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-   -   "Popping" the grain with water based finishes... (http://www.talkfestool.com/vb/finishing/2174-popping-grain-water-based-finishes.html)

mckenziedrums 07-08-2009 03:07 PM

"Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
I for one, LOVE water based top coats... I'm relatively new to woodworking but have been finishing drum shells and putting them together for a while now. When I started I was using tung oil (easy enough to use... hard to mess up... looks GREAT...) and then graduated on to using automotive grade polyurethane to get a more durable finish. Well cleaning my gun with nasty solvents, etc got old pretty quick so I ended up settling in with Target Coatings water based stuff. Though I hear I REALLY need to try Crystalac so that's next on my list of things to try...

Anyways the issue with water based is that it really doesn't bring out the grain like an oil or other solvent based finish will. So my compromise has been a 3-4 layer system that gives me that "under glass" look but with the warmth of an oil underneath.

Products I typically use:
Waterlox modified tung oil (the basic sealer/finish is good for this)
Zinnser SealCoat (shellac "sanding" sealer)
Waterbased sealer and or top coat of your choice

It's pretty simple really... Just give your piece one or two light coats of the waterlox (pure tung takes entirely tooooo long to dry) and let it cure for a couple days. After that seal it with 1-2 coats of the SealCoat. SealCoat is an EXCELLENT barrier coat in that it is pretty much compatible with everything I've ever sprayed on it. Once that's cured you can top with anything you'd like to spray and not have to worry about compatibility with the oil on the bottom.

Here's a birdseye maple drum shell that I finished like this (prior to wet sanding and buffing):
http://mckenziedrums.com/PlyShells/FiguredKeller6.jpg

The finished drum:
http://mckenziedrums.com/ShowCase/Fi...rComplete6.jpg

That picture doesn't do the finish justice... Was before I had a nice tent to take my photos in. The first photo really shows how the wood glows.

RWeber 07-08-2009 03:14 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
looks grand
shellac under a wb top is a great way of keeping some warmth in the look.
I've never touched Target stuff (not readily available here) but Crystallac is decent. There are some dyed in the wool Target fans here tho. Simply from reviews I think if you've already got that don't worry about trying Crystallac.

mckenziedrums 07-08-2009 03:20 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
I've had good luck with the Target stuff... but the 2 week waiting time before wet sanding kills me. With Crystalac you're talking 3 days tops. Price wise we're talking about the same and from the reviews my fellow drum builders give the Super Premium I've gotta try it. :)

The shellac is obviously warming but having the oil under it really makes a world of difference. I kinda learned woodworking backwards in that I couldn't even tell you what a rabbit was but I had to learn how to lay down a glass like finish on a cylinder. :o

Poto 07-08-2009 04:15 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Thanks for the info on finishing your drums (and nice drums, by the way!). I'm clearly going to have to do some more experimentation with finishing...

(P.S. It's "rabbet", not "rabbit" - or "rebate" if you're in Europe... :))

mckenziedrums 07-08-2009 04:37 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
So THAT'S what I've been doing wrong all this time... I went out and bought all these rabbits though so what am I going to do with them now?! :confused:

joraft 07-08-2009 04:37 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Poto (Post 27451)

I'm clearly going to have to do some more experimentation with finishing...

Peter, why don't we both sign up for a finishing class at the William Ng School?

I'm not sure when the next one will be scheduled, but they were having one when I was there. I peeked in and saw some pretty amazing stuff going on.

I also got a chance to talk a little bit with the finishing instructor, Brian Miller, a very nice and knowledgable guy.

joraft 07-08-2009 04:41 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mckenziedrums (Post 27456)

... I went out and bought all these rabbits though so what am I going to do with them now?! :confused:




http://www.talkfestool.com/vb/attach...hog-smoker.jpg

mckenziedrums 07-08-2009 04:43 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Hrm... not a bad suggestion... Which reminds me, it's about time for lunch!

Poto 07-08-2009 05:40 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Rabbits are awfully lean - you'd probably want to wrap them in bacon or something before smoking them.

(An aside: I almost wrote "rabbis" there, which makes for a whole different concept...)

John - the finishing school sounds great. Let me know what you find out in terms of timing, etc. (I do have this scientist job occasionally too...)

MichaelKellough 07-08-2009 05:44 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mckenziedrums (Post 27459)
Hrm... not a bad suggestion... Which reminds me, it's about time for lunch!

I just noticed you're in Charlotte. My parents grew up in Concord and I've spent a lot of time there. If I where in Concord lunch would be at Troutman's BBQ. Where do you eat in Charlotte?

mckenziedrums 07-08-2009 05:47 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Ah for BBQ you need to drive to Matthews... south of Charlotte... The Outlaw BBQ shack.. FANTASTIC! They run it out of the back of some small Italian place. No place to sit down and eat inside (couple of picnic tables outside) so you just place your order and take it with you. They've got a really good Memphis style sauce and another vinegar based sauce that's equally as good in my book. No rabbit though...

Other than that I like to cook my own meals. If you don't already have it the Weber's Real Grilling cook book is a MUST have. There are some rubs, etc in that book that will put your grilling on a whole new playing field.

MichaelKellough 07-08-2009 05:56 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mckenziedrums (Post 27470)
Ah for BBQ you need to drive to Matthews... south of Charlotte... The Outlaw BBQ shack.. FANTASTIC! They run it out of the back of some small Italian place. No place to sit down and eat inside (couple of picnic tables outside) so you just place your order and take it with you. They've got a really good Memphis style sauce and another vinegar based sauce that's equally as good in my book. No rabbit though...

Other than that I like to cook my own meals. If you don't already have it the Weber's Real Grilling cook book is a MUST have. There are some rubs, etc in that book that will put your grilling on a whole new playing field.

The only place I been to that might have served rabbit was in Jacksonville, Fl. I think it was Bono's BBQ. They had a sign up that said "You kill it, we'll smoke it" followed by a long list of appropriate critters.

Thanks for the book tip.

EijiFuller 07-09-2009 01:42 AM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
I have been looking for this. Thanks so much.

mckenziedrums 07-09-2009 01:52 AM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
How to smoke a rabbit or a way to make water based finishes look more like traditional ones? :stongue:

mckenziedrums 07-11-2009 02:06 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
I had originally planned on finishing this jewelry box I'm building with just Waterlox oil (had some of the Marine grade high gloss left from refinishing an outdoor table) but after posting this decided I'd take a different route. Give me a day or two to lay on some clear coat and I'll post a picture of the lid all wet sanded and buffed using this method.

PS: If you don't own HVLP equipment and you own thousands of dollars of other tools, you should kick yourself right now. :D

Poto 07-11-2009 03:54 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Ouch! (Foot-shaped bruise on butt...)

mckenziedrums 07-11-2009 07:24 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
LOL

I was going to post in a seperate thread but there's a great inexpensive way to get good spraying results.

Harbor freight sells a wonderful little HVLP detail gun. In fact I've grown so comfortable with it that I sold my Devilbiss and use it exclusively on my drums. When it's on sale it's around $20 and since I have a nice big compressor that's all I need for my finishes. It's designed to work with waterbased finishes but I think the lifespan is around 2-3 years tops. I consider it a disposable tool for the most part but it does a fantastic job with minimum dialing in. Not the right tool for the job for a huge project but for smaller things it's great. I haven't tried their bigger HVLP guns yet so I can't speak for them. The Devilbiss Finishline series is an affordable way to get a good gun for spraying though.

JayKnoll 07-14-2009 12:48 AM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Tim

Is this the one?

- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

Jay

mckenziedrums 07-14-2009 01:03 AM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
That's it... It goes on sale from time to time. Really affordable way to get your feet wet as far as spraying goes. That assumes you have a compressor of course

RONWEN 07-14-2009 03:37 AM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Rockler has their HVLP turbine system on sale for $89. -- I've been considering it because the turbine systems are more efficient than the HVLP conversion guns. Has anyone tried the Rockler system & have an opinion?

JayKnoll 07-14-2009 03:51 AM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
I am going to display my total ignorance about this topic, but if you've got a pancake compressor, why would you buy the Rocker product -- just buy the gun?

Jay

mckenziedrums 07-14-2009 03:18 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
The compressor will work... buying a turbine system is a great way to go if you don't already have the compressor.

It's like going out and buying a vacuum pump when you have an air compressor. Sure, you could go out and buy a several hundred dollar piece of equipment... or you can buy a $50 Venturi valve and generate the same vacuum with the motor you already have. ;)

I'm not sure what the output of the smaller compressor is but just make sure you can keep at least 30-40psi to the gun at all times. You'll have to figure out where you're comfortable with as far as setting it up.

I need to borrow someones turbine setup and try it sometime... just to experience something different. It's all about finding what works for you though.

RONWEN 07-14-2009 04:28 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
I'm not an expert on the subject either.
My question is how well the Rockler turbine HVLP system works. With true turbine HVLP systems the material transfer efficiency can approach 80% That results in less over spray and less wasted material. The conversion type HVLP's are in the 40%-60% transfer range. Probably not a significant difference unless a lot of material is sprayed often. Some of the finishes are pretty pricey so the turbine unit could pay for itself in a short time.

mckenziedrums 07-14-2009 04:36 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Hrm... do the WoodCraft finishing classes provide the turbine setups? If so I might have to sign up for one so I can give it a good testing. You're right on the effeciency though... It takes some serious practice to keep the waste down with a traditional HVLP gun. I've gotten to where I can make quick close passes and keep most of the material on the piece without it being too heavy of pass. The Emtech stuff from Target is only $65/gallon (I say only because I'm used to spending $100+ on automotive finishes) so it's not too pricey and goes quite a long way. I've still gotta try Crystalac though.

mckenziedrums 07-18-2009 07:43 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Lesson learned... finishing small flat pieces is different than round things... :D Going to have to touch up the edges a bit on the lid after realizing the buffer I have is a bit much for such a small piece. Next time I'll use a small buffing bob or my benchtop buffer.

In any case... I'm going to do a future full tutorial based on what I know and I'm comfortable with. I just received 2 drum shells that I'm in charge of doing the finishing on so I'll document that as I go.

In the mean time.... here's what I did with the lid for the jewelry box quickly this morning.

If anyone is counting it's been a week since I sprayed the finish on. Truthfully I like to wait 2 weeks when I'm spraying Target coatings stuff just to make sure it's cured. Got a little impatient this time but it was hard enough to do the job. Plus I wasn't setting out to make this the absolute perfect finish.

Step one. Wet sanding. (We love sanding right?) I've tried orbital after orbital for wet sanding and I still can't get the results I get by hand. So I just go back to holding the paper and doing it the old fashioned way. For my high gloss finishes I typically start with 600 grit to make sure I've got everything flat.

I grabbed a glass of water... some wet sanding paper... and went to work:
http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...etSanding1.jpg

Here you can see how the slurry is nice and smooth showing that the surface is good and flat:

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...etSanding2.jpg


A ha! Found a trouble spot here:
http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...etSanding3.jpg

Dips in the finish will appear as glossy spots while sanding. In my case it's due to me not originally planning on going so glossy and I didn't fill the grain on the Wenge. A little planning ahead and busting out the grain filler would have solved this problem. I'm OK with some grain showing so I'm moving forward. After the 600 grit I'll typically move up with 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000... Since I'm playing shortcuts today I went from 600 to 1000 to 2000. Big jumps to be sure but I planned on using some heavy compound which would take out any of the scratches left behind by me being a bit lazy.

Typically I buff using 3M compunds and pads as seen here:

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...Materials1.jpg

For drums my hand held buffer does the job nicely. I've discovered quickly this guy is probably not the best tool for the job when you're talking small delicate pieces. I won't be using it on the main body of the jewelry box that's for darn sure.

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...al/Buffer1.jpg

Since I'm a glutton for punishment and already had the buffer out I figured I'd use it for the lid since it's a nice flat surface and nothing fancy. It is however pretty small so I needed to secure it before taking a big old spinning disc to it. As you can tell by these poor beatup clamps they've seen a few buffing compounds in their days.

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...ForBuffing.jpg

Over all it worked pretty well but I did manage to burn through a couple spots at the edges. Once the finish cures up a bit after being wet down and heated up I'll touch them up. For this particular project I used the heavy cut compound to knock out any scratches from the sandpaper and followed up with the fine cut to polish it up. After that it's time for the finishing touch.

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...nishingWax.jpg

A little cheesecloth full of finishing wax is just the ticket. I used to use automotive waxes on my drums but realized this is better since it's a hardening wax and offers just a little more protection for the finish. I buffed this off by hand rather than break out the buffer again. Though it would be easy enough to just buff in and you'd probably get a little better gloss that way.

After it's all said and done here's what the lid looks like:

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...opPolished.jpg

Not a mirror finish by any means and a crappy photo but I figured I'd show that it's at least decently reflective. I'll put the drum shell in the photo tent when I do the tutorial to give a better idea of the finish that can be achieved by taking a little more time.

http://mckenziedrums.com/WoodWorking...Reflection.jpg

Poto 07-18-2009 08:05 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Whoa! Amazing finish! Thanks for the step-by-step on that.

Looks like you need an MFT and the clamping elements to hold those small pieces...

mckenziedrums 07-24-2009 06:15 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Here's a rather pretty walnut drum shell that has a couple coats of clear on it:

http://mckenziedrums.com/ClientDrums...leared%201.jpg

http://mckenziedrums.com/ClientDrums...leared%202.jpg

This will get a few more coats and then sanded and buffed as described above. I'll toss this one in the nice photo tent to get a proper photo of it. Thanks to the new light fixture in the "shop" i was able to at least get a passable photo.

MichaelKellough 07-24-2009 08:58 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
That looks great! Is it veneered? If so, how did you glue it up?

mckenziedrums 07-24-2009 09:16 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Nope... that's a steambent shell from these folks: Vaughncraft Percussion John Rose is about the nicest fella you'll ever meet and they build steambent drum shells for some of the biggest names in the drum building industry. The nice part is that they sell off extra inventory to us hobbyists at GREAT prices.

(I do have a vacuum bag for veneering...)

Poto 07-25-2009 07:25 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
So how do you get the slurry off your piece after you've wet sanded it, Tim? It must make a pretty stiff mess...

mckenziedrums 07-26-2009 01:38 PM

Re: "Popping" the grain with water based finishes...
 
Take your pick... clean wet rag, denatured alcohol... depends on what you're sanding. Just don't use something that'll hurt the finish. It does make quite the mess =)


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