Poly Finish with No Runs, Drips or Bubbles
If the project you’re finishing features spindles, legs, nooks or crannies, switch from a regular to a wipe-on polyurethane. This finish goes on like a hand-rubbed oil finish and won’t pool, bubble or drip to leave mini messes to sand off when it’s dry. A number of wipe-on poly finishes are available, but we like Rockler’s Polyurethane Satin Gel Finish (rockler.com, $10.59 a pint, $19.29 a quart). It wipes on smoothly, dries super fast and, when applied with a cloth, leaves zero lap marks. Our thanks to Sean Gerlach for this smooth tip. See why using a wood conditioner isn’t a bad idea when finishing wood.
Here’s some precise advice from Paul Schuessler: Keep a tweezers handy when you’re applying any type of finish. If a mosquito, housefly, strand of hair, a wood shaving or a speck of sawdust plops onto a wet finish, don’t use your fingers or a rag to remove it! That’ll always leave a mark. Pluck it out with the tweezers. Get rid of mosquitos by taking care of hedges.
Most layout, assembly and finishing jobs in this shop happen on a 4 x 6-ft. rolling worktable. Below-table storage is impressive — drawers loaded with drills, routers and sanders pull out from one long side, and around the other three sides, essential tools are stowed in easy reach on shelves and racks. The table is a hefty beast, designed to take a pounding, yet it glides smoothly around the shop on casters to bring it to more convenient assembly spots or get it out of the way for those really big assembly jobs that are done on the floor. A bit too extravagant of a work table? Try a super simple workbench that will cost less than $100.