer usually has a compatible sealer to their product so it's "one stop shopping" and you get a product that is actually designed to work with the topcoat you are using.

        Hope that helps