Sometimes, do-overs are a good thing, but not generally in woodworking. I was once cautioned by my paternal grandfather that,
There’s never time enough to do it right, but always enough time to do it over.
That observation always annoyed me, probably because it was too close to the truth.
So, if I have been ‘radio silent’ lately, it’s partly because I have been procrastinating about starting over on the finish of the makore table. See, I foolishly decided to experiment with a new finish component, some garnet shellac that I had bought online. Unfortunately, the shellac had a lot of insoluble solids in it that didn’t show up until there was a build up of about four coats. The effect was to muddy the transparency of the finish and subdue the beautiful chatoyance of the wood.
It’s bothered me so much that I just sort of shut down for awhile, to take a break and convince myself that it needed to be removed and replaced. Eventually, my wife Kris reminded me that I would never be happy with it, and would regret it if it left the shop uncorrected.
I guess when other folks can hear the voices in your head better that you can, it’s time to pay attention. So yesterday, I started sanding the finish off with 36 grit sandpaper, and working my way back up to 320 grit.
It takes quite awhile, because I dampen the surface between grits to raise the severed grain, then wait for it to dry before proceeding. Today, I put the first coat of finish on (no shellac this time), and the process continues.
So with all due respect to Granddad, I think that I’ll continue to,’do it over’, until I get it right.