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  1. #1
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    Finishing / Sheen

    Mike brought up some very interesting points in another thread.


    The following applies to todays modern finishes.. Maybe it's something we all need to relearn.


    The Sheen:
    In woodworking finishes, today, we have gloss, semi-gloss and satin finishes. What is the difference between these three (polyurethane) finishes? At the risk of being blasphemous, it is the quantity of the impurities.


    Gloss polyurethane contains none.
    Semi-gloss contains some impurities. (Glass beads I'm told)
    Satin contains about twice the impurities as semi-gloss.


    If you don't stir the satin or semi-gloss variation, you'll get a much glossier finish that you are intending.


    The finish, regardless of sheen, is the same for all three types. The three finishes give the same "feel". The impurities tend to break up the light passing through the finish giving the "illusion" of something other than gloss. Thus the VISUAL effect is the sheen while the actual physical finish is gloss.


    If you typically do a three coat finish, the first couple of coats should be gloss. The final coat should be the sheen desired. Why? You don't want three or more coats of finish that are obscuring the wood.
    Last edited by rrich; 07-13-2014 at 1:16 am.
    Rich
    Huntington Beach, California

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  2. #2
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    06-19-2010
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    Re: Finishing / Sheen

    An interesting article by Bob Flexnor on sheen and flatting agents.

    http://news.thefinishingstore.com/?p=527
    Cody

    "The reverence that the object maker has for the materials, for the shape, and for the miracle of his skill transcends to God, the Master Craftsman, the Creator of all things, who uses us, our hands, as His tools to make these beautiful things." Sam Maloof (1916-2009).
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  3. #3
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    Re: Finishing / Sheen

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Mike, (Cabinetman) touched on another point.
    How - forums have set the stage into belief systems that are not necessarily true.
    If 10 different people believe it of a forum - it is fact.
    Different forum - different facts.

    Finishes are whatever makes the owner happy.
    Art and Creativity - Collide with the Functionality of CNC - priceless
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  4. #4
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    Re: Finishing / Sheen

    What is the reasoning behind not adding a flattening agent to shellac?
    ____________

    Dave, in Indiana
    I'm a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Finishing / Sheen

    Quote Originally Posted by deepsplinter View Post
    What is the reasoning behind not adding a flattening agent to shellac?
    Maybe nobody thought of it?

    Maybe it's not as plasticy looking as Poly.

    Good point though - It is worth a try.
    Art and Creativity - Collide with the Functionality of CNC - priceless
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  6. #6
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    Re: Finishing / Sheen

    Dave,


    A very interesting thought. That might be a question for Mr. Flexner.
    Rich
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  7. #7

    Re: Finishing / Sheen

    Interesting contradiction, satin is closer to the wood than gloss. Go figure!
    Charter Member of The Cody Colston WoodWorkers Benevolence Society
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