Written  By: Jon Glinski – r.k. Miles – Middlebury, VT 

So you’re looking for that high polish wood finish that the pros do to cabinets and table tops.  Here are some tools that FESTOOL supplies to make this job easy and have your results look amazing! FESTOOL has a wide array of sanders that can do this job. From the handy RO90 to the beefy RO150 there is a FESTOOL for you!

Step One.  Start with a hard/polishing pad on your sander. The soft pad will work but will cause swirl marks in your higher grit applications.

Step Two.  Apply your polyurethane. I would suggest using a decent brand polyurethane as you will be “building” these layers up. A high-build polyurethane such as Minwax will work, but ZAR is far superior. As you build up your layers you must spritz with a light mist of water wipe with a clean cloth and sand in between each of the layers. FESTOOL recommends the GRANAT style paper as it is compliant with the modern VOC finishes found in stores today. GRANAT paper should be of 320grit or higher. I would suggest stepping up a grit or two as you approach your final layers.

(This is where most people will leave their finish and call it a day. FESTOOL takes it a couple steps further. To achieve that mirror like finish, follow these steps and trust me your finish will look magnificent!)

 Step Three.  Starting with your GRANAT paper at a minimum of 500grit, work your way up to 800 grit using the same spritz method in between sandings as in step 2. You will not be applying more poly at this time nor for the rest of your application. You can do a final layer of 1500grit for a truly flawless shine. If you feel your piece is as smooth as it can get with 800grit or so you can stop here.

 Step Four.  Now its on to your POLISHING. With your FESTOOL ORANGE SPONGE PAD (Med.) Apply FESTOOLS 5000grit 499021 MPA Polishing Compound with the pad. After this step is complete move to your 8000grit 493816 MPA Polishing Compound. The 8000 grit polishing compound will be applied with the FESTOOL WHITE (Fine) SPONGE PAD. FESTOOL does have higher grit polishing compounds but would only be used in automotive and marine applications.

Now your finish is complete but yet again, FESTOOL takes it one step further. As you all know, moisture from glasses can cause white rings to appear in the surface. Without this last step your finish is “open” and is susceptible to moisture.

Step Five.  Final Step Seal The DEAL!

With your piece near completion the last step is the final finish and sealing. I would recommend a Meguiars or 3M  synthetic polymers to seal the polyurethane and the wood. Apply this polymer with FESTOOLS SHEEPSKIN buffing pad. Once the polymer dries to a haze it can be buffed off BY HAND. To buff the hazed polymer use a MICROFIBER TOWEL. A synthetic polymer is a basic car wax. The Meguiars or 3M seem to work really well in independent testing. Test a few different waxes and see what works best for you.

Step Six.  Enjoy!

Jon Glinski works at rk MILES’ Middlebury store. Look for more of his blogs to come!

Questions for Jon, call or email him: 802-385-1134 direct  glinskij@rkmiles.com



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Icicles tell us our house is losing heat. Warm air from living spaces finds its way into attic spaces, or through cathedral ceilings, as a result of insufficient insulation and air sealing. Recessed lights, attic hatches and chimneys are often sources of air leakage. This warm air heats up the underside of the roof and melts the snow on the roof above. The melted water migrates down the slope of the roof to a point at the eave overhang where there is no more warm air causing the formation of ice dams and icicles as the water cools and then freezes. If the ice along the roof edge is thick enough, it can force the water behind it up and under the finished roofing into attics, walls and living spaces. Roof valleys are particularly good at building up ice and potentially causing roof leaks.Often the only solution that comes to mind is to get on the roof (dangerous) and hammer out the ice dams, which will, over time, destroy the roofing materials. The bottom line is, if you have ice dams and massive icicles you don’t have a roofing problem as many assume, you have an air sealing, insulation or venting problem – or even some combination of the three. Most often the “go-to” solution is just to treat the symptom. This can be done using an aluminum or copper snow belt – the shiny metal you see applied to the first 2’-3’ of the roof eave. All the symptoms still exist but the ice will form at the metal snow belt and will simply melt and slide off once the temperature rises. This solution seems like an easy fix, but can create hazards when doors or walkways are located below.The formation of ice dams can also be addressed using heating tape that simply keeps the eave of the roof warm and allows the water to drip off instead of forming ice. It also guarantees a higher electric bill. While these solutions do not address the cause of the problem they can treat the symptoms and are often seen as the only practical solution.The other option is to address the cause, which is potentially more labor intensive but will ultimately lead to a more comfortable house and lower energy bills. In a roof with typical, non-cathedral construction, the trick is to insulate the attic floor enough so the temperature inside the attic is about the same as the outside temperature in the winter  – this means your upstairs rooms are not heating the attic space and the underside of the roof. Additionally, you will need to make sure that eave vents are open and there is clear and sufficient airflow from the eave to the ridge or gable vents. The eave area is the most difficult to ventilate and insulate properly. It requires particular attention and care to insulate this space above the exterior walls correctly without blocking the soffit vents.Cathedral ceilings and complex rooflines can present a different set of challenges. These roof designs can be difficult to vent effectively. In some cases, a non-vented roof or vented over-roof may be the best approach. Insulation can be added above the existing roofline when reroofing is involved, leaving interior details and finishes unaffected. When there is no ability to construct a conventionally vented cold attic, add airtight insulation of sufficient thickness and perhaps a small sloped venting space above it to minimize heat loss and reduce the potential for ice dams.Your roof will tell you how well your insulation and ventilation is working. If you have massive ice dams and icicles you are wasting energy, spending more money on heating than you need to, and living in a drafty, uncomfortable house. Take time to address the causes of these symptoms and call us if you would like to work on the cure.For more information, follow these links:






This image, courtesy of buildingscience.com, illustrates venting over-roof construction to allow for proper air flow, insulation and prevention of ice dams.

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Fab Funiture Rehab
January 3, 2013 // Category: Paint & Decorating

One of our favorite things we like to do in the Paint dept is to resuscitate old furniture. An easy an inexpensive solution can be found with spray paint and wallpaper. In this situation, we had a simple wood table that had previously been painted cream. We wanted to find a way to make the table coordinate with some brown wicker furniture. Rather than try to figure out a way to faux paint wicker, we went to one of our favorite wallpaper vendors, Thibaut. We found a terrific match in the Texture Resource book (www.thibautdesign.com). This book is all heavy-duty vinyl wallcoverings in great textures resembling grass cloths and wovens. You can order oversized samples for $5 and $10 depending on the size you want. The first step was to lightly sand the table to insure a smooth surface. Next, we used a good solid brown color, Espresso, from Rust-Oleum to paint the table.TIPS FOR SPRAY PAINTING:
We like to use a spray trigger as it allows for better control of the spray action (you can find these at our Paint & Decorating Department- just ask!). Use several light coats allowing the paint to dry between coats. Use a razor to cut off any mistakes or glooping of the paint. Quick drying spray paint does not require more than 15-20 minutes to set up, so this will move quickly.The next step is to make a template of the tabletop by placing the table on the reverse side of the wallpaper and tracing it. Use the template to make the perfect fit. The template is then placed on the wallpaper for tracing. Cut out the wallpaper and check the fit on the tabletop. When you have a good fit, use a spray adhesive to adhere it to the tabletop. That is all there is to it.The whole project took about one hour and cost approximately $34!

Table: $10 at auction
Spray paint: $4.79
Wallpaper sample: $10
Spray adhesive: $8.99



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Welcome to the rk MILES Blog!
November 9, 2012 // Category: Latest News

You know rk MILES as a leader in providing building supplies and materials—but we are so much more! So born is our rk MILES Blog. We want to offer insights into not just the products we offer (though we love to show off the latest and great tools, gadgets and trends) we also want to share with you some fun and some FUNctional tricks of the trade, insight into special services we offer, educational links, building science trends, best building practices, and much more! We also want to hear from you—what would you like to see? Let us know- and in the meantime, happy reading!


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