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Thread: Finishing problems in cold shop

  1. #1
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    Finishing problems in cold shop

    I turn in an unheated garage and my finishes haven't been real good lately. I usually finish on the lathe with Watco oil, formby's tounge oil finish or Minwax antique oil. I put it on with a brush, let it sit awhile, and then "friction" it in with the lathe running with an old t-shirt. The finish looks great when I take the piece inside, but by morning you can't tell there is a finish on it at all. Is this caused by the wood warming when I bring it inside? I didn't have this as a problem when it was warmer out, IIRC.

    Help please!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  2. #2
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    Just a guess, Jeff, but it sounds like the finish is being "drawn" into the work as it warms up. It wouldn't take much expansion for this to occur.

  3. #3
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    Billy, thanks for the response...should I be bringing the turnings inside after sanding, letting them warm overnight and then take them back out for a "friction" finish? If it's a simple bowl I will just do a hand rub inside anyway, but I've been doing some vases with different shapes that the "on lathe" finish seems to work best.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  4. #4
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    Jeff, that "should" take care of the problem as long as you don't let the piece sit in the cold shop too long before starting. It won't take long for the wood to start contracting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Jeff, I have an outside shop in my backyard with a heating radiator.
    For almost one week now we have really cold weather with at daytime temperatures below freezing point.
    So my shop heating can't keep up with the cold weather, unless I like it to get a big electricity bill.
    So bringing up finishing layers of lacquer, or someting else is nearly impossible.
    For me the sign, to close my shop, and waiting for better times.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Billy, I will try that.

    Ad, if I waited until it was warm again I'd be another year older....spring doesn't come til March in Iowa.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  7. #7
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    Finishing problems in cold shop

    Jeff,

    Of course, I don't have the problem of cold temps here in Hawaii, but,,, I used to when I lived in New York State. I had a portable post stand mounted infrared heat lamp, the kind you might see used in a bathroom or in restaurants to keep food warm before serving, with a metal reflector. This heated the area directly where I was working. More basically, it heated the items and tools I was working on/with. You could place a lamp over the lathe and turn it on when you are working the piece. After you get your finish applied to your project, just take it in the house to keep it warm.

    I wouldn't recommend having the lamp right over your head, as you would be sweating in no time, to say nothing of maybe getting a sunburn. It would be best if you didn't have it facing you either.

    It worked for me.

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Thanks Billy, I will try that.

    Ad, if I waited until it was warm again I'd be another year older....spring doesn't come til March in Iowa.
    It's not that bad Jeff, a temp. of about 40 F is my limit. Holland can be as cold as Iowa. And for a retired guy like me, I have a magic word, never in a hurry again, like I was in my professional life.

  9. #9
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    Ad, I turned for about 3 hours sunday night...temp outside was 15. It was a balmy 17 in the garage though! Last night it was in the high 20s when I when inside. Insulated boots, stocking cap, and a small space heater to warm my hands, I might have a propane heater on the way soon if santa keeps me on the good list this year.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Ad, I turned for about 3 hours sunday night...temp outside was 15. It was a balmy 17 in the garage though! Last night it was in the high 20s when I when inside. Insulated boots, stocking cap, and a small space heater to warm my hands, I might have a propane heater on the way soon if santa keeps me on the good list this year.
    Okay Jeff, I got the message, I have to admit that I did the same for 20 years when I was a young dog, but now I'm going for a bit more of comfort, just like now with a nice glass of beer in front of me. Cheers

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