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Troubles with finishing wood

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Troubles with finishing wood

Old 09-04-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Troubles with finishing wood

Ok, I know I must have done something wrong here, and hopefully one of you guys will spot what it was. I decided to build my own flight box after checking out all the nice boxes that people down at the field had. 3 days ago I stained it. The stain said it's supposed to take 8 hours to dry, so I figured 24 hours later it was safe. The handle on the box still seemed slightly tacky though and just refused to dry. I figured it was just because it was an oil based stain that didn't soak in very well on that part. All the wood edges were slightly tacky as well. But I went ahead and put on a coat of minwax clear fast-drying polyurethane to fuel-proof it. The fast drying formula is supposed to be ready to sand in 3 - 4 hours. It's been 2 days, and that handle and the wood edges still feel slightly tacky.

One thing I noticed is that in the process of rounding off the plywood edges, I ended up sanding the wood extremely smooth. Like almost plastic feeling. And the handle seems to be made of much harder wood which I also made as smooth as possible. On the other hand, I can still sort of feel the wood grain on the sides of the box and they're totally dry. Will especially smooth surfaces always feel slightly tacky after applying polyurethane and before sanding? Or do I need to start stripping the wood and try again? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

In case anyone's curious, it's one of these: www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXJ793&P=0
Old 09-04-2008, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Troubles with finishing wood

I guess it depends on the humidity. I do a lot of woodworking and when the humidity is high it does take a lot longer. You might try using your wife's hairdryer (no sense in burning out your heat gun) and that may help the drying process.
Old 09-04-2008, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Troubles with finishing wood

Most stains are not put on just like paint. You apply them and let them soak in for a bit, maybe even rub them in. Then you wipe off the excess. If applied too thick it may take a long time to dry. Be sure to check your application instructions carefully. Poly over a wet oil finish? Good luck.
Old 09-04-2008, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: Troubles with finishing wood

ORIGINAL: bruce88123

Then you wipe off the excess.
That's the key. And that also allows the hardwood and softwood (handle vs. ply faces) to soak up as much as they can ane yield a consistant tone.

Wipe it with mineral spirits and clean cloth rags, let it set a day and then start over.

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