The UV trick. Calling jackthehack



The method of speeding up curing of lacquer by using UV has been discussed several times, but how much does this method actually speed things along?
Lots.  Having a friend with a tanning bed upstairs in his titty-bar helps, but good ol'Sol does wonders too.
Living in South Florida should be a boon then, at least for this purpose. If I give a body a sun bath for say, an hour a day, how long should I do this if "average" cure takes about a month?
If you''re in South Florida; just hang it  or lay it on a towel outside in the sun, flipping occasionally. If it's pretty warm - 80 + - not too humid and in direct sunlight; each lacquer can be completely dry in a couple of hours. For "curing" the lacquer after all the coats are done; time will vary greatly with wood, grain and how good a prep job you did under the lacquer coats. Under ideal conditions, maybe about 5-7 days. I always wait 6-8 weeks and disassemble to do final touchups if needed and polishing.

I only use the tanning bed for grain filler and tung oil; girls would complain if I stunk up the office with lacquer.
Here in south Florida... this time of year it's not too humid, lacquer dries rather quickly.... once the humidity picks up it takes a bit longer.
UV cures lacquer, but low pressure and a bit of heat does a better job.  Gotta get them solvents out.

Just remember - lacquer "seems" hard, but its shrinking... while the solvents gas off.  You can do a level, then come back in two days and crap... its not level, because it kept on shrinking.  PROPER pre treatment of the wood, and having a butt smooth finish on the wood first, before shooting lacquer is the key.


Imagine the grain.  Its like canyons in the wood.  You spray on lacquer.  Some naturally flows into the grain.  The finish is thicker in the grain than it is on the surface.  Now it dries.  The thin spot dries quicker, and the thick spot is still drying.  Now you level it... while its not quite dry yet.  You've thinned out the surface, and brought it down to the level of the indentations of the grain.  The surface lacquer is very thin now, but you've hardly touched the lacquer in the grain areas... and it continues to shrink.... 

With lacquer - you gotta just let it do its thing, and sit back... and wait.  Or invest in some high priced gear to speed it up.  Or have a really smooth underfinish surface.  When you have a smooth surface, the differences between grain and "tops" are nil, and the whole thing shrinks uniformly. <--- read that again.

That way, you can let it dry for two weeks, take off the orange peel, and buff it out.  Any further shrinking will be uniform and you'll have minimal extra problems with it.

And thats that.