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Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm about to start putting the pieces together for the 1950s pickup & horse trailer project, and wondering when others put on the clear coat.  In thinking about the possibilities, I can see the advantages of applying the clear coat on the individual pieces before final assembly. Sanding the individual for clear coat is easier.  Once all the parts are clear coated, one can glue up the pieces and be done.  On the other hand, if one were to wait until after final assembly to clear coat, the clear coat would then cover all the seams and give your project a seamless finish.  I'm torn.
I'm curious to hear what other do.
Rod T

Posts: 649
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Jim

I use Howard's Butcher Block Wax, which is mineral oil and bees wax. Pretty much the same as Cynthia's Wax.
I do this at the very end before putting the wheels on. If there is an internal area like in the 1950's truck, I will wax this area before gluing the last side on. Just so I can get in there.

It is very simple and easy to do, brush on and wipe off excess. 
Using this wax wouldn't work too well before glue up as I don't think the glue would stick to the wax too well. 
Not sure about a clear coat though. 

Rod T

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Posts: 1,626
Reply with quote  #3 
I clear coat before assembly. It's much easier to deal with. You have to be very sure the finish is cured before assembly else there is a high risk of damaging the finish. Note that dry isn't the same as cured. 

One gotcha is that you must over paint the parts just a little so that there is enough paint that no bare wood is going to show. For example, the exhaust pipes for my hot rods are 1/4 inch dowels 1 inch long inserted into 1/2 inch deep holes. I paint about 3/4 inches of the dowel. If all goes well there is 1/4 inch of paint in the hole. If something goes a little wrong such as the hole is 7/16 inch deep it's no big deal.

Dry fit before assembly. Parts should go together easily and fit well before you apply the glue. The wood swells just a little and you need a tiny bit of space for the glue. If it is tight dry fitting it may be nearly impossible to assemble once glue is applied. You don't want to be trying to force your finely finished parts together in a vise. Been there, done that. 

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.

Daniel L Abbink

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Posts: 141
Reply with quote  #4 
Clear coating is always my final step.
Daniel Abbink
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