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What do you guys use to strain varnish. I use the cones with the screen on the bottom and wonder if the little stuff gets through.  (Dave Norling)

    That is what I use.  (Marty DeSapio)

    I bought a tea strainer (do NOT use your wife's).  I line it with cheesecloth.  That catches about 99.9% of the stuff.   (Harry Boyd)

    I've used the cone-type coffee filters -- they're slow, but they work.  (Greg Kuntz)

    I strain using pieces of panty hose.

    As I have commented previously, it is kind of not as much fun as it used be in the days when I used hunt my own wild material.

    But fortunately, the domesticated stuff that I get these days does just as good a job of straining, and it's more predictable.

    In fact, when I think about it, in the days when I used harvest the wild product, I would have been bloody lucky to get the varnish strained more often than about once every two or three years.  (Peter McKean)

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With gritty determination to try and put some finish coats on my Dad's bamboo spinning rod, I had the opportunity to put to use the Gerson Basecoat/Clearcoat Fine, lint free filters I mentioned a few posts back.  I must say, in my typically understated prose, THESE ARE THE BEST DAMNED FILTERS I'VE EVER USED, bar none.  I've used paint filters similar in design to these for over twenty years, when I was painting cars, and other things, and nothing else comes close to the filtering this product does.  According to the box the filters came in, the mesh is 190 microns, and lemme tell y'all, these filters collect crud so small, you'd durn near need a microscope to see if they ended up on your rod finish.  I put three coats per section on the rod, using six filters.  Each time the finish was poured through the filter, it managed to collect some form of crud every time.  Sighting down the rod sections since the finish has mostly cured, I noticed the complete absence of dust particles or finish turds.  I'm sold on the filters, won't go back to using anything else.  Larry Blan told me that the usual paint filters were good for catching the cats and dogs, but these guys are great for catching the cat's and dog's fleas...

The usual financial disclaimers, no yada, yada, yada.  Just a satisfied customer.  Really.  (Mark Wendt)

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Any suggestions on a filter for varnish in a dip tube?  I've already used a commercial paint strainer, and that's not fine enough to get out the tiny dried varnish specs.  I also used a piece cut from an old pair of my wife's stockings, and that's not fine enough do it either. Varnish won't drip through a paper coffee filter, so I think I need something between nylon stockings and a coffee filter.  (Harry Boyd)

    I'm looking for something new as well. What didn't you like about the commercial paint filter and was it the same as the filter that was recommended about a month or two back?  (Mike Shay)

    Try nurses stockings, they are thicker weave.  I used to date some nurses before I was married and I used to get stockings from them for straining varnish.  (Bret Reiter)

    You might try double or multiple thicknesses (layers) of those stockings.  (Ed Riddle)

    I don't have the details in front of me, but the filters that Mark Wendt wrote about last month will filter out bad thoughts, they are so fine. They are not the old standby cotton mesh filter. The filter is made of a poly mesh, much cleaner too.  (Larry Blan)

      The filters that Mark had recommended were the Gerson Basecoat/Clearcoat filters in the "Fine" variety.  I have since tried them and they are the best filters I have used to date.  They also are sold in a Very Fine variety, you may want to try those as well.  (Robert Cristant)

    I have used an inline milk filter and it seems to work well. Send me your address and I will mail you some, see if they are suitable.  (Larry Puckett)

    Lately I have started spraying my rods.  I have been using the varnish I have had lying around and found all kinds of dust in it.  I bought some auto body paint strainers that have a 2 micron (I believe) mesh.   They come in packs of 10 for about $16 Canadian.  They are plastic cones with a  very fine mesh bottom.  They get all of the dust out, but it  takes forever.  The upside is that they are reusable.  I am away this weekend, but when I get back I can post the exact product name and part #'s if you are interested. 

    There are also various grades of auto paint strainer available.  I have used an extra fine one and it worked pretty well.  These work great, but are expensive and it takes forever.  Plus you may find that you will have to thin the varnish to make it flow.  (Mark Babiy)

    You can get various size mesh filters at Sherwin-Williams and that is what I use. I find that the fine mesh filter does the job.  (Jack Follweiler)

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