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Varnishing all six sides at once?

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NikkiC

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I just built a canopy for an aquarium. It consists of three main parts. The top lid is cut into two parts so that it articulates with flush hinges. Those two parts are hinged with cabinet hinges 90 degrees to the main rectangular base that then rests on the aquarium with a rebate cut on the inside.

I now need to get many layers of varnish down to protect it from humidity. I'm about to hang each part of the canopy separately from the hinges so that I don't spoil the varnish by allowing it to touch any surfaces. How would you varnish an item entirely, in one step, without somehow having to hang it from a ceiling? A cabinet would be easy. I'd just rest the bottom, unseen part, on a platform. But with my canopy, there are no hidden parts.
 

Chris Knight

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It is not really clear to me why you can't varnish the parts separately. However, to varnish things that you don't wish to rest on a surface, the usual trick is to use a nail bed (a board with a few thin nails driven through it) and allow the wet varnished side to rest on the points.

It does mean cleaning up and "repairing" some minor imperfections but it works pretty well.
 

NikkiC

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It is not really clear to me why you can't varnish the parts separately.
Yes, separately, that's what I'm doing. I'd just use an extra set of hinges and then all parts can be hung, separately.

However, to varnish things that you don't wish to rest on a surface, the usual trick is to use a nail bed (a board with a few thin nails driven through it) and allow the wet varnished side to rest on the points.
Thanks for the technique. I'll look into building a platform with a few sharp nails sticking out to rest the parts on. That's given me a few ideas.
 
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