Next we moved on to finishes. The key thing for David is thorough surface preparation. No work on the finish can overcome problems in the surface itself.
He recommends sanding through multiple grits up to 320 to take out all scratches. He then raises the grain by spraying or wiping on water, then sanding until the grain doesn’t raise anymore. He likes to put on tung oil and buff most of it off - many thin layers are better than fewer thick layers as they dry faster and end up stronger. He uses four ought (0000) steel wool to lightly buff between coats. For large sections, finish surfaces in sections and then buff the whole thing.
He likes McFadden guitar lacquer and sanding sealer.
He rubs out the lacquer and sands with 320 between coats. He polishes the final coat with MicroMesh abrasive, wet sanding with naptha up to 12000 grit paper, available at automotive paint supply houses. If you don’t sand well, surface tension will cause little craters to form in the finish.
Glues were the next topic.
For bent laminations, he likes urea resin glue, but it takes overnight to cure. It is hard and brittle but makes for very tight, rigid glue lines. He uses 2 parts resin and one part powder, mixing in a dixie cup. It won’t cure under 65 degrees so a cold day will extend the work time.
Lastly he showed us a piece he did using a technique called string inlay. This is where you rout a very thin long channel and insert a contrasting wood strip. He likes to use strips of tagua nut, which is
used as an ivory replacement. To avoid obvious joints where you have to put in multiple segments, use scarf joints.
Through the day David gave us some information on what it’s like to do a TV show.
- The producers that make his show also make shows like Curb Appeal and the “big budget” Tactical to Practical.
- In the early episodes they made David use heavy makeup since shooting could go past midnight and his 5 o’clock shadow would show
- It takes about 30 hours of work to make the final 20 minutes of footage the show. The producer tracks every second of time and during one shot David was very carefully spreading glue - the producer thought
he was taking too long and yelled “What are you, the fuckin’ Michaelangelo of glue?”
- As he told us during his earlier visit to our Woodcraft, WoodWorks season 7 is filmed and ready to be broadcast, but he didn’t know when it would be shown.
If people want more episodes they should write to DIY to generate enough demand.
David brought along several of his pieces, including this vase. He then signed autographs for everyone.
The class went from 9 AM and past the stop time of 5:00 to about 6:30 when they had to drag him away to be ready to teach his class in Houston the next morning. David is a skilled designer, woodworker and teacher and everyone in the class appreciated the opportunity to learn from him.