Thursday, August 2

Thursday - Shooting Lacquer

This morning I got right to work on cleaning off the cabinet and getting it ready to lacquer. I then donned my Doug Vader get-up. In its liquid form, lacquer is highly toxic; kills off the brain cells, thus a respirator is required. And the mist in the air burns ones eyes badly, so a face shield is also recommended. Once the lacquer thinner evaporates and the finish hardens it is perfectly safe to be arround, it's just the solvents that will kill you. One of the reasons the environmental activists are trying to force us all into using nothing but water based finishes. I should probably switch now for ecological reasons, but these finishes are not yet as good as the solvent based versions, especially on a stained piece: water raises the grain of the wood, always has, always will. But I digress.

Shortly after I got started, my good friend Ray showed up to see what I was doing. Strange bug!

During the morning I shot two coats of lacquer onto the cabinet. After they dried hard I scuff sanded it and shot the third and final coat. While that was drying I took the doors into the finishing room and shot the first coat of lacquer on them.

Once the cabinet (in the assembly room) was dry to the touch, I cut the back panels out of ¼ birch cabinet grade plywood in the tool room. This is expensive stuff, to I made sure to measure twice (sometimes three times) and cut once. I used a heavy straight edge to guide my hand-held circular saw fitted with a sharp steel blade (steel suts cleaner than carbide). The cut line was edged with masking tape to prevent any splintering that might have been tempted to happen.

I’ve had a request for a close-up of one of the upper corners after the finishing was done. Here ya go Jim! Click the thumbnail for a closer look. (that works on all of these)

I test fitted the back panels into their positions, trimmed as needed using a pattern bit in the router and my heavy straight edge, then sanded them to 150 grit with my finishing sander, rolling the edges a bit by hand.

Along the way I took time to give the doors (in the finishing room) a second coat. Once that was dry, out they came and in went the back panels. Just the back side of the panels will get finished because I want the mirror mastic to get a good grab on the wood when we put the two together.

With the back panels back temporarily in place, we’re ready to install the pretty bits in the cabinet. I’ll need to scuff the doors and shoot them once more before I can put the hinges and locks back on them.

I’ll get that done later this evening. Right now I need some supper – and some fresh air! But I’ll post today’s episode now. Hope you enjoyed it!


P.S. -- Tomorrow (Friday) is my day to volunteer as shopkeeper in the Treasures gallery, so I won't be in the workshop during the day. I'll try to get over here and get some more work done in the evening after I get home. If I'm not brain dead.


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