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Sanding sealer

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Alder

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Does sanding sealer have a shelf life? I have a small quantity which around 8 years old.
Russell
 

Phil Pascoe

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Cellulose? I don't know how old mine was when I bought it (a bankruptcy auction) but I've been using it for the last thirty two years without any problem. :)
 

Doug B

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Acrylic sanding sealer definitely goes off but you know as it turns into a squidgy lump damhikt.
As Phil says cellulose lasts a long time though the longest I’ve ever had a tin is a few years as it tends to get used up.
I have some shellac sanding sealer that must be 10 years old as you can imagine I don’t use it very often but it still seems ok.
 

Alder

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Thank you for the replies. I have restarted using it of late and it seems all right.
Russell
 

Phil Pascoe

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I did have several gallons - I paid £3 a gallon iirc - but I don't like using it, it can make some finishes patchy. Despite many people using it regularly as a finish I tend to agree with a poster here some years back (who was involved in the finishes industry iirc) who said he couldn't really understand why anyone would choose to use something designed specifically to be abraded and easily removed as a finish.
 

Terry Smart

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who was involved in the finishes industry iirc)
Time was, I'd have said that nobody even loosely connected to the finishes industry would have said something so ridiculous...but nowadays there are too many people selling and promoting finishes who have had no formal training nor do they fully understand how coatings work and why.

Sanding sealer is NOT designed to be removed, there would be absolutely no point in applying it. Instead, it meant to form a thin coat on the surface which seals and smooths the surface and also binds the loose fibres of the timber below, giving a firmer, sounder base for the next coating.
It is good practice to sand a surface before applying a coating, and this includes intercoat sanding.
Part of a sealers makeup is a 'sanding agent' which acts as a lubricant to make sanding the sealer easier. It doesn't mean it will scratch easily, the sanding process should only remove the sanding agent (which stands slightly proud of the sealer). Once this is achieved the remaining coating is as tough as a cellulose lacquer.
At the risk of falling foul of rules, you'd do worse than watch our YouTube video about sealers...

And thank you Doug for the vote of confidence.
 

Phil Pascoe

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... giving a firmer, sounder base for the next coating ...

I'm speaking of its being used as a finish under wax, not having another product put on top of it. It looks great ........ and last about five miutes.
 

Doug B

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... giving a firmer, sounder base for the next coating ...

I'm speaking of its being used as a finish under wax, not having another product put on top of it. It looks great ........ and last about five miutes.
But then it’s not a finish Phil the wax is & wax has been used for centuries as a finish though not a particularly hard wearing one.
 

Terry Smart

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What Doug said.

Sanding Sealer is exactly that, a sealer, or a primer if you want to be crude (it does much more than a sealer). The coating that goes on after it is the finish, sealer is not and has never been meant to be a finish in its own right.
 

Terry Smart

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In relation to what?
'Wax' is a very general term, I don't want this to become an advert for the various waxes we supply...
 

Droogs

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@Terry Smart , would you say then that people should look at and use sanding sealer in the same way you would an etch or high build primer?
 

Terry Smart

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@Droogs , not really; an etch primer is usually used on metal work (dragging myself back to my days in the paintmaking world) to help a coating adhere; in base terms it burns itself into the metal to stick, and the paint etc is then, in turn, able to stick to the primer.
A high build primer will give a very smooth surface for painting, again often on metal, but in some cases that defeats the object of using a natural product like timber.
A sealer does help the next coat stick better, but that's not its primary purpose on timber.
 

Droogs

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Thanks. The idea of helping the final finish stick to the surface was the angle I was coming from.
Do you feel that if the piece is made from solid wood rather than man-made boards and is to have a painted finish it helps or is worth using S/S before a primer?
 

Terry Smart

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Any common wax polish.
That's not really helpful as there are many different waxes commonly available, often designed to do different things.

So, here's the very long answer...

Properly applied, and undiluted, a sealer does everything it's meant to do (as above) and prepares the timber ready for the next coating, whether a lacquer, polish or in this case a wax.
Our waxes are designed to be mostly used on new work as well as for maintenance. They are quicker drying and easier to use than some purely maintenance waxes (think furniture waxes).
Working on the lathe a stick wax can be used, which will give quick and easy results. Our Woodturners' Stick Wax is a blend of beeswax and carnauba wax, making it slightly softer and easier to use, but at the expense of handleability. The finish will dull with repeated handling.
Carnauba Wax Stick will give a harder wearing finish, capable of resisiting a lot of handling.
We also have a Microcrystalline Wax Stick which is a solid version of the product I'll describe below.

Our original wax is the WoodWax 22, a blend of beeswax and carnuaba wax in a solvent base. It's quite soft in the tin, easy to apply and very quick drying. If buffs quickly and easily, and used over a sealer keeps its shine for a considerable time. Like most natural waxes it isn't very good at dealing with constant handling, so it will show fingermarks with repeated handling. These will normally buff out very easily, one of the great advantages of waxes is that they are easy to maintain, usually a quick rub over with a soft cloth will bring them back to looking good.
(The combination of WoodWax 22 and Cellulose Sanding Sealer is what I recommend to every new turner due to it's easy and adaptability).
Our other paste wax is the Microcrystalline Wax (also available as a stick, as mentioned above). This uses different waxes, which have better water resistance and a higher melting point (importantly, higher than normal body temperature). This wax is slower drying and needs about 20 minutes to dry before buffing. Importantly this wax must be applied over a sealer (if not the wax just soaks into the timber before it dries). The finished film will be highly water resistant and will not fingermark in the same way as the WoodWax 22, due to its higher melting point. It is important that this wax is applied very sparingly.

Once again, we have a very informative video about using waxes, which can be found here.
 

Terry Smart

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Thanks. The idea of helping the final finish stick to the surface was the angle I was coming from.
Do you feel that if the piece is made from solid wood rather than man-made boards and is to have a painted finish it helps or is worth using S/S before a primer?
It can never hurt to put a sealer on first, but if you're planning to use a primer anyway the difference in the end result will be minimal.
 

Mick p

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Time was, I'd have said that nobody even loosely connected to the finishes industry would have said something so ridiculous...but nowadays there are too many people selling and promoting finishes who have had no formal training nor do they fully understand how coatings work and why.

Sanding sealer is NOT designed to be removed, there would be absolutely no point in applying it. Instead, it meant to form a thin coat on the surface which seals and smooths the surface and also binds the loose fibres of the timber below, giving a firmer, sounder base for the next coating.
It is good practice to sand a surface before applying a coating, and this includes intercoat sanding.
Part of a sealers makeup is a 'sanding agent' which acts as a lubricant to make sanding the sealer easier. It doesn't mean it will scratch easily, the sanding process should only remove the sanding agent (which stands slightly proud of the sealer). Once this is achieved the remaining coating is as tough as a cellulose lacquer.
At the risk of falling foul of rules, you'd do worse than watch our YouTube video about sealers...

And thank you Doug for the vote of confidence.
 

sammy.se

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This is a very informative thread, thanks all, esp @Terry Smart

I made a jig recently from some MDF, and I was thinking of applying some Chestnut cellulose sanding sealer (which is about 10 years old btw) to the ends, just to firm it up and prevent the fluffiness from interfering with the accuracy... just as a side note...
 
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