How to make wood cleaner

So I bought some Baltic birch and have cut with it. I like the finished look of the gf products. How do you all get non gf wood to look better. Do you sand it ? Do you stain or poly it? I did a piece with unicorn spit stain then did resin but it was still pretty rough for my taste. Any suggestions ?

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one of the reasons baltic birch is ~20% of the cost of PG is that it’s not sanded, stained, or finished. so you’ll need to do at least sanding and a finish (like a poly coat) to get it to be more like proofgrade.

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Recently I’ve been using two coats of polycrylic and really like the results. I sand with 220 grit before and a bit between. This is an amazon link but I buy it locally at the big home improvement center (Menards, in my case)
Minwax 244444444 Minwaxc Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finishes, 1/2 Pint, Semi-Gloss - Minwax Semi Gloss Polycrilic - Amazon.com

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For folks finishing their non-proofgrade woods… are you doing that before laser’ing? Seems it be easiest when it’s one big sheet.

Any reason to wait and just finish my cut pieces? I suppose I’d save a little poly coat… but not enough to matter, I wouldn’t think.

On nonPG woods I find it much easier to sand/finish before lasering. The smaller pieces aren’t as easy to sand as one big flat piece. Also, if I am applying masking, I do the whole sheet. It’s all ready to go that way. 220 before, 0000 steel wool between coats of wipe-on poly. Sometimes I give it a really light touch of the steel wool after taking the masking off to give it a really nice feel.

I don’t think it would save enough finish to not do it before hand.

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I have found hand sanitizer to be of considerable help to clean cut parts and on occasion bleach for a very short time and then dried under pressure to keep it flat. Once dry and flat then such sanding and sprays as needed.

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I have a formula I use when I work with wood. It is called The 90/10 System.

Ninety percent of the wood preparation is completely finished before it goes into the GF.

Sanding, Painting/Staining, Clear Coat, Transfer tape. If I follow this formula then only 10% more is needed to make it presentable.

If I do the bare minimum before lasering —- my project rarely ever gets finished.

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Thank you all ! I will be wood prepping most of the weekend and all the info helps

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what paint or stain are you using

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All types of acrylic paint. Low end from Walmart and high end from the art store. I love Minwax Polycrylic for the top coat.

I like to use Verathane for stain. I also use watercolor paints and alcohol ink markers.

Only the Angelus brand paints for leather. Only Resolene or Tandy Eco-Flo Shene for the leather top coat.

A few weeks back I discovered a new product that has been out for several years. Tattered Angels Color Wash Tint. I am in love with this product. Finally all versions of Liquitex Professional Effects Medium.

If you are ever in Knoxville you can come to my house —-I love to share my craft supplies with friends. Crafting and creating art is so much more fun with friends.

Music, food, ice-cold sodas, craft supplies , dogs barking and a few friends here at my home are days I cherish!!

This invitation is also extended to your pups.

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I’m using unicorn spit, miniwax poly shades, poly, latex paint

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You sound like me lol. I’m into the unicorn spit but ended up buying alcohol ink because I want to use it for some large pieces then I decided to do watercolor and I like the poly shades that they can tint. I have a huge craftaholic probelm. If the zombie apocalypse happens I have stocked up on food and essentials as we grew up poor and it’s what you did with canning etc and I have taught myself to make soap, loom rugs, and jewelry so I can barter with my neighbors. Now it’s this woodaholic issue :rofl::joy: so if you come to the Hudson Valley of NY , I think we could last a few years or more :woman_zombie:

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Everyone needs a job during the zombie apocalypse. I told my husband I am going to hold craft classes during the apocalypse. I believe the first class will probably be crochet.

We will have to look fashionable during the apocalypse and beautiful colored yarns to make mittens, hats and rifle slings —-would set a good tone for our state of mind.

I did not have a garden last summer so I did not do any canning but I absolutely love love love canning!!!

Could you could come to Knoxville for the zombie apocalypse? The state of New York is NEVER going to allow me to enter. 50,000 (fifty thousand) rounds of ammo and two huge Champion safes beyond packed with ARs and handguns.

On a lighter note— How do you use alcohol inks? I saw bottles of alcohol ink last night in Hobby Lobby. I have also never purchased Unicorn Spit.

Ohhh you crochet too? Me also!!! I actually had my boyfriend install a yarn wall so it looks like a art installation. As for you being allowed into Ny well not all of us are in the same belief system that the big Apple is.We have plenty of acreage for hunting and bring your poles as we love to fish !! I have painted many rocks so if we run out of ammo I am sure we can create a catapult with our glowforge for them. Never know when the zombies will strike at once so better safe than sorry. As for unicorn spit I like it. It’s water based so you have to seal it. I have a table and some rockers I’ve done with it. A lot of people like to use it full strength but I like to spray it with water and layer as it dries. It’s a great product.

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So I cut a piece I did two coats of latex paint on because I will be trying alcohol ink on it. I masked prior to cutting and I had the freak out flame experience. Nothing burned up or I’d have the lid open and spray bottle going quicker than anything . I guess this is normal ? How bad is the flame up with poly or stains ?

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I love to do Amigurumi. That is Japanese for little stuffed animals. The little teddy bear is less than 3 inches .

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Wow they are so cute !!! I’ve tried but my arthritis doesn’t like tiny stitches

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At the end of 2019, I had carpal tunnel release surgery on both of my hands. It took a solid 9months, for both of my hands to completely heal so I can resume crocheting and making leather bags.

Now I am rocking and rolling!! It is like I do not even have arthritis.

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Not so good if most of the design will be engraved, And most of the effort I put in is either finishing the engraves or the glues and edge work where it was cut. Any main flat belly of the work usually needs much less effort before or after,

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Wow!! Luckily I don’t have that . I need my hands for work. I work in Special education ages 4-6 so I need my hands. I’m looking forward to making them some puzzles with my glowforge.

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