Present-day techniques include spraying, hot lacquer spraying, airless spraying, dual-feed spraying for polyester, electrostatic deposition, roller coating and reverse roller coating for sanders and sealers, curtain spraying for gloss finishes and roller printing of wood patterns on chipboard and hardboard. Methods are geared to flow-line production to yield printproof surfaces in the shortest possible time, and call for sophisticated techniques and equipment which become obsolescent almost before they are installed. The small tradeshop cannot hope to keep pace with this mounting tide of new ideas, new approaches and new materials, and it
548 Spraying-booths. (By courtesy of Aerograph deVilbissColtd)
will continue to use traditional methods, hand-polishing and simple spraying, and taking advantage where it may of worthwhile developments. In the meantime, the perfect finish has yet to be evolved.
In conclusion it should be stressed that no matter what method and what material is used the final polish will only be as good as the ground it is laid upon, for no amount of after finishing can ever disguise poor workmanship and shoddy materials. The thick, heavy gloss of cheap furniture is there for a purpose—it masks the imperfections which a clear finish would only magnify. An illustration of this is the superlative finish achieved by the professional gun-stock maker. The completed walnut stock is sponged with clean water to which a little oxalic acid has been added, dried rapidly with a blow-torch or over a gas-ring and sanded immediately. This process is repeated several times with an occasional rubbing over with very fine pumice powder to burnish the wood and seal the grain, and the wood surfaces can be further burnished by 'boning', i.e. rubbing with a block of the same wood. The resultant surface is dead smooth and velvet to the touch, moreover any subsequent exposure to damp conditions will not raise the grain.
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