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..the basics
..picking the wood
..tracing your pattern
..basic cutting skills
..fitting your pieces
..sanding & profiling
..final assembly
..making the back panel

..wood veneer basics
..which glue to use
..veneering up your work

..The Basics
..Do's and Don'ts
..Wood Burner
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..Clean Woodburning Pen
..Wood Burning Blanks
..Tansfering your Pattern

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Final Assembly

I have tried sanding and assembling all my pieces first, and then using a spray bomb to finish the entire project but……. Invariable when you glue your pieces together you always end up with some squeeze out on the good face of your pieces. If the wood is not finished, the glue seeps into the wood and leaves a mark that shows through the final coat of lacquer.

By applying a finish to each individual piece first, the glue cannot penetrate the wood and distort the colour of the finished product.

The other advantage of finishing first, is that the first coat of varnish always raises the grain, and requires sanding. As individual pieces, it is relatively easy to fine sand all pieces and all edges to the quality you desire, without scratching adjoining sections.

After the second coat, at which time the sanding is done, you can assemble the entire project, gluing each piece in place, and then spray on a final finishing coat of varnish or lacquer.

When you glue up the project, use standard wood glue and do it on a piece of wax paper, so it doesn't glue itself to your work bench. Have a damp cloth handy, to gently wipe off any squeeze out.

If your fit is not good and the glue runs out of the seam before it has a change to bind the pieces of wood together, try using a very small amount of clear silicon. Apply it carefully to the bottom of the joint. Use only a small amount. It is a great gap filler, and great where your cutting accuracy is not as good as you would like it to be, but does require time to dry, so you'll have to leave these pieces overnight. Do not remove the squeeze out until the next day. It will peal off easily when dry.

Be cautious in handling your work as it is very fragile until the backing board has been applied.

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I use a gel finishes for the first two coats, and a compatible spray finish for the last coat. This tends to keep the cost down and seems to be more environmentally friendly, since you generate less empty aerosol cans. As well, spray finishes are not great for small individual pieces, since the aerosol has too much power and tends to blow the pieces around. Its great once all the pieces are glued together. The gel finishes are great on small pieces because they are easy to apply with a rag or foam brush and rarely leave run lines.

When all the pieces are large and easy to handle, I'll use the gel coat for all three layers and glue the project together as the last step.


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