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 In Finishing, Shop Blog

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When it comes to finishing, I’m first to admit I can be a bit chicken. I do work hard at finishing, but I generally stick with what I know. And I avoid wetsanding the finish at all costs. I tried several times to get wetsanding right, but I always had problems getting a consistent sheen on the entire project without cutting through the topcoat.

But I really want that nice smooth and tactile feel you get with quality finishing work. My workarounds to get that are pretty involved. And that’s why I decided it was time to buck up and get a wee bit brave this weekend as I finished the prototype project for Issue 5, a Shaker cabinet reproduction.

About five years ago, John Wilson gave me one of his tips that he uses for getting a nice finish on his Shaker boxes: rubbing them with a brown paper bag. I never tried it myself, but I filed away the idea.


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Mass-produced holdfasts we tested, front to back: Jorgensen #1708, Veritas, Woodcraft, Jorgensen #1716.