Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cerca ...

... pero no puros. (Close, but no cigar.)

We finally got an offer on the house that was almost in the ballpark. We countered at the very bottom of what we were comfortable settling on the first time out. The buyer (if that's what you want to call him / her) came back with an offer 10 grand less than his / her first offer. I'll have to admit that is a style of bargaining unfamiliar to me. My agent knows me pretty well and politely (I assume) suggested this person shouldn't expect to hear from me again. All of this started on a Friday afternoon and went on over the weekend, which seemed a little odd as well. But, if there is one thing we can all agree on after these last couple of days, its that there are a lot of "off" people floating around out there. Surely some near-normal person will show up one of these days needing a house.

The table project is getting close as well, but no cigar there either. Clear coating the table is the hang up. I'll have to admit I've never been fond of clear coating, probably because I am not very good at it. I put coat #5 on this evening and I can already see that most of it will have to come back off to get to the bottom of the brush marks. All of those who can make their woodwork shine have my utmost admiration. (Yes, yes ... I'm using a new brush. Temp, humidity and dust are all under control, the surface is clean and wet sanded between coats with 400 grit, I have tack rags and mineral spirits, use slow even strokes all in one direction, don't squish the brush against the side of the can, and work from wet to dry laying down a nice even coat. I even sip down a beer or two, you know, to steady my brush hand. Alas, the gleaming table of glass-like finish continues to elude me. But that's the nice thing about doing things like this for one's self. I can keep trying until I'm happy or just get tired of screwing with it. Either way works for me.)

No cigar yet, but we are getting closer.

Ed. note: Ignoring my messy garage, I personally think that his table finish looks pretty damn gleaming.


Latitude 43 said...

Looks pretty damn nice to me. Maybe you should switch to Scotch.

Mike Boyd said...

Not sure I would be so polite with what I suggest they do with the second offer. Hopefully you will find someone reasonable soon.

And the table looks very nice to me. I may have some wood refinishing in my future and can only hope I will do as well.

TJ said...

Thanks, it looks okay from a bit further away, but when you are sitting at it my lack of clear coating skills is rather obvious. I'm feeling good about today though, progress shall be made!

Robert Salnick said...

The only way I have found to *completely* eliminate brush strokes is to spray. But then you are into a whole new regime, worrying about orange peel.

What kind of varnish are you using?

s/v Eolian

TJ said...

Robert, I'm using Minwax Helmsman spar urethane. I think part of my problem is the stuff is just too thick - it doesn't seem to flow at all. Yet the can brims with warnings not to thin with anything.

I used to be a part time airplane painter and dearly wish I had access to a spray booth and equipment. Still, another day or two and I think the table will be about as good as I can get it. Which will be a good thing, I need to get the project done so I can move on to leaks and winches and hates and ... and ... and. Who knows, someday soon we might actually sail this thing, if I can remember how to get it off the dock.

Unknown said...


I have been following you from the start and the table looks good.

Maybe placing the paint tin in hot water might help but think of the first time someone puts a cup of hot coffee on it and you will want
to pull your hair out.
Bruce Ellen from sunny Queensland Australia
PS See you when you get here

Robert Salnick said...

TJ -

I'd advise upgrading your varnish. Try something from Petit or Interlux. Good varnish does an amazing amount of self-leveling, even outside, in the sun and wind.

s/v Eolian

Robert Salnick said...

Oh, and don't take those directions on the can so literally... If the varnish is dragging, add a little thinner (or Penetrol...). Once you get the right consistency, you'll know it, and recognize it in the future.


TJ said...

Robert, I had a new can of the stuff and, like most these days, need to pinch a penny until is squeals. But I don't think I'll be using it again. I managed to get a pretty good finish by setting the clear coat can in front of a heater until it started to stink but you are right, I should have just thinned the stuff and gone on about my business.

Matt said...

This is obviously 3 years late, but just in case you are still having issues with clear coat, I have the cheapest solution for you.
Just use a sponge brush. My dad and grandfather have done wordworking as a hobby for over 100 years combined, and swear by it. Works every time.