Just Finishing

go over the ends of the board to avoid rubbing through the sharp edges. (Sec bottom photo, page 76.) Your rub-bing pattern should cover the entire top evenly. I like to repeat this pattern at least six times to make sure that ever)' square inch is uniformly abraded. Don't be afraid to put some pressure on the pad; nibbing out should be a good aerobic workout.

On frame-and-panel pieces, start with the raised panel, then move out to the frame. To avoid cross-grain scratchcs where the frame members meet, lay a piece of masking tape along tile joint line when you rub the rails, then reverse it when you rub the stiles.

When you think you've rubbed enough, squeegee an area with your thumb and then feel the surface. If it is as smooth as you want it, wipe off the lubricant or slurry with a soft rag.

If you used wax as your lubricant, you may find that wiping does not remove all the excess wax. Simply sprinkle the surface with cold water and rub the surface again with a clean piece of steel wool. Press gently this time, and wipe oncc up the surface and oncc back. When you're done, the pad should be covered with the excess wax.

An Unusual Alternative

The rubbing method I've described calls for rubbing with the grain, so that the small scratches you create blend in. But I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about the method my best friend uses to rub out brushed varnish. After sanding the last coat of dried varnish, he applies a thin coat of paste wax but does not wipe it off. He then goes over the entire surface with a piece of ultrafine Scotch-Brite attached to the pad of a finishing sander. Rather than worn' about the direction of the scratchcs, he lets the high speed of the palm sander (10,000 to 15,000 rpm) hide them.

The ultrafine Scotch-Brite produces a matte finish. For semi-gloss, he substitutes *8440 "Doodlebug" white cleaning pads (available from janitorial supply houses). When he is finished, he simply buffs off the excess wax with a clean, dry cloth. He says it's less work than rubbing by hand, and to tell the truth, he gets darn good results. A

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