Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Finishing Kids Toys

This wood finishing tips card is called Finishing Kids Toys. When you make and finish kids toys, you need to think about the finish you use. Kids like to chew on their toys, so the finish will be ingested in some cases. Here is how you can help keep the little ones safe.

Finishing Kids Toys

wood finishing tip cards finishing kids toysMaking toys for kids is a lot of fun. There is nothing more rewarding than giving a wooden toy to a child. You will never see more gratitude or happiness form anything else that you create, especially for adults.

Kids just light up when you give them a toy. In the case of wooden toys, you would think that they are past their prime, and out of fashion. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Though wooden toys do lack the sounds and lights of modern toys, they do still make kids happy. In a world filled with loud, bright toys, a wooden toy is sometimes a huge winner for a kid simply because it is so different.

Wooden toys encourage the imagination, and also help kids learn about their world. You are creating something that will last a long time, and will become a family treasure that is kept for generations. You also need to finish the toy properly, otherwise you could put those little hands in danger… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Finishing Kids Toys”

Wood Finishing Tips – Cloth Finishing Pads

This wood finishing tips card is called Cloth Finishing Pads. As you use hand applied finishes, you will end up needing a lot of small disposable pads. These are expensive if you buy them, so make them instead. Here is what you can do to make these pads for pennies.

Cloth Finishing Pads

wood finishing tips cards cloth finishing padsWhen you apply finishes by hand, you are going to go through a lot of pads. The point of the pad is to be a small, disposable items that you use and toss each time. If you make a lot of projects, you will need a lot of pads. Fret not, because they are easy to come by.

One of the most basic ways that new finishers in particular come across finishing pads is to cut up an old shirt. This is typically born from a need that arises at the last minute. This being the need for a small cloth pad.

When you cut up your undershirts, remember to not use the parts from the neck and the armpits. These areas are higher in soil residue, and also have deodorant residue that can interfere with how the finish works.

Instead, cut the sections from the center of the shirt on the front and on the back. These areas are large, and they can give you a lot of pads. Though the shirts are free, they do take a lot of work to get the finishing pads from them. Instead, try this trick for a very large supply of very inexpensive pads… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips – Cloth Finishing Pads”

Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Close to the Wood Finishing

This wood finishing tips card is called Close to the Wood. When a finish is considered close to the wood, it means that the look and feel of the finish are almost like there has been nearly nothing applied to the surface. Here is how and when to use a close to the wood finish.

Close to the Wood Finishing

wood finishing tips cards close to the wood finishA close to the wood finish is a very thin coating of finish. The wood still feels like wood, and the look does not scream that it has been coated with something.

This kind of finish can be really attractive, because it emphasizes the wood, and makes it feel much nicer than raw wood, without feeling over done. Many finishes are easily seen, but a close to the wood finish is not.

The nice thing about finishes like this, is you can manipulate nearly every kind of finish to be close to the wood. There are some exceptions of course, but for the most part any finish can be made to feel light and thin.

The important thing to consider is when you use this kind of finish, and when to apply a finish as normal. The type of project, and how the piece will be used in the end are two great indicators as to whether or not a close to the wood finish is the way to go. Here is how you do it… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Close to the Wood Finishing”

Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Oil Finishes

This wood finishing tips card is about oil finishes. When you are a new woodworker, oil finishes are some of the easiest to learn. They make finishing simple, and can have you feeling like an expert right away. Here is how you get started.

The Humble Oil Finish

wood finishing tips cards oil finishesOil finishes have been around for a long time. There have been people coating things in oils to preserve them for thousands of years.

Everything from early pottery, to paintings, and even wooden creations have been preserved in oil. After all, thousands of years ago there were few woodworking stores available to buy lacquer from.

Oils were all around early wood finishers. Linseed, Olive, and other plant oils were found in nature, and used to coat and preserve things.

The beauty of an oiled piece of wood is amazing. Very few modern finishes can even come close to the look of a well oiled piece of wood. In fact, most modern finishes are all trying to accomplish the same look as an oil finish, but with the modern protection that a film finish offers. There is beauty in oil finishes, but there is one drawback that can affect the way you handle the pieces you finish… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Oil Finishes”

Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Apply Thin Coats

This Wood Finishing Tips Card is called Apply Thin Coats. This is the real secret to wood finishing that many new woodworkers can benefit from. Thinner coats dry faster, are much more smooth when applied, and they make the finishing process easier. Here is how:

Apply Thin Coats

wood finishing tips cards apply thin coatsThis is the first in my newest series of Tips Cards, and these focus on Wood Finishing. After you make something in the shop, you are going to need to finish it. This is where some woodworkers have a hard time.

It’s partially the fault of the finish manufacturers, and partially the fault of other woodworkers. Finishing has this myth and lore about it, making the process seem more difficult than it really is.

The truth is finishing is really easy, and you only need to know how to apply a couple different products to be successful. Once you are comfortable with the few finishes you need, all you need to do is pick out the right one.

In reality, unless you are making a really wide variety of projects, you can even get away with one really good finish. After a while, you can experiment with more, but you may never need to. No matter what you choose, here is the best piece of advice that I have ever received about wood finishing… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Apply Thin Coats”

Wood Finishing Tips Cards -How To Choose a Finish

This Woodworking Tips Card is called How to Choose a Finish. When you walk into the woodworking store, the wall full of finishing products can be intimidating. Just remember, this is more about marketing than the difficulty of finishing. You really don’t need to know them all, and here is what you do instead:

How to Choose a Finish for Your Project

wood finishing tips cards how to choose a finishMost woodworkers tend to make similar projects at the same time. It’s rare that someone makes an outdoor table, then a pepper mill, then kitchen cabinets, and a play house. Most of the time, a woodworker that likes smaller projects will make smaller projects.

The same goes for woodworkers that make outdoor stuff, or that make furniture. The individual pieces will change over time, but the style tends to be the same.

This is great for learning about wood finishing.

Even though there may be dozens of different wood finishing products to choose from at the woodworking store, don’t be discouraged. Since most of the time you will be making a project of a similar style, you will tend to only need one or two types of wood finish. Not only does this make the process much easier for you, but it also helps you become a better wood finisher. When you practice one finish over and over, you can become very skilled at applying it… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips Cards -How To Choose a Finish”

Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Use Fresh Product

This Wood Finishing Tips Card is called Use Fresh Product. Woodworkers are notoriously frugal when it comes to their craft. While saving scraps and controlling costs is a very good thing, it can actually cost more money and time when it comes to finishing. Here is why:

Use Fresh Product for Wood Finishing

wood finishing tips cards use fresh productIt’s very important to use fresh product when you are finishing a project. There are many reasons, but the biggest is that you can actually ruin your entire project right near the end if you use a bad can of finish.

Not only does ruining a project cost money, it also costs time and energy. The process of losing a project right near the end is devastating. More so if you had a deadline, or was planning on selling the piece.

In some really bad cases, it can be extremely difficult or impossible to remove the finish. This means starting over, and sometimes it can be really though to muster up the energy to begin again right after failure.

There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your finish is the best it can be. Thankfully, it’s really easy, and you can rest easy knowing that you are not going to ruin your project right near the end… Read more “Wood Finishing Tips Cards – Use Fresh Product”

Staining Wood and Experimenting With Stains

Staining wood is a pretty straight forward process on the surface, but there is so much that you can do if you take the time to experiment with stains. If you have been making things, then you definitely have scraps laying around. Those are a gold mine for staining and experimenting with.

staining woodYou can really do some amazing things with wood stains. Staining wood is a way to color the surface and create an interesting look that the wood did not have naturally.

There is far more in this world than applying one color. Most beginning woodworkers and wood finishers apply one solid color and then move on to clear coats.  Read more “Staining Wood and Experimenting With Stains”

Wood Finishing on the Lathe – A Basic Guide

Wood finishing on the lathe is a fun process. It takes a lot of the time out of finishing, and the results happen almost instantly in front of your eyes. You also have the ability to control the level and intensity of your stained finishes. For these two reasons, I love to finish while the piece is still on the lathe whenever possible. The following covers manipulating dye stains while on the lathe.

Finishing on the Lathe – How to Start

wood finishing on the latheThe first step for finishing your piece while still on the lathe is to apply your stain. I like to use pieces of paper towel, pipe cleaners, or small gun cleaning patches that are made from cotton.

Dip one of these in your stain, and turn on your lathe. I leave my lathe at whatever speed I was using last, as long as it’s in the low to medium range. Super high speeds can turn your stain into a geyser, which is funny and tragic at the very same time. It can also be dangerous, so be careful. Touch the applicator to the piece, and rub it across until the entire surface of the wood has been coated. In this case, black is used on Briar, which turns the wood from a tan color to a jet black. Read more “Wood Finishing on the Lathe – A Basic Guide”

The Secret to Wood Finishing

There are hundreds of secrets to wood finishing. However, there is really only one that you really need to know. Thin coats make finishing 1000 times easier than anything else you can do. If you apply thin coats, you will win at wood finishing.

secret to finishingMost new woodworkers have a habit of trying to speed things along. They feel unsure of their results, so they think if they go faster, they can get to the end faster. While this does get you through the process quicker, it does not get you to the end in better shape.

Finishing is the same. New finishers tend to apply a thick layer of finish. This comes from the old thought that more is better. They think a nice thick helping of finish will make their project beautiful, and save them time.

This is where most finishing projects fail. A super thick coating can take forever to dry, and sometimes it will never fully dry. The result is a gummy mess of a finish that detracts from the look of the piece. It also may render the project completely useless, especially if the finish never dries. Where a simple attempt to speed things up fails, taking the long way actually does speed things up in the end. Read more “The Secret to Wood Finishing”