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During a recent remodeling project, I had 22 pieces of 8'-long molding to clear-finish. Instead of laying them out on sawhorses to dry, which has previously left me with dust nibs in the poly-urethane finish, I decided to hang it up for the day (the molding, that is).
I started by making a drying rack from a 3/4x3" strip of scrapwood about 4' long. Using my tablesaw, I cut a 1/4" groove 1/8" deep along the length of the rack, as shown in the drawing at right. I then set my tablesaw blade for a 1 1/4"-deep cut and cut kerfs spaced every inch along the rack. Finally, I screwed the drying rack to a ceiling joist in my shop.
Before applying finish to the molding, I tacked a 3d box nail into the end of each piece. I then brushed on the finish and hung the molding strips on the drying rack. (The shank of the nail fits into the kerf on the drying rack, and the groove holds the nailhead to keep the molding from sliding out.)
Hanging the molding while it dries leaves no horizontal surfaces to catch dust, and I ended up with very few nibs in the finish. As a big bonus, all of that molding took up little space in my shop while it dried.
--Dan Theisen, Racine, Wis.