Steel Wool, A Magnet, A Rubber Glove And A Dulcimer

A quick tip I thought I’d share. I prefer a finish leaning towards the matte side of semi-gloss.  I use nylon abrasive pads for cutting between coats of varnish but I prefer the look I achieve by using 0000 steel wool when rubbing out the final coat.

Steel wool leaves fine steel dust on the dulcimer that needs to be cleaned up.

Where has that rubber glove been?

First I vacuum the dulcimer and bench. I follow this by placing a strong magnet inside a rubber glove, a plastic bag, a paper towel or whatever ever I have at hand. I gently move this assemblage over the surface of the dulcimer and pick up the dust left by the steel wool. Then I switch to a tack cloth to grab any steel particles that may still remain.

The rubber glove , plastic bag, paper towel or poodle I used to wrap the magnet gets thrown away and I am left with a clean magnet that is ready for its next adventure.

Magnets having fun.



4 thoughts on “Steel Wool, A Magnet, A Rubber Glove And A Dulcimer

  1. Hi Jerry,

    Steel wool is used for rubbing out finishes. For working bare wood I use scrapers and sandpaper. Very fine steel wool removes minor imperfections and evens out a layer of finish. It also produces a nice matte look.

    I have used steel wool directly on very hard, resinous woods like ebony on occasion but most woodworkers use it on the finish.

  2. Doug-
    Trying to understand the use of steel wool a little better. Is it still widely used or is sandpaper/sponge much more popular? What provides a better finish for woodworking?

  3. Hi Tico,

    I use and love micro-fiber cloths. They are what I use for tack cloths. I try to keep them from getting to loaded up with gunk so that is why I use a magnet first. I tend to do open pore finishes and between the magnet and the micro fiber cloth i get the pores very clean!

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