Hand Tools

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david weaver
Our local Do It Best carries sunnyside. It doesn't smell like the turps from portugal or the health food stuff.

It's possible that it may vary, it has more of a distillate smell here. If I ever find a quart or gallon there and it smells like fresh pine, I'll be leaving the store with it.

I've never even bothered with the kleen strip due to suggestions to avoid it, but I'd bet that both sunnyside and kleen strip are fine for cleaning brushes and doing things most people do with turps.

They may even make decent varnish, but I wasn't willing to risk it, and have to admit that the pine scent from the resin and turps is something I don't want to do without on the next batch of varnish.

For anyone thinking of making varnish for anything else, the fact that it needs sunlight to cure might be a real problem with furniture. It's easy to stab a screw somewhere invisible on a guitar body and hang it from a flower pot post in the sun, but getting a bookcase in the sun (and not having a million gnats find it in the first few hours) would be more of a chore. I can see bugs landing on the side of a guitar body, but it's hanging vertical, and there's not enough stick in the varnish for them to get stuck on it.

It sure does cover and build fast, though, and the color is really desirable on cherry - even better than amber shellac and more lively looking (it doesn't penetrate as much).

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