I offered some special handling tips, and mentioned the value of using a clean
Drilling pine can also be a little tricky. When we used a new brad point drill
bit on the Country Hutch
project, instead of starting the hole cleanly, it took chunks of wood. We found
it helped to briefly run the drill in reverse first. That way the points on the
bit scribe the outside diameter of the hole slicing the wood fibers.
Just as the fibers in pine get torn cutting and drilling, you can also tear
them out when removing dried glue -- especially if you try to scrape it off. So
I try not to use too much glue in the joints. And any excess glue is cleaned up
just before it dries completely. Removing the excess then prevents tearing the
Sanding pine has its own special challenges. Normally I'd use a finish sander
to complete a project. But on pine it leaves nearly invisible swirl marks --
they don't become visible until you apply a stain. So I finish sand a pine
project by hand.
It's also a good idea to use a sanding block when sanding pine. That's because
pine doesn't sand evenly. It's made up of both soft and hard fibers (early and
late wood). When you sand without a block, you remove more of the early wood
because it's softer. So you end up with a wavy surface instead of a flat one.
When finishing pine, there are a couple things to keep in mind that will give
you a better looking project. First, pine doesn't absorb stain evenly so you
get dark blotches on the wood. Try using a wood conditioner or stain
controller. You can purchase these ready-made where stain and finishing
products are sold.
The type of stain controller we used before staining the Country Hutch was a
thinned-down oil finish that penetrates all the pores of the wood. So when the
stain is applied, it penetrates the pores less deeply, but more evenly. And
more even penetration means less blotching.
Stain controller is applied like an ordinary coat of oil finish. Wipe it on
liberally, let it soak in, then wipe off the excess. The key to avoiding
blotches is to begin applying the stain right away, before the stain controller
has dried completely.
Second, pick lighter colored satins if possible. They don't highlight the
missed dents, broken fibers, and sanding swirl marks as much as dark colors.
Go to Tip #52