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Thread: $550 per gallon??

  1. #1
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    $550 per gallon??

    Recently Stumpy Nubs made a video about a wood finish called Clean Armor. It looks great, cures in two minutes under UV, and seems seriously protective. The problem? It costs $550 per gallon (not a typo). The company claims that you can finish 3 times the area per ounce/quart/gallon as you can with other finishes because there are no solvents - everything in the can stays on the wood.

    Anyone ever heard of this? Tried it? Does it have some use case that would justify that price?

  2. #2
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    I don't know anything about that specific product, but I do know that Cam from Blacktail Studios has been using a UV cured product for while now. The cost of the product is only one consideration, however, as you need a serious UV source that is also a few hundred dollars. That investment for someone doing production or high end custom work is doable, but it likely would give pause to the rest of us.

    I'm considering making the jump to a ceramic product on top of Rubio and even that is pricy!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Jim,

    You are correct about the price of the lights. The retailer for this finish sells handheld UV lights for about $290. At least that's a one time purchase.

    Cam from Blacktail sells his pieces for very high prices, so maybe this price isn't so high in comparison.

    As with everything woodworking, what's "worth it" is definitely subjective. For me, i will wait for the price to drop considerably before I give this a whirl.


  4. #4
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    That's my thought, too, Brian. I don't think "doing the things" to use a UV cured coating will be helpful for "my" woodworking, but I can absolutely see a place for it in the industry. I only mentioned Cam because he's the one maker that I've actually seen use the stuff. It is pretty impressive, for sure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    I'm working on a project at the moment and on the docket is testing this on that project (1 qt). A good portion will be maple and I'm curious how it will perform. I'm going to test it on a couple small projects (gallery picture frames) and if it looks good, I'll go for it!

  6. #6
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    You'll also have to have UV glasses on when curing the product if you are looking at the UV light. Any of the product that does not get hit with the UV light will not cure.

  7. #7
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    If you are in business and dont have the space to keep a table for 7 days or more of cure time and instant cure solution pays for itself. 550 a gallon is a lot but Rubio is close to the same price. If my math is anygood

    $180/1.3 liters
    3.8L / gallon

  8. #8
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    UV cured coatings are becoming increasingly popular in many industries so I'm not surprised that coatings for wood are getting some more action. I've played with Solarez which a quick dip in the sun elicits a cure, but that was quite a while ago and it's not like the stuff referenced in the OP, for sure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    I bought a quart of the satin. Having a project sit around for a month before I can rub it out has always been a big pain for me, especially when I burn through the finish on the edges about 1/4 of the time. I picked up a cheap UV floodlight off amazon, hoping that'll suffice before forking over 300+ for their lights, which are out of stock anyway.

    Edit - something that I don't think has been mentioned here is the one year shelf life. I'm hoping this can be stretched as it's quite prohibitive for hobbyists.
    Last edited by Patrick Baney; 07-09-2024 at 10:29 AM.

  10. #10
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    Patrick, one of the reasons that the more expensive lamps are, um...highlighted...for this application is UV output. You may find you need to use the inexpensive lamp to get an acceptable cure. I believe they will also cure in the sun, but not quickly. Keith Johnson just used a UV cure oil finish on his latest project. It did indeed look good. You might want to watch that video on the 'Tube, not because of any specific product, but because he has some good comments on process relative to application and curing as you move around a project.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    There was also a short clip of Keith using the light without proper eyewear. He is one of my favorite YouTubers and IMHO one of the most skilled, but being new at this he made a mistake. UV is no joke, possibly causing macular degeneration from over exposure, so always wear certified eyewear when using those lights. As Jim mentioned, the expensive ones have a much higher output, allowing them to cure the stain much faster, but that also makes them more dangerous. And don't think that closing your eyes will help...our eyelids are extremely thin and you can still be exposed to UV through them.

  12. #12
    While I don't share you opinion of Mr Johnson, You should always know as much as possible about your tools. Most anything related to UV curing is littered with safety warnings about proper PPE, especially eye protection.

    I've been saying it for 40 years, the more you know about your tools capabilities and their limitations, the better off you, and your project, will be..
    We all make mistakes but it's in your own best interest/health to read instructions, take safety precautions seriously, use some common sense and know what you're doing to avoid injury.
    Be safe.

  13. #13
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    Experimented a bit with the cheap UV light I picked up on amazon. It does cure the finish, but not as quickly as I'd like. I'm not looking to guess and check if the finish is cured or not @ $150/qt, so I'll be picking up one of their lights when they're in stock. As far as the finish goes, it is indeed pretty amazing. Very thin coats, applied almost like stain, seem to work best and require zero sanding before jumping into higher grit for rubbing out.

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