Everyday Woodworking Podcast Ep 12
Hey everyone. I’m Ricky Fitzpatrick with Everyday Woodworking, your Podcast Home for tips, tricks and information on how to make the most of your woodworking time and money, every day.
Well today we’re doing something a little different. If you’re a regular listener, then you know we’ve been in the middle of a “Setting Up Your Small Shop” series. Today, we’re going to take a break from that and do a little Listener Q&A!
Also, you may know that we post new episodes every week here at EW. Well last week, we skipped a week. Just between Easter, and our woodworking orders and family stuff…we just didn’t have time to put it all together. So if you missed us last week…we’re back!
I’m not going to beat around the bush. I really want to jump right into our questions. But a couple of things…
One, if you have questions you’d like for us to answer in our next Q&A, then send them along. Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And really guys, it’s virtually anything goes! Let it rip and let’s see what we can learn.
And two, I’m drinking my coffee this week from a cup from our good friends at Jaemor Farms. Jaemor has been our local destination for fresh fruits and veggies, handmade products and frankly, the most down to earth staff and service of any business we know of.
Plus, they’re also one of a handful of retailers that we trust to carry our handmade products from our woodworking business at Apple Valley Farm. Like our Carpenter Bee Traps.
We’ve been dealing with Jaemor for years and years, both in their Alto location and nearby in the newer Banks Crossing store. If you haven’t given them a try yet, you’re missing out.
If you’re local, be sure to stop in. And if not, then visit them online at www.jaemorfarms.com.
Thank you, Daphne and all our friends over at Jaemor Farms. You guys are amazing!
Alright. With that, let’s get into our Q&A.
FYI, I’m pulling questions from email, from podcast comments, social media pages and from our YouTube Channel. So this is running the gamut.
David Boardman (Boardman Co Woodworks)
House Shoes or Crocs in the shop?
First off we have to ask ourselves if David is trying to be funny here, or serious. I would assume the former, but let’s see where this goes.
Secondly, we need to define “house shoes”. I think we all know that Crocs in the shop are just an invitation for pain and suffering. But I’m not sure what “house shoes” technically means.
I would say that means “Any commonly worn style of comfortable shoe”, ie “One that is worn around the house”. Now that could be relative to the person and their definition of “comfort.
But let’s see what Google has to say…
This is what I found: A house shoe is a general term for any footwear that is intended to be worn indoors, particularly at home, while a slipper is a type of indoor or outdoor footwear that you can easily “slip-on” your feet. Remember that house shoes can be slippers, but not all slippers can be house shoes.
OK, so that narrows my initial definition down. This is what we call “bedroom shoes” in our house.
So I see now that there is no doubt that David is trying to side hustle as a comedian.
But back to the comparison of the two styles of footwear.
IMHO, I would say that the wisest choice would depend on the work that you’re doing at the moment. However, we should note that neither are OSHA or Mama approved. If you wear either in the shop, you’re playing with fire…or at least something that isn’t going to be very agreeable with your foot.
But Crocs, while having a somewhat hard sole, would provide better protection against nails, brads, screws and general sharp, pointy things that might be waiting to snag the bottom of your foot while walking around.
Nevertheless, the Crocs are also open-toed. And while the House Shoes might not provide much structural protection, at least they have some type of covering over your piggies.
I just bought a set of unfinished cornhole boards and someone told me to wet sand the final sanding. What’s your opinion on that?
That's a great idea, actually. If I understand that person’s suggestion correctly, that's called "raising the grain", and it's an essential step for most fine woodworking. It isn’t exactly wet sanding, but it does involve using water.
Raising the grain uses water to cause the surface wood fibers to swell when they get wet, which “pulls” that texture up so you can sand off the ridges. If you don’t do this, then the moisture in whatever finish product you apply will raise the grain itself, thus leaving you a less than perfect feeling surface.
If you decide to do this, I would sand the board to a 150 or 220, dry. Then blow the surface clean, then spray it with a spray bottle of plain water. It doesn’t take much, but definitely do more than just mist it. After that, give it a few minutes to raise the grain, let it dry, then sand it back with the 220.
You can do this 2 or 3 times, each pass creating a smoother surface, but a couple of times should be fine.
After you final “wet sanding”, then let it dry well, then move on to applying your poly or whatever protective finish you prefer.
You can skip raising the grain, but it makes a huge difference in the final feel. Great question!
Which wood finishing product and technique you like the most and why?
When I saw this, my first thought was “Wow, this could really get deep”. I mean, there are SO many products and finishing techniques we’ve used over the years. And I genuinely like a lot of them.
You would think it might be really hard to hone in on just one of each. But actually, it isn’t.
When we first started AVF, I fell in love with Spar Urethane, and I’ve loved it ever since. I mean, I love it. The smell. The consistency. The way it affects a piece of wood. It’s just, IMO, an incredible product.
But if you misuse it, it can be a bear. It likes low humidity and moderate temperatures. It can be prone to air bubbles if you don’t apply is slowly. And it definitely will change the look of whatever you use it on.
We “discovered” spar back when we used Heart Pine almost exclusively. And the first coat just soaked into the wood and darkened it, quite a lot. But we learned to plan with that, and now it’s something I appreciate about it.
The look that SU creates is just simply like no other. And it will always be my favorite.
My favorite technique would have to be Shou Sugi Ban, or the Japanese method of Charring Wood to protect it. It literally means “the burning of Japanese cypress”.
When I first heard about Shou Sugi Ban on an episode of Fixer Upper, I saw Chip Gaines learning about it. It just sounded so crazy and illogical. I had never heard of it before and the idea of sealing wood by burning it just seemed like something a madman would do.
But it works. You don’t really “burn” the wood…you char the surface in a way that sort of caramelized the outer fibers and makes them less porous. And even though the process took a little getting used to, once you understand how your wood reacts to certain applications of the fire, it becomes a tool like any other shop tool or product. It’s very forgiving and it yields some beautiful results.
Shou Sugi Ban enjoyed a really high sense of popularity a few years back, and it’s nowhere near as trendy as it once was. But it’s still quite popular and it creates a look that may not be moving and shaking, but it never really goes out of style.
It’s my favorite technique and I hope I get to keep using it, and Spar Urethane for a very, very long time to come.
Great question, Justin!
Do you put any kind of sealer on your wood before or after painting your lettering?
I should explain this first. FYI, at Apple Valley Farm, our woodworking business, one of the things we offer is hand-lettered signs and décor. And we post videos on our YouTube channel, showing how we do the lettering and things like that. So Cindy is asking what we do after the do the painting.
The short answer is “no”. But when we do, it’s not before, but after the lettering. After everything dries (usually a couple of hours), then we might spray over everything with a clear matte sealant.
We used to get the specific Craft Sealant at Walmart or Hobby Lobby, but it was like $4 a can. Later we found the clear matte spray at Wally World for about half the price. Now we use only that.
If the sign is going to be outdoors, we use a spray poly. Just a Varathane, is fine. But, and this is a big but…this only makes the sign weather resistant, not weather proof. So it’s good for say hanging on your porch, but not out in the yard.
I bought a picnic bench at Lowe’s. Used minwax gel stain on it. I’m supposed to use spar urethane tomorrow but won’t sanding in between coats scratch off my stain?
First, dude, I know you could’ve built that bench yourself! But I know…the big box stores can sell that stuff, a lot of times, cheaper than we can buy the materials and build it for, ourselves. So I’ll give you a pass on that.
But that's a great question. And the answer is yes. And no. :)
A light sanding is mostly just leveling out the grain after the moisture in the stain raises it. Use a light, light touch and a fine grit. I usually use no less than a 220. Higher, I you’ve got it. But no lower than a 220. And just let the weight of your hand be all the pressure you use. It doesn’t take much.
If you remove to much stain or paint, you can always apply more, but I doubt you'll need to. It’s SO easy to sand between coats. It’s almost impossible to mess it up.
I will add though, and this doesn’t exactly apply here, but if you have a piece that has a mix of painted or stained and unfinished areas, you’ll want to be extra aware of your sanding “residue”. And you’ll want to sand (as always), with the grain.
But when I say sanding residue, I mean the pigment that your sanding removes. That fine particulate can work its way into the fibers of unfinished wood in a second. And it’s almost impossible to get out.
When I have a situation like that, I sand super delicately. Then I either blow the residue off (which is best), or knock it off with a clean shop towel. Do not wipe that junk. It will push the residue down into the wood and you’ll be pulling your hair out.
That’s just a tip, in case you have mixed surfaces you’re working with.
Alright. Dude…that was awesome! Our first Q&A, in the books! I loved it. Had a ball. Learned a lot. And I hope you did too. Man, I can’t wait to do this again. We might just plan to do a Q&A like, once a month. I don’t know. We’ll see how many questions we get.
You guys, send your stuff in and let us know what you need to know. We’ll just make this a regular segment.
One last thing…if you enjoyed this episode, please take a second and leave us a great review. It makes such a difference for us…especially in you’re on Apple Podcasts.
But, wherever you’re listening, we would love it if you subscribed to our podcast and became a regular listener.
Also, if you’re watching us on YouTube, then obviously we try to post a video of each Podcast Episode on our Apple Valley Farm (our woodworking business) YouTube Channel. Definitely like, comment and subscribe to us there as well.
And finally, if you’d like to learn even more about us, you can check out the show notes and head over to www.applevalleyfarmga.com for things like our store, our woodworking projects and lots, lots more.
That’s it. Have a great day. Thanks again. And I’ll see you next time…on Everyday Woodworking.
Apple Valley Farm – http://applevalleyfarmga.com/
Apple Valley Farm Carpenter Bee Traps - http://applevalleyfarmga.com/product/556860
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