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3386 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jerrymayfield
I believe this is my first post here. I have been reading a lot but being new here, I don't have much advice to give (see below).

I am relatively a newbie when it comes to woodworking but I enjoy it.

I just finished building a media storage case (60h x 23w) to fit in a small area in the entertainment room. I routed the dados in for all the nine shelves (probably should have done top, bottom and middle). Then glued it up and all.

Now I realize that I should have stained it prior to assembly. Oh well, it gives me an excuse to get another tool...LOL. THAT'S MY ADVICE...LOL :eek:

Well a brush just doesn't do the job properly because it is assembled and I thought of using a spray gun. I have a small pancake, 4 gallon 115 PSI, compressor that should be adequate for a small job.

I was looking at a spray gun and saw one that used a mason jar for the tank and thought that, as I don't do much woodwork yet, this would be good for me to keep the left over stain, paint, etc (of course in separate jars).

Anyone every use this type? I believe Woodcraft has one (Critter) and Lee Valley (no name) both priced in the $40-50 range. Looking for opinions on these.

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Pete, I hate to tell you this but when you go to spray into the cabinet you are in for a big mess. I think you might be better off getting some staining pads. Pick up a box of latex gloves while you are at it. All of the siphon type guns use a high air pressure and low volumn of material. The high pressure air will be blowing back in your face. The type of spray gun to use is a HVLP.(High volumn, low pressure) This delivers a large amount of material with low air pressure. There is a kit available for around $100 with everything you need. Needless to say that more expensive units will do a better job and have other benefits. Staining pads will hold a fair amount of material. They will get into corners and seams well. They act kind of like a sponge, if you get a bit too much material on the wood you can just wipe it back up. I have used these on several projects and find them to be a worth while expense in applying finish.
This is my amature opinion. For a professional answer you might log in to and post your question there. Bruce Johnson is their resident expert and can give you the official Minwax response.
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I did some research in some other forums too and they all agree, that the LPHV are bad but HVLP are good. Several recommended the stain gels and gel varnish. I will try that first.

I've had the best luck (so far) by trying to do the majority of my finishing prior to assembly. I'm finishing up a cradle now (finally) and am really glad I didn't put it all together before opening up the can of tung oil. Just be sure to tape off any joinery before you start with the finishing because glue won't stick to most of the finishing products that we normally use.
Before you invest in any hvlp(as most are today) consider at least some of the options available. What ever you get get one with a pressurized cup so you can paint the undersides of the piece without turning it upside down. You can't do this with a siphon feed gun. You will be farther ahead to learn a little more about wood finishing.before you progress to spraying. Almost all common finishes can be applied by hand (brush,rag,pad etc.)what is the project made from ?tell us that and we could be of help with the finish.
Good Luck

Hey you all,, I,am building a big computer desk out of birch plywood,, Doe,s anyone have any good ideas on what to top it off with?? Bare in mind i have a teenager at home so would like to finish it with something that would last!!! :D
Semi, Watco Danish Oil would be a good choice. This finish penetrates deep into the wood and actually strengthens it. When completed, it leaves a soft sheen like a hand rubbed finish. This product is available in tints such as cherry, walnut, golden oak, teak or neutral. You can also mix the colors for just the right shade. Easy to apply, beautiful results, and no plastic appearance.
semi47: i just got done building a computer desk out off the same material and oak trim.
i left it natural and finished it with 3 coats of satin gloss water base poly urathane. this gave the top a nice hard surface.
All good ideas. I decided that because the item is a vertical bookcase, I need to use a stain gel and then I am making my own wipe own with varnish/ms in 1:1 ratio. A couple of coats, sand with 320, and two more coats should do it. Been doing a lot of reading since I posted.

I am also going to be doing a computer desk over the next month or so out of white birch and was considering a cherry trim and cherry stain. Now I might try the Watco Danish Oil, too.

There is a lot of confusing information in these posts,mostly advertising buzz words, 1, you do not need a gel stain,gel stains were invented to be used on wood prone to splotching(cherry,maple,birch,pine very little of the pigment gets on the wood. 2 danish oil is an oil varnish solvent mix that offers very little protection from abrasion,heat,chemicals or any thing else. Bruce Johnson is a finishing expert because he and minwax say he is. Any good varnish will offer excellent protection and look clearer than that plastic looking,yellowing finish.
Thanks for the advice and clearing that up.

However, it was recommended (by someone at another forum, who also seemed to know what he was talking about) that because of the vertical aspect of the book case, that the gel would be better than regular stain. I tried it and it worked. And yes this was made out of pine. I may have been able to use regular stain but I didn't...maybe my bad. The varnish/ms mix is recommended because it is easier to wipe this on than try and do a nice brush job with wb poly or regular poly. I don't know, maybe either might work.

The computer desk, when built, will be easier to do. I won't glue it up first (like the DVD case), so regular stain will work just fine. (Yes, I will remember to tape the glue-up points.) I might stick with the self made wipe-on though.

Hey everyone thanks so much for all the ideas guys,, Mike,,,,, By god i,m going to try that danish oil once that desk is finished.. But has always I,ll try it on a piece of scrap wood first! But geez thanks guys so much..This is the first forum where I,ve really got some answers to my guestions..... I,m still fairly new at this woodworking,But its all i got now to keep me busy..
AS i said pine is one of those woods that do not take stain well. One of my favorite finishes for pine is to apply orange shellac, followed by any good non poly varnish. I agree that if you are going to use a wiping varnish make it yourself. About 50% varnish 50% MS do not have to be exact. Remember about 3 coats of wiping varnish equal 1 coat of brushed. None of the rules are critical,experiment, have fun.
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