Chris Schwarz's Blog

Video: Spray-finishing the Monticello Bookcases

Last week Senior Editor Glen D. Huey and I applied a shellac and lacquer spray finish to the cover project for the June 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. These stacking bookcases are modeled after some reproductions at Monticello.

These “book boxes” have an interesting history. You can read more at the Monticello site here and see the 1959 reproductions here. Our versions of these book boxes are part of some special coverage we have planned for the June 2011 issue.

I can’t say too much more at this point without handing over our entire editorial calendar to our competitors. But this video will show you how Glen handles a spray gun and how fast spray finishing is (we applied three coats and completed the entire job in about two hours).

Just a couple notes for our resident safety police: What you can’t see in this video is that we are shooting in a giant open garage – one wall is open to the outside – and it was a beautiful, breezy day to carry away the HVLP overspray. Yes, we wish we had a spray booth.

— Christopher Schwarz

Finishing resources I recommend
• Glen uses Apollo HVLP equipment, which is excellent. At my house, I use the Earlex 5000, which I am very pleased with.

• Have you seen Glen’s video titled “Finishes that Pop?” Glen is an excellent finisher and has refined his techniques over many years. The DVD is available in our store.

• And you can’t discuss finishing without mentioning Bob Flexner. He’s been writing finishing columns for us in every issue for more than a decade. We’ve compiled many of his best writings into a great book: “Flexner on Finishing,” also available in our store.

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