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Old 11-13-2016, 05:05 PM   #1
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Hey you guys! I am going to be finishing all wood trim (windows, base, casings, doors, cabinets) in a new construction gig... This particular job will be easy as it is clear lacquer on alder.

I wanted to know what your processes are for finishing a new construction job like this.. We typically remove and re-install operable windows for finishing. Is there an easy way to set things up to go quickly when doing that many windows at once?

Does anyone know a good resource for something like this?
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by csbeepee View Post
Hey you guys! I am going to be finishing all wood trim (windows, base, casings, doors, cabinets) in a new construction gig... This particular job will be easy as it is clear lacquer on alder.

I wanted to know what your processes are for finishing a new construction job like this.. We typically remove and re-install operable windows for finishing. Is there an easy way to set things up to go quickly when doing that many windows at once?

Does anyone know a good resource for something like this?
Something that we find helpful when finishing removed sashes is to set up a board on a lazy susan mechanism, you can then spin the window around, makes it a little easier to get to all the sides.
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:27 PM   #3
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Just have your work area ready. Have masking supplies, small impact driver, padded, long saw horse set ups ready. If it's cold outside or windy you'll have to plan on covering window openings.

Have one guy removing and labeling them. Do each step all the way through, like masking, sanding, cleaning.
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:43 PM   #4
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New construction is a different animal. It falls somewhere between commercial and res. repaint. It also depends on the level of quality expected from the GC/owners.

The best I can say is:
1.) Batch your processing. So sand things all in once shot, clear coat in one shot, etc. The more jumping back and forth you do, the less you'll get done and more material wasted.

2.) If your going to clear coat with lacquers, do yourself a favor and get it catalyzed at the store. It'll make the lacquer stronger and more resistant to cleaning chemicals etc. Why bother? Because you don't want call backs in this business. Especially* with new construction, because you'll be touching everything and call backs will be costly. When I pay for more, I view it as insurance. Insurance against something going wrong, insurance from call backs, insurance from egg on our faces, etc. It's a little added security.

3.) I caution against using lacquers on window trim. Nitro lacquer will tend to yellow over time and more so when the sun hits it. I don't care about low-e and UV control of the window....it'll turn crappy in a hurry. If they don't mind...blow and go. But if it's something that hasn't come up in talks with owner/GC, you better inform them or have it in writing that the properties of a lacquer will tend to yellow over time. Can't hurt to have a "I told you so" section in the papers, even if your just stating the properties without directly suggesting not to use it.

When we do window work or exposed wood work, I like to use an exterior finish. They tend to be strong enough to not have issues, but I like the fact that they will last longer with UV exposure. After all, that's what customers are after...make it look good for as long as possible.

4.) Have the right tools to do the job. I hate to say it but most "painters" out there, are severely under tooled. I understand it all costs money, but when you land new construction gigs...the money is there, unless your doing massive track home work. In which case, if your not tooled correctly...you won't make it to begin with, as you won't be able to keep up with production schedules.

HVLP is nice, but it isn't the answer to everything. I wouldn't want to spray trim and doors with an HVLP. Takes too long, product doesn't go on thick enough, and I'll have to do multiple coats. For windows it's a great tool. Will prevent sags and lapping when doing mullions, etc. So you have to know what tool is good for what and when to use it, etc.

Tooling also means setup. We have multiple saw horses for doing trim work. We can easily setup 6 or 8 saw horses, some of which are custom built so we can technically make them 10feet wide, if needed. Spray like crazy and go.

Also part of the setup, especially for doors, is having a system/tools that can help get it done faster. I like to use the Quick Truss setup because I can easily hang up 16 doors in the garage. By afternoon we're undoing them and stacking the doors up, done.

Long story short:
Lots of little things go into it all.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:13 AM   #5
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Lots of good suggestions already.

Lacquer on windows is job security. Somebody will likely be refinishing them soon enough.

Securing the windows while the sash are being finished has often been the most time-consuming part of the job. We finally developed a stack of tempered hardboard pieces that we'd use. We would end up cutting them down to fit on each job, then making some new pieces for the larger openings. If you don't have to secure the openings because of security or weather, it's a huge savings.

You can't have too many sawhorses.

If you have to split finish removeable grids...run away. Seriously, finish the clear side first, then carefully spray the painted side, with a helper ready to clean off any overspray on the clear side.

Anyway, that's what has worked for us.
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
New construction is a different animal. It falls somewhere between commercial and res. repaint. It also depends on the level of quality expected from the GC/owners.

The best I can say is:
1.) Batch your processing. So sand things all in once shot, clear coat in one shot, etc. The more jumping back and forth you do, the less you'll get done and more material wasted.

2.) If your going to clear coat with lacquers, do yourself a favor and get it catalyzed at the store. It'll make the lacquer stronger and more resistant to cleaning chemicals etc. Why bother? Because you don't want call backs in this business. Especially* with new construction, because you'll be touching everything and call backs will be costly. When I pay for more, I view it as insurance. Insurance against something going wrong, insurance from call backs, insurance from egg on our faces, etc. It's a little added security.

3.) I caution against using lacquers on window trim. Nitro lacquer will tend to yellow over time and more so when the sun hits it. I don't care about low-e and UV control of the window....it'll turn crappy in a hurry. If they don't mind...blow and go. But if it's something that hasn't come up in talks with owner/GC, you better inform them or have it in writing that the properties of a lacquer will tend to yellow over time. Can't hurt to have a "I told you so" section in the papers, even if your just stating the properties without directly suggesting not to use it.

When we do window work or exposed wood work, I like to use an exterior finish. They tend to be strong enough to not have issues, but I like the fact that they will last longer with UV exposure. After all, that's what customers are after...make it look good for as long as possible.

4.) Have the right tools to do the job. I hate to say it but most "painters" out there, are severely under tooled. I understand it all costs money, but when you land new construction gigs...the money is there, unless your doing massive track home work. In which case, if your not tooled correctly...you won't make it to begin with, as you won't be able to keep up with production schedules.

HVLP is nice, but it isn't the answer to everything. I wouldn't want to spray trim and doors with an HVLP. Takes too long, product doesn't go on thick enough, and I'll have to do multiple coats. For windows it's a great tool. Will prevent sags and lapping when doing mullions, etc. So you have to know what tool is good for what and when to use it, etc.

Tooling also means setup. We have multiple saw horses for doing trim work. We can easily setup 6 or 8 saw horses, some of which are custom built so we can technically make them 10feet wide, if needed. Spray like crazy and go.

Also part of the setup, especially for doors, is having a system/tools that can help get it done faster. I like to use the Quick Truss setup because I can easily hang up 16 doors in the garage. By afternoon we're undoing them and stacking the doors up, done.

Long story short:
Lots of little things go into it all.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Lacquer on windows....EEEK!
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Old 11-14-2016, 03:49 PM   #7
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If the windows tilt in I lower the bottom window, tilt it out, get the top ready, I use a small block of wood, put on the lower window and rest the upper window in it.

Paint your first sash, prop second sash on block of wood, rest on glass of first window.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:49 PM   #8
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New construction is a different animal. It falls somewhere between commercial and res. repaint. It also depends on the level of quality expected from the GC/owners.
This is a high-end custom build. We are expecting a punch list a mile long.

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Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
2.) If your going to clear coat with lacquers, do yourself a favor and get it catalyzed at the store.
SW Pre-cat Lacquer (CC-F43) is standard here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
...I like to use an exterior finish.
Rudd Prothane is what we typically use for exterior finishing.

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Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
4.) Have the right tools to do the job.
What tools do you recommend as essential for projects like this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
Tooling also means setup.
Do you have any photos of your setup? I know each project has differences in available space, but I would love to see what you have going so I can get my gears turning!
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:52 PM   #9
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Lacquer on windows....EEEK!
Yah, that's what I said. Good luck to the GC lol. But like another poster said...job security.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:52 PM   #10
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Lacquer on windows is job security. Somebody will likely be refinishing them soon enough.

Securing the windows while the sash are being finished has often been the most time-consuming part of the job. We finally developed a stack of tempered hardboard pieces that we'd use. We would end up cutting them down to fit on each job, then making some new pieces for the larger openings. If you don't have to secure the openings because of security or weather, it's a huge savings.

You can't have too many sawhorses.
AGREED! What are those tempered hardboard pieces that you use? Is it a masonite type product?? Winter is rolling in on Central Oregon, so we very well may need to secure the windows. I'm not too happy about that...
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:01 PM   #11
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This builder really likes natural wood... ON EVERYTHING.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:32 PM   #12
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SW Pre-cat Lacquer (CC-F43) is standard here...
Make sure you get it catalyzed at the store still. It doesn't come pre-packaged with catalyst in it. I've seen a lot of guys make this mistake. Write the date down you catalyzed because the pot life is 6 months.

Rudd Prothane is what we typically use for exterior finishing.
Never heard of the stuff. Not that it isn't any good, but no one here sells any and I've never had experience or feedback from anyone on it. Just do a test here or there to make sure it'll match your lacquered wood. Nothing like having a color difference to deal with.

An exterior sealer is what I would use on the windows. This lacquer stuff...as you can tell by pretty much everyone who has commented, is a bad choice for window work. If you have a lot of windows and it fails, it just makes you look bad, customers get mad and GC will probably can you from future jobs. I wouldn't take the risk, tell them to fork over the money to avoid major problems in the near* future.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:48 PM   #13
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What tools do you recommend as essential for projects like this?

Do you have any photos of your setup? I know each project has differences in available space, but I would love to see what you have going so I can get my gears turning!
2 large questions that require long answers and photos. So here goes the attempt.

1.) What tools are needed?

It all depends on exactly what your trying to accomplish. I'll be honest, most high-end guys or just people in general, want their trim work and especially wood work to be top notch and sprayed. Sprayed finishes just can't be beat for quality of finish work. I'm sure there's a brush guy out there that can get close etc., and all that's great, but a good sprayer will not only run circles around him..but perform better quality work at the end of the day.

So you need sprayer(s). You don't need massive rigs to spray lacquers or clear coats. But I would recommend 2 units. One being an HVLP and the other being a dedicated finish unit, if you have enough money or units, you can do what we do and dedicate a machine or two to just deal with oil based/lacquer based products. It makes clean-up easier and you don't have to fight with paint build-up that becomes gooey and all that. Run your lacquer thinners through the lines or mineral whatever it calls for and wrap it up.

The HVLP would be useful for the windows. I love** hvlp work and a lot of our magic comes out of those little machines, but it has it's place. I wouldn't use it on doors unless I was toning/shading and I wouldn't use it for large areas as a SEALING machine. Sealing machine? That means when you want to put a seal coat on something, you go to another machine like an airless or AAA to put out enough product fast enough to help seal things in. HVLP is good for a tack coat or in a pinch, but I wouldn't utilize it as a production machine. In your case...your just sealing wood basically, so you need speed. Save the HVLP for the windows and jump to the airless for everything else.

Doors, use a setup system to help you speed things up and do a good job. Here is a photo of some in use and what they look like in the package.




Side note: Don't put plastic down in direct contact with the doors like these kids did. I just found an example off google because I'd have to dig around for some action shots. The plastic goes first, then drop cloths. Why? Because the plastic will stick to the doors worse than a drop would and with lacquer you always run the risk of it melting plastic because of the lacquer thinner in it. Just a heads up if you didn't know already.

Saw horses for trim:
Do yourself a favor and get something similar to these:


It's pretty much all we use now adays and took us a lot of saw horses and different brands from Dewalt to Harbor Freight to our own 2x4 built ones. These ones rock! Not cheap, but compared to making our own etc, they are cheap. Less than $100 and you can get them and they last long. metal construction, fold up and store easy. Plus they accommodate 2x4 and 4x4 material and have height adjustments to raise or lower them. Thinking we might end up buying 2 or 3 more pairs just to have around, they are that good.

Get a pair or two for trim. Depending on the length of your trim joints you lay these out with 2x4's in them and you can make them up to 16 feet long, which is what we typically do. Spray all your trim and leave it to dry. If it's long joints, grab a sheet of OSB, some trips of scrap wood 1x2 or whatever (furring strips work good) then you can lay your trim on top and spray/move to a drying "rack"/sawhorse setup.

Sanding:
What are you using for sanding? You'll obviously need 2 coats, first being to lock it all in and then to sand. Are you utilizing a vinyl sanding sealer? Also, what grit/pads are you using for sanding? We have specific sanding sponges we order in from sherwin that they stock for us in the back that we find work wonders and won't cut through finishes easily. You have to find things that work for you and keep a list to know what to run to.

Hope some of that helps.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
2 large questions that require long answers and photos. So here goes the attempt.

1.) What tools are needed?

It all depends on exactly what your trying to accomplish. I'll be honest, most high-end guys or just people in general, want their trim work and especially wood work to be top notch and sprayed. Sprayed finishes just can't be beat for quality of finish work. I'm sure there's a brush guy out there that can get close etc., and all that's great, but a good sprayer will not only run circles around him..but perform better quality work at the end of the day.

So you need sprayer(s). You don't need massive rigs to spray lacquers or clear coats. But I would recommend 2 units. One being an HVLP and the other being a dedicated finish unit, if you have enough money or units, you can do what we do and dedicate a machine or two to just deal with oil based/lacquer based products. It makes clean-up easier and you don't have to fight with paint build-up that becomes gooey and all that. Run your lacquer thinners through the lines or mineral whatever it calls for and wrap it up.

The HVLP would be useful for the windows. I love** hvlp work and a lot of our magic comes out of those little machines, but it has it's place. I wouldn't use it on doors unless I was toning/shading and I wouldn't use it for large areas as a SEALING machine. Sealing machine? That means when you want to put a seal coat on something, you go to another machine like an airless or AAA to put out enough product fast enough to help seal things in. HVLP is good for a tack coat or in a pinch, but I wouldn't utilize it as a production machine. In your case...your just sealing wood basically, so you need speed. Save the HVLP for the windows and jump to the airless for everything else.

Doors, use a setup system to help you speed things up and do a good job. Here is a photo of some in use and what they look like in the package.




Side note: Don't put plastic down in direct contact with the doors like these kids did. I just found an example off google because I'd have to dig around for some action shots. The plastic goes first, then drop cloths. Why? Because the plastic will stick to the doors worse than a drop would and with lacquer you always run the risk of it melting plastic because of the lacquer thinner in it. Just a heads up if you didn't know already.

Saw horses for trim:
Do yourself a favor and get something similar to these:


It's pretty much all we use now adays and took us a lot of saw horses and different brands from Dewalt to Harbor Freight to our own 2x4 built ones. These ones rock! Not cheap, but compared to making our own etc, they are cheap. Less than $100 and you can get them and they last long. metal construction, fold up and store easy. Plus they accommodate 2x4 and 4x4 material and have height adjustments to raise or lower them. Thinking we might end up buying 2 or 3 more pairs just to have around, they are that good.

Get a pair or two for trim. Depending on the length of your trim joints you lay these out with 2x4's in them and you can make them up to 16 feet long, which is what we typically do. Spray all your trim and leave it to dry. If it's long joints, grab a sheet of OSB, some trips of scrap wood 1x2 or whatever (furring strips work good) then you can lay your trim on top and spray/move to a drying "rack"/sawhorse setup.

Sanding:
What are you using for sanding? You'll obviously need 2 coats, first being to lock it all in and then to sand. Are you utilizing a vinyl sanding sealer? Also, what grit/pads are you using for sanding? We have specific sanding sponges we order in from sherwin that they stock for us in the back that we find work wonders and won't cut through finishes easily. You have to find things that work for you and keep a list to know what to run to.

Hope some of that helps.
Crikey! I haven't seen those Quik Trusses in years! I didn't think they were still around. I'm going to have to see if I can get a source for them! I have 15 or so painters that could be using those and aren't.
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Old 11-14-2016, 07:14 PM   #15
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Crikey! I haven't seen those Quik Trusses in years! I didn't think they were still around. I'm going to have to see if I can get a source for them! I have 15 or so painters that could be using those and aren't.
Their the bomb and amazon still sells them. Ordering some tonight.

I keep telling the guys at Sherwin to start stocking them...then again, I thought maybe I'd be helping the competition to much..best to keep my mouth shut. Maybe they can stash a box in the back for me?
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:37 PM   #16
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AGREED! What are those tempered hardboard pieces that you use? Is it a masonite type product?? Winter is rolling in on Central Oregon, so we very well may need to secure the windows. I'm not too happy about that...
Yes, generic Masonite. Cut to the same size as the sash. We typically use a pair of 1x's held in place with carriage bolts to hold the hardboard in place. I may be able to get a pic tomorrow.
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:05 PM   #17
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Yes, generic Masonite. Cut to the same size as the sash. We typically use a pair of 1x's held in place with carriage bolts to hold the hardboard in place. I may be able to get a pic tomorrow.
That would be AMAZING! I have some time to get ready for this one.. My guys are trying to tell me to break the house into sections and complete one then go to the next. I don't like the idea... our weather is turning bad quick around here so those Masonite inserts will be ideal. Thanks for the info! Get those pictures please!
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:37 PM   #18
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...One being an HVLP and the other being a dedicated finish unit, if you have enough money or units...
I do have a dedicated solvent/oil based rig. A Titan 440i. I also have a dedicated latex "trim" pump (another 440i), a Graco 7900 for when we don't have access to an electrical drop, our workhorse Graco 1095, and my Graco 9.5 HVLP. Couldn't be happier with the HVLP.

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Side note: Don't put plastic down in direct contact with the doors like these kids did.
I like to put floor paper down, then stand the doors on top of a couple rows of stickers (lath). Keeps the doors off the ground and the paper never blows up or causes a trip hazard.

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Saw horses for trim:

Get a pair or two for trim. Depending on the length of your trim joints you lay these out with 2x4's in them and you can make them up to 16 feet long, which is what we typically do. Spray all your trim and leave it to dry. If it's long joints, grab a sheet of OSB, some trips of scrap wood 1x2 or whatever (furring strips work good) then you can lay your trim on top and spray/move to a drying "rack"/sawhorse setup.
A pair of sawhorses with trim stacked in layers sounds like the way to go for my drying rack. I'll be able to shoot wayyy more at a time than what I was going to do.. Thank you for saving me a ton of time!

My gears are now turning...
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Sanding:
What are you using for sanding?
We currently use worn out FINO 3M sanding sponges. Sometimes we do get rub-through, but I think it is more technique than the tool. Perhaps this sponge you use would be better?

YOU ALL ROCK! Thank you for the solid advice!
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:45 AM   #19
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Ran into this last night on my searches... This looks even simpler! Thanks Jack Pauhl!

EZ DRY RACK
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:54 PM   #20
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Another thought for the wood finishes air assist airless would be great if you already have an airless and will have a compressor for the HVLP you could use the compressor (not turbine hvlp) and use the airless to feed an air assist airless gun that you would potentially buy with the compressor providing the assist air. This will provide a finish similar to an HVLP with similar transfer efficiency but with higher production. If you want theres a guide on this here it was also talked about on the forums here.
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