PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

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DriftlessIA
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PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#1 Post by DriftlessIA »

Almost ready to begin assembly of my TubaHT LP. I would like to varnish my baltic birch THTLP. I understand that PL Premium oozes out of joints. I fear that this would seal the wood grain, and prevent the application of varnish. Is PL Premium excess easily removed if I were to first cover the area with painter's tape? Should I varnish the exterior surfaces prior to assembly?

Anyone have a varnish recommendation (and maybe a photo of it used on baltic birch)?

Thanks
'85 LaScalas
VTA ST-70 tube amp
Bluesound Node 2i
TubaHT LP, 36" width
18" Ultimax, sealed

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#2 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice »

Sealing the grain doesn't impede varnish adhesion. Ever hear of grain sealer? I don't use varnish myself, it's too difficult to get a good result. When doing a natural wood finish I use Formby's Tung Oil. Yes, it doesn't get a lot of love from varnish snobs, but only because it's inexpensive. I've used it for 40 years and never had a bad result, on everything from furniture to trim to this:

Image

DriftlessIA
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Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2023 12:57 am

Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#3 Post by DriftlessIA »

Bill Fitzmaurice wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 8:22 am Sealing the grain doesn't impede varnish adhesion. Ever hear of grain sealer? I don't use varnish myself, it's too difficult to get a good result. When doing a natural wood finish I use Formby's Tung Oil. Yes, it doesn't get a lot of love from varnish snobs, but only because it's inexpensive. I've used it for 40 years and never had a bad result, on everything from furniture to trim to this:

Image
Beautiful guitars, Bill.

I am also considering staining the enclosure. Maybe that scenario applies better to my original question.
'85 LaScalas
VTA ST-70 tube amp
Bluesound Node 2i
TubaHT LP, 36" width
18" Ultimax, sealed

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#4 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice »

The PL would interfere with stain, but if you scrape the excess PL away before it fully hardens and the do the sanding that's necessary anyway before finishing that won't be a problem. Another reason why I like tung is that it imparts color, so unless you want to go dark it doesn't need stain.

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Seth
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#5 Post by Seth »

In my experience, squeeze out pretty much squeezes straight out of the seem, creates a little bead, and doesn't really come in contact with the surrounding material, especially when they aren't inside corners. Put a couple pieces of scrap together and check it out for yourself.
Build in process - 2 WH6, one Alpha 6a loaded, one PRV Audio 6MB250-NDY loaded

Two 2x6 shorty SLA Pro's
One T39, 16", 3012LF loaded
Tall AutoTuba, 20" wide, 2x 8" MCM 55-2421
TruckTuba, 8½" wide, 2x 8" MCM 55-2421

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#6 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice »

It will make a real mess if you try to wipe it off. Don't do that.

Bruce Weldy
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#7 Post by Bruce Weldy »

Bill Fitzmaurice wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:46 pm It will make a real mess if you try to wipe it off. Don't do that.
In my climate, a couple of hours of curing time and I can use my trusty old sharpened putty knife to take the bead off cleanly with no smear.

6 - T39 3012LF
4 - OT12 2512
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"A system with a few knobs set up by someone who knows what they are doing is always better than one with a lot of knobs set up by someone who doesn't."

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Seth
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#8 Post by Seth »

Bruce Weldy wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:57 pm
Bill Fitzmaurice wrote: Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:46 pm It will make a real mess if you try to wipe it off. Don't do that.
In my climate, a couple of hours of curing time and I can use my trusty old sharpened putty knife to take the bead off cleanly with no smear.
Exactly. Doesn't seem to get anywhere that would effect stain or varnish when done that way.
Build in process - 2 WH6, one Alpha 6a loaded, one PRV Audio 6MB250-NDY loaded

Two 2x6 shorty SLA Pro's
One T39, 16", 3012LF loaded
Tall AutoTuba, 20" wide, 2x 8" MCM 55-2421
TruckTuba, 8½" wide, 2x 8" MCM 55-2421

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Tom Smit
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#9 Post by Tom Smit »

@DriftlessIA, you might want to use a wood conditioner on BB first,so that it go blotchy when staining.
TomS

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AntonZ
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Re: PL Premium and varnished baltic birch

#10 Post by AntonZ »

I own a Tuba 18 made in BB ply, finished in clear varnish or lacquer. Not being a native speaker I am not entirely sure about the correct english word for what I used. It is a rather tough clear coat product that is intended for use on pine floors. The glue on the cab is not PL Premium as that is not available in Europe. I used a similar PU based expanding glue. It is white(ish) rather than the grey PL. Other than that behaves just like it as far as I can tell.

Anyway, I cannot find construction pics of my T18. As it is currently not in use and temporarily stored I cannot make new ones either so I have no pictures to offer. It does looks fine to me. I think if you look carefully you can tell where some glue went before coating but it never bothered me enough to really care. If I were a professional builder I'd feel it is not entirely perfect. For a home made cab: looking totally fine and satisfactory to me.

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