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Here’s the second WIP for this project and the end of my involvement.  I’ll post a link to the customer’s progress later.

As with most wood pieces that you are finishing, the first step of each round is to sand the piece.  After coating the smooth side with Tung Oil Finish the last time and having let it dry, it’s time to sand again.

Tip:
Always sand everything you intend to sand before you apply Tung Oil or other finishes. You will invariably get sawdust and other particles everywhere and those don’t make great finishes.

Sanding a finish is an important step between each coat.  It removes any imperfections in the previous coat and the surface will better adhere to the previous coat.  Just remember not to go bonkers.  Just clean the surface with a fine grit and you’ll be rewarded with the next coat.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41sBelTa8PL.jpg

Tool Tip:  Double-Sided Sanding Pad
These little guys are perfect for sanding wood.  Even on large surfaces. They are sandwiched around foam, are flexible and allow a lot of control.  Shown is a three pack from Amazon but you can get singles from AC Moore or Michael’s.

In this instance, I sanded and then applied a coat to the bark side.  I wanted to get the heavy coat applied to the rough side before I added more to the smooth side.  To coat the bark side I used a brush instead of a rag.  You really need to get into the nooks and crannies of something like this.  However, keep a clean rag handy for any runoff that might occur.

After covering the bark completely, I went back to the smooth side to clean up.  I just smoothed out the excess and added more to get a light coat to the entire surface.

After a few hours to let the bark side get started drying, I went back in with the brush this time and added a heavy coat to the smooth side.

*** AIR DRY TIME PASSES ***

Repeat process.  Lightly sand smooth side, clean surface with a clean, lint-free rag, apply finish to bark-side, clean smooth side and then wait a few hours.

This time I applied another coat with the rag.  Less heavy, no brush strokes, and any imperfections will polish out.

*** AIR DRY TIME PASSES ***

The finale … polishing the smooth side.  Once again I used a clean, lint-free rag.  This is really a sanding phase, just with very little dust.  I like to use the rag but you can easily use a polishing pad.  Just don’t whip out the car buffer or other power tool.  You’ll very easily mark the piece with an edge or the wheel’s tightening point.

I just applied pressure with the rag and went over the entire smooth side with it.  This will brighten up the finish and remove, or minimize, any small imperfections in the finish surface.

The finished smooth surface.

Now, you can do the same thing to the bark side … it’s arduous but sometimes worth it.  In this case, I was afraid of losing more bits and pieces from polishing so I left it be.  Well, maybe a little around the edges.

Kind of reminds me of a leftover burnt log from a bonfire.

Naturally, I wanted to show the versatility of a large piece and the use of miniatures on it.  So here’s the results of my new wooden playset for Miniatures.

My old dragon and the new ogre team up against the death cleric, the paladin and the fighter.
Watch out!  There’s a giant spider behind you!

Naturally the gang worked out some scenarios on both sides of the playset and took turns playing the big bad.

There you have it, the end of my side of this WIP.  Please review the start of this piece. If you are interested.  I now turn over the project to Ub3r N3rd.

And away it goes …

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