I co-host the WoodTalk podcast with Marc Spagnuolo and Matt Cremona, and it's a running joke on there that I never put finish on anything.
That's not entirely true, but I do tend to put it off a lot. The reason is that my shop is useless once I have applied a coat of finish. I can't work on anything as the dust will end up settling in the wet varnish or shellac or whatever. Even moving around and organizing things will kick up dust particles.
Since my shop is pretty small, I essentially have to leave the shop for an extended period of time once that wet finish is on my project. Because of this I usually finish several projects at once. I guess kicking back on the couch with a frosty beverage should be a nice reward for completing a project, and in most situations I think that would be fine.
My problem now is I took two days off work to dedicate to finishing up some outstanding projects and to begin my shop renovation. Two whole days with the house to myself and unrestricted shop time…that is now restricted by drying times of my oil/varnish blend. I suppose I could finish the project out in the driveway. Though the yellow coating of pollen on my car and the flowering Dogwood that overhangs the driveway makes me hesitant to do that. Sigh, guess I should have put off finishing these projects too.
So my question to you is, what do you do in between coats of finish, and/or what solutions have you come up with to keep on working while the finish is drying?
This "Hand Tool School" series is provided courtesy of Shannon Rogers, a/k/a The Renaissance Woodworker. Rogers is founder of The Hand Tool School, which provides members with an online apprenticeship that teaches them how to use hand tools and to build furniture with traditional methods.
Shannon Rogers started woodworking by trying to build a proton pack, and has been in love with the craft ever since. He runs The Renaissance Woodworker website which is dedicated to spreading the love about hand tool woodworking. He is also the head glue pot keeper at The Hand Tool School where teaches thousands of woodworkers on 6 continents (still trying to find somebody in Antarctica) how to cast off the power tool oppressors and build "the hard way".
By day Shannon is the Director of Marketing for J. Gibson McIlvain, a lumber company founded in 1798 that supplies high quality hardwoods from all over the world to everyone from Calvin Klein, the New York Yankees, and the US Government. He is a wood nerd through and through and often finds reasons to inject latin botanical names into everyday conversation.