It’s a perennial problem for woodworkers: how do you deal with projects that take finish on all surfaces? You need touch-free access to as much surface area as possible and at the same time, have to avoid such problems as picking up dust from surrounding surfaces and finish or stain seeping under the workpiece. After all of the planning, cutting, milling, fitting, gluing, sanding, etc. that goes into almost every woodworking project, most of us would do just about anything to speed through the finishing process, and above all, avoid having to back up to fix mistakes. So, while we’re all waiting for someone to come out with a finisher’s dust repelling anti-gravity machine, here are a couple of handy finishing helpers, and what our customer’s tell us about how they work.
If you work in a small shop, chances are a dedicated finishing area is simply out of the question. In fact, we’d bet most home-shop woodworkers do the lion’s share their finishing on the very same surface that they use for the dust-inducing processes that brings their projects to the finishing stage. If that’s your situation, a ten-pack of affordable Painter’s Pyramids could do wonders for the efficiency of your “finishing department”. Painter’s Pyramids elevate your projects 2 inches above the work surface, and support them on slightly rounded, non-stick, non-reactive polymer points. Improving on the common “nail board” approach, Painter’s Pyramids can be quickly arranged to provide single-point support for projects of any size (up to a load limit of 200 lbs.) and greatly speed the finishing of projects that require finishing on front and back surfaces.
In a small shop, Painter’s Pyramids let you side-step the need to cut blocks or construct a custom nail board for each one of your projects, and when you’re finished, they stack neatly in a compact arrangement until you need them again. It’s a small upgrade to your shop’s finishing equipment, but it can have a big impact on how this final stage of most projects goes. At least that’s the impression we get from our Painter’s Pyramids customer reviews:
“Absolutely great idea! Since they're symmetric, you always have a suitable point sticking up no matter how you strew them around. I threw out all of my boards with nails sticking up!”
Gnugs , from Arlington, VA
"These little things quickly become an important tool. No thinking goes in to the set up and they're easy to store when you're done. They do exactly what they are supposed to do. Very refreshing in these times! Be sure you get enough because no matter what size project you have, you're probably going to use at least three or four to make your project balance on top of the pyramids."
Jim, from Katy, TX
"Great items for spray painting small items. Using these with a lazy suzan turn-table made the job a breeze."
Guy Reece, from Spring Lake, MI
"These are handy little accessories. If you have to finish two sides of a workpiece, these allow you to cut down on the time the project takes. Basically you apply your finish to one side, then turn it over and rest the wet side on the painter's pyramids. This allows you to then do the other side and the edges without having to wait for drying time..."
Robert, from Madison, WI
Painter’s Pyramids are a handy thing to have around even if your finishing set-up is a little more sophisticated, and you spray most of your finish. But if that’s you, and cabinetmaking figures prominently in your work, there’s an even slicker way to open up one of the most common finishing bottlenecks: cabinet doors. Rockler’s own Sure Hook 360 takes advantage of the popularity of European style hinges, and the 35 mm cup hole that nearly all of them require. With one simple motion, the Sure Hook clamps into the only spot on the door that you don’t want finish – the cup bore. After that, you’re free to hang the door up and spray every surface in one shot. And when you’re finished, the Sure Hook let’s you just as easily move the door to a drying area without ever having to touch it. Like Painter’s Pyramids, the Sure Hook has been thoroughly field tested, and has passed with flying colors:
"I bought 12 but wish I had enough for all 27 doors I was making. They not only hold the doors while I sprayed they held them so I could hang them to dry side by side and not have to worry about the doors swinging into each other as my old string and screw method. "
Ralph Shields, from Lakeland, FL
"I ordered 40 of these hooks for my shop and I must say that they are worth every penny! They are easy to use and make spraying doors much easier than finishing the old way."
Rick McBride, from Greenbrier, TN
"These hooks work exactly as advertised. I purchased six of the hooks and was able to stain and poly six doors on both sides without any finger marks, no drips, no runs, just great professional looking results. The clamping action that fits in the standard 35mm pocket is sure and trust worthy and releases very easily when you are ready."
Andy Vester, from Eustis, FL
"I am building new cabinets for my kitchen remodel and bought 12 of these to hopefully speed up the process of finishing the 30 doors for the project. They worked great! In fact, I used them to finish the shelves too by putting a small screw in the shelf end and affixing it to the hanger with a piece of string."
Gary Majors, from Kansas City, MO
The Sure Hook 360 and Painter’s Pyramids are a couple of great ideas, we think, and have the added bonus of being refreshingly affordable to implement. As you’ve probably discovered, wood finishing isn’t a “detail” that has to be cleared up before you can call a project done, but instead represents a pivotal and often challenging part of the entire process. Anything that helps you get through it efficiently and successfully is more than just a luxury. And that, we’re guessing, is what makes these two inconspicuous accessories something to get excited about.