OT: Help! Dust in my varnish!

Problem, part A: I'm making a birthday present for SWMBO, which includes a nice wooden part which I'm varnishing. For whatever reason -- and
contrary to my experience using this stuff on earlier projects -- the varnish is attracting small dust particles and messing up the smooth shininess that I'm aiming for.
(This could be a memory problem -- the earlier projects all just needed to be waterproof; any good looks were incidental and came as a surprise to me).
Problem, part B: Her birthday is three days away. So any solution has to be quick.
I'm using Minwax "Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Gloss".
Suggestions either for dust suppression or experience that indicates how smart or stupid it may be to color sand the thing and try to buff it out are welcome.
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At the auto body shops, they work in small room with air filters. Draw air in, through furnace filters, and pump the fumes out some how. As the paint dries. Perhaps you can do something similar?
Even if your "paint room" is small, it can still be dust free.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Problem, part A: I'm making a birthday present for SWMBO, which includes a nice wooden part which I'm varnishing. For whatever reason -- and contrary to my experience using this stuff on earlier projects -- the varnish is attracting small dust particles and messing up the smooth shininess that I'm aiming for.
(This could be a memory problem -- the earlier projects all just needed to be waterproof; any good looks were incidental and came as a surprise to me).
Problem, part B: Her birthday is three days away. So any solution has to be quick.
I'm using Minwax "Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Gloss".
Suggestions either for dust suppression or experience that indicates how smart or stupid it may be to color sand the thing and try to buff it out are welcome.
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On 12/2/2012 4:59 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:

I have gotten fairly good results with the stuff. Sand with 220 between coats, then 400 wet or dry, then put some rottenstone on a damp rag and polish it out. You will get a piano finish.
Kevin Gallimore
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On Sun, 02 Dec 2012 18:27:44 -0500, axolotl wrote:

Knowing that it'll polish out is a good thing -- I'm going to try keeping the dust out, either with a paint booth made out of a cardboard box, or by damping down the back porch of my shop (it's enclosed on three sides and the fourth side will be facing a rainy day for the next week). But if that doesn't work, color sanding and polishing it will have to do.
What's "Rottonstone", and where might one get it?
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Tim Wescott wrote:

"Oil and Rottenstone " was a technique for a high gloss finish in olden times . Try a dab of car wax that also has polishing compound , or if you can get it some 3M Finesse-it polishing compound followed by a couple of coats of carnauba wax . Works best if sanded with at least 1000 grit first ... I finished a bike <'76 FLH for those who care about such things> <full dress w/hand shift !!> with 1k/1.5k/2k then Finesse-it , finish looked like you could fall in and drown ...
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On 12/2/2012 6:48 PM, Snag wrote:

BIG plus on for the Finesse-It.
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On Sun, 02 Dec 2012 18:48:41 -0600, Snag wrote:

I'll look around. Is Finesse-it a pro paint shop thing, or a auto parts store thing, or what?
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Tim Wescott wrote:

I think it's available anywhere automotive paint is sold , and some auto parts places . I think I got mine at O'Reilly Auto Parts. It's a very common polishing compound for finishing clearcoat paints . If you can't find it , try some Meguiers <spelling ?> wax/polishing stuff , you can usually get it at the auto parts store .
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On 12/2/2012 3:33 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:

Hi, Tim. See Wikipedia for a description of rotten stone and it's use in woodworking finish.
I haven't heard of or seen rotten stone since wood shop classed at Newberg High School back in 1954-55, etc.
We used it as final polishing for furniture finish. We used a blackboard eraser with some oil squirted on it and then pumice powder. After working the varnish with that, we changed erasers and used rotten stone to give the final finish.
I still have and use the mahogany coffee table I made back then and I am sure it still has the original finish.
the varnish was applied in a room that was closed off from the rest of the shop, so dust was minimized, but not eliminated.
Good luck!
Paul
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On 12/2/2012 6:33 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:

It is an abrasive powder. Constantine's or Highland Hardware has it, if your local paint shop does not. You can buy it (like everything else) on Amazon. FF pumice may be fine enough for your purposes, and will cut faster. Make the finish flat with the more coarse abrasives, then move to the finer. I use a block of styrofoam to back up the damp rag with pumice or rottenstone.
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
Kevin Gallimore
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On 12/2/2012 3:59 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:

Pick an appropriately sized cardboard box as a "paint shop"
Before varnishing your part, spray the inside of the box. That glues down any dust in the box.
Then spray the part and put it in the box - on a standoff, of course)
Close the box.
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On 12/2/2012 3:59 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:

Tim, I would use fine steel wool to apply paste wax to the project. Don't hesitate to rub enough with the steel wool (fully charged with paste wax) to remove any nits or snags. Once the wax is hard, buff to a good shine. I think she will be pleased.
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On Sun, 02 Dec 2012 15:59:51 -0600, Tim Wescott wrote:

Thanks guys. Fine sandpaper and Turtle Wax rubbing and polishing compounds (because O'Reiley didn't have the 3M stuff) worked a charm. I guess this varnish stuff is hard enough to rub out after all...
Christmas ain't saved yet, but I may yet live that long.
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I quit using polyurethane for most small stuff long ago. I used to do gunstocks with it and had the same trouble with dust. Ended up making a box with a hanger for the stock in it for days of drying before trying to rub it out. The other problem is that the various coats will only stick to each other with a LOT of sanding, the coats don't meld with each other like with other finishes. It's a mechanical lock there, and if it's not done right or enough, the layers WILL peel apart. Have had it happen. So for gunstocks I went to a Danish oil finish and for other stuff there's Deft Wood Finish, which is like a heavy lacquer. Can be had in spray cans for small and quick jobs or in regular paint cans as a brush-on. Dries very fast.
Stan
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On Wed, 05 Dec 2012 14:21:21 -0800, Stanley Schaefer wrote:

I noticed that effect. Nothing has peeled (yet :-O ), but if you look close you can see a "contour map" of the various layers of varnish.
Next time I'll probably use lacquer, if I have the patience and the tolerance for the smell.
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