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wood glue-up telegraphing through high gloss polished


Building a cabriole type leg type cabinet. It will be polished to high gloss )Conversion varnish?)
We outsource all of our finishing. I cant get a clear answer from our finisher. They say, make a sample/spray and polish. My concern is what happens over time? It'd be nice if it didnt telegraph through paint.
The legs will be roughly 4 1/2" thick (maybe 18/4 Poplar if that exists) Is Poplar even a good choice? quartered Poplar? Does that even exist? Flat sawn glue up/quarter sawn closed grain wood glue up?
Any input would help.

Click the link below to download the file included with this post.


Click the link below to download the file included with this post.


Click the link below to download the file included with this post.


5/30/18       #2: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...
Jared Emery


Not knowing your climate or location, it's hard to predict what would work for you, but I know that if I use yellow glue on poplar or MDF and take it up to high gloss here in the northwest US, I'd bet money I'd have to do it again in a year. They'd look outstanding when they left my shop, but would expand and contract beyond the paint's ability to keep up. Now I use unthickened West Systems epoxy on MDF stack-lams quite a bit. I'll roll coat the entire exterior with the same unthickened epoxy, then follow up with a batch thickened with their microlight fairing filler on MDF edges. It makes a nearly bulletproof sealed surface that sands very easily, and won't telegraph. I'm not on board with the idea of buffing conversion varnish to high gloss though, that sounds risky. You'd be better off going with tried and true polyurethane. If your finish contractor doesn't know what to use, there's a good chance they'll ruin your cabinet and charge you for it. If I'm going for a high gloss wet-look, I ditch the wood finishing solutions and go the autobody route: 2 coats Europrime primer, 2 polyurethane color coats, then 2 clear poly coats to give the buffing process something to polish up. Then it's the 3M Perfect-it process to take it to the end. It's a messy process that takes a very clean booth and a number of specialized tools and materials, and is not for the faint of heart, but if you get good at it you can charge quite a bit for the trouble.

5/30/18       #3: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...
rich c.

For a high end job, I would use mahogany. 18/4 poplar would have all kinds of issues when it would be machined. Almost guaranteed to be wetter in the center and move after machining.

5/31/18       #4: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...

Conversion varnish is not thick enough to be polished. Its basically a two coat system. It fails if you exceed a specific mil thickness.

Better choice would be 2k urethane.

Poplar is terrible for anything other than painted trim. Its simply not stable enough for cabinetry.

I would use good old clear maple. Its very stable, hard so you can profile it. Takes paint extremely well.

We've done Jared's technique for large decorative brackets or mantles. In this case its a table leg so mdf is a no go.

We've painted many of the off the shelf turned legs from Osborne. We use a couple of thick coats of primer/surfacer with filler in between. They polish up nicely.

5/31/18       #5: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...
David R Sochar  Member

Laminated legs will telegraph. No amount of grain positioning will prevent it.

Find solid wood to use. Around here, we see Poplar, soft Maple and Basswood in thick stock. I would choose Basswood.

5/31/18       #6: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...

What type of your did you use?

5/31/18       #7: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...
Matt Calnen

David, just wondering why you would recommend a very soft wood like Basswood for a high gloss piece of furniture that will most likely see high use? I was always taught that if your going to have a high end finish, you should have a substrate(wood) that isnít soft. One bump and that leg will look like a$$. Just wondering, thanks

6/1/18       #8: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...
Rob Scaffe  Member

Looking at the elevation, the leg is not that thick below the bottom rail. Maybe mitering two pieces just thick enough, (8/4, 10/4) to form a solid piece at or just below the carcass would answer. This would place the glue line at the corners where it would be less noticeable.

6/11/18       #9: wood glue-up telegraphing through h ...

Thanks all, We'll probably just end up laminating 2 think pieces of Soft Maple. Bass wood seems way too soft. If I mitered, it'd still be laminated. Cant find any wood thick enough. Automotive finish is what Im being told from finisher

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