I use use a polymerized tung oil straight for the first coat and the same tung oil mixed with 60% tung oil for the next two coats. . Carefully follow this guide on how to apply water based polyurethane on hardwood floors to complete your next DIY projects. Thinning reduces the thickness and makes it easy to apply. The new poly application video will have a lot more info and should be out sometime in February 2019. They used to allow putting annotations on their videos so I put a big red caution sign on it at that point. GENTLY using a mixing stick stir the poly until you feel there are no lumps on the bottom or in the swirl. The lower the grit, the deeper the scratching. Cabinets and wet surfaces – 3 COATS, Floors, steps, stools, foot rests (heavy traffic) – 4 COATS. Move the brush to your project a GENTLY set it down in the middle of the far back row. The open pour method does not involve any special equipment. Now here’s an important step. How to apply oil based polyurethane WITHOUT the pits and bubbles. Most regard European Ox hair as the gold standard for an ox hair brush. Thank you for showing your skills and knowledge. Your email address will not be published. As the water based polyurethane is thinner than the oil based polyurethane, you should add stain on the wooden floor before applying water based polyurethane. What are your thoughts on spray on polyurethane (i.e. This is finite work and when a customer requested we do some doors, I accepted the challenge and moved forward thinking “I already do finite refinishing so I can do this with just another product” – boy was I wrong, lol. By. For water-based polyurethane use a synthetic brush which is most frequently nylon. Just like natural bristle a quality synthetic brush will last a lifetime (with proper care). Mixing polyurethane. If your table is for outdoor use a spar varnish is best. Natural bristle brushes. Think about a kid blowing bubbles through a straw both in water and then in milk, what happens to the bubbles? This was so helpful. A sander machine works pretty fast and you are going to sand down a medium-sized room within 20-30 minutes. http://mothercenter.info/gallery/1037750, Hey Terrance. as you work, shine a light at a low angle across the surface. Furniture that will not receive a lot of handling – 2 COATS, Counters and bar tops. However, I’m a recently retired (71 this month) novice at woodworking and the idea of a DIY project has always been appealing but I’ve never had the time or resources. Sorry for the length of my question. Applying Polyurethane Correctly – The Feathering Strokes – Gently run your brush from one edge to the other until all eight rows are feathered. Varnish clear coats are made up of resins that seal surfaces. But, to apply this liquid properly you need to follow the above-mentioned steps accurately. Spar varnish is an example. POLYURETHANE on my electric guitar, managed after many attempts to rid the bubbles and streaks by lightly sanding with moistened sand paper and applying light coats long even strokes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV2Wi1IWulU&t=945s. Of course all held to gether with jigs …. Why? best . Laying it on thin is an important step in avoiding bubbling, puddling and running when applying finish coats, especially when applying polyurethane. This can easily be avoided. Adding the varnish allows you to stop sanding at 220 as the varnish fills the minimal scratches left by the 220. best . Apply the first coat of polyurethane using the best technique for the Again sorry Dusty. I do bathtub and countertop refinishing using epoxies and urethane mixes. Anal? I did it but I never do on any of my projects. get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance. Cleaning is very important to get a beautiful topcoat. You need to coat three times with water based polyurethane. Thick coats of finish also have a tendency to retain brush marks. paul. Stir the contents instead with a paint stick in a gentle, swirling motion. Also if you are going to spray from a can go with lacquer and not poly. Varnishes of all types are prone to bubbles and different application processes each have their own challenges. . Keep your children and pets away from the polyurethane-coated wooden floor at the time of coating. The poly video was my first attempt and I never thought it would get up to 850,000 plus views. My question is what width size brush should I use? Suggesting not to do it. An exceptional quality brush is extremely dense and feels like fine fur. Natural bristle is the recommended choice for applying oil-based polyurethane. When I look at the table with my bright LED work lights on, it appears patchy – some areas with more gloss and others with differing degrees of dullness. After mixing Parts A & B together, simply pour the resin into a properly prepared mold and allow it to cure. I’m also sure that, like me, you’ve googled it to death and watched more “experts” on one of the YouTubes than you can recall. Paint brushes glob on thick material to hide surface below. Most natural bristle brushes are made from animal hair with ox hair being the most common. Animal hair genetics, just like human genetics and hair texture, play a huge role in the quality of finishing brushes. I have a question about the final coat of poly. I have watched Paul’s videos multiple times and actually am using them as training guides for my guys working for me. Hope that helps. best . best . GENTLY using a mixing stick stir the poly until you feel there are no lumps on the bottom or in the swirl. Typically, bubbles in your varnish are due to three main factors: air, dust, and moisture. Do not dip your brush or apply more polyurethane, the application process is complete and it’s time to feather out what’s already laid down. Do you sand it like the other coats in between? . . These are for my stair steps. I always plan my project so the last thing I do for the day is apply the coating. Generally, as each application of finish is applied, it tends to dry faster. .paul, Woah! . I’ll explain here. Once done GENTLY pour 3 parts poly into a separate container. I’m sure that, like me, you have tried and failed to get poly to lay down without the streaking or the bubbles. Synthetic bristle brushes. This is my new favorite bolg/website. I go back to feather it and sometimes make it worse. In fact at our age we need to try everything, QUICK!! Avoid all temptations to overwork the coating. Use a big jar or can to get all polyurethane liquid in one container. . Polyurethane coatings brushed on vertical or contoured surfaces are more likely to drip and run. Sponge brushes are certainly another option, but the results are not always a significant improvement. Sanding is an important part of this process. Gently stir for 5-10 seconds. Just wait until the bubbles cease. best . Would I approach the refreshing of my woodwork and cabinet doors as a “next step” based on your videos by cleaning, sanding, and applying stain and poly or is there a better method (short of hiring someone like you!). Nick, Hey Nick. For water-based polyurethane you want to use a nylon brush. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel paulsDIYsolutions though if that is of interest to you. A word about air compressors: Air compressors are notorious for accumulating condensation. She makes her plan in her head and draws them on her years-old dairy with a note in the corner. Polymerizing the tung oil helps it dry faster (overnight) so it’s not tedious like pure tung oil. My apologies I just saw your post this morning. PS: Make sure you remove all dust. Make sure that you have properly cleaned all edge and corners. How to Apply Water Based Polyurethane on Wood Floors, ‘TheHomeDigs.com’ is a reader-supported Website/Blog. It is a water based – oil modified Minwax product. Here’s my COATING RECOMMENDATION based on typical usage. Lacquer dries within seconds and can be re-coated without sanding between coats. Repeat overlapping each row approximately 1/2″ until you have the entire surface covered. I did it because it is a dark stairway that is heavily trafficked. The slab has been tottaly dried and finished with fillers to correct the voids. A polyurethane coating is an extremely useful liquid to increase the durability of the surface. Step 2: Use the 5″ to 3″ brush to apply polyurethane to wood flooring edges, and use the roller or pad to apply it to the center of the floor. . Just put fingertip pressure on it. When you are done sanding wipe off all water. Of course using the tools properly is also an important ingredient. I keep a can of spray poly handy in case of bubbles. Welcome to the club. Notice that the middle of the 40″ strip where you first set your brush down has a little heavier puddle of poly. I’m wondering how you recommend finishing to get high gloss shine? “The most common causes for bubbles are shaking the can and improper brush prep—you don’t stick a brush into the finish without first soaking the bristles in mineral spirits, for oil-based polys, or in water, for water-based polys. Multiple thin coats are the best way to achieve the desired surface thickness. For oil-based polyurethane you want a brush with a natural bristle. Thanks for your excellent video and complete directions and hints. If you are sanding a floor for a clear finish (some call it a natural finish) you must sand the floor at least 3 times. The worst that will happen is the thinning reduces the intensity of the color, at which point you can go over it with full strength and a brush. GENTLY dip your brush into the poly. I have recently been recommending a bush called the Zenith manufactured by The Paint Brush Corp. It’s a synthetic that works just fine with oils and the best part is its around $15!!!! The table is Mahogany – 55″ wide by 180″ long. Most attempts to make a nice finish really deep only result in cloudiness. Air in polyurethane tends to get trapped and in the end creates bubbles on our surface. Or how do I get a smooth finish with water based polyurethane? Touching paint that has sat for even a few minutes can cause streaks. Nylon repels water. Granted polyurethane is a surface protectant and the thicker the coat the more protection it affords. Thanks for sharing your expertise. Let me know id I can offer any advice. Now be sure to experiment because the polyurethane HAS to be thinned to make it wipeable. . It makes your wooden floor ready to apply polyurethane coating over it. After trial and error, I have a pretty smooth finish. Soaking the brush also softens the bristles to make your application even better. Would you ever recommend a 10″ lambs wool applicator with a feather brush treatment to eliminate bubbles? LIGHT sanding with 220 grit sandpaper slightly scratches the surface which is necessary for proper adhesion between layers. best . It will take around 3-4 hour to dry the first coating. Thicker surfaces provide more protection but thicker surfaces are best achieved by applying multiple thinner coats. I wouldn’t go to lambs wool unless you really thin it down to like 50:50 (in essence making it a wiping polyurethane) but you should NOT thin water based that much. Thank you for taking the time to write this article and taking the time to make the accompanying video. You can use oil based polyurethane if you want the floor to have a darker appearance. Apply the polyurethane with a rag instead of a brush as an alternative. Welp, lucky you because this man’s instruction has literally changed my life with regard to finishing. Polyurethane, whether it’s an outdoor or indoor formula, takes a little finesse to apply without bubbles or brush strokes. Use circular motions when putting on the first coat. You can also use water in the cleaning process as you are applying water based polyurethane on the floor. . I’m using a basic China brush? best . Caring for it should be paramount. Applying Polyurethane Correctly – The First Brush Stroke – After gently dipping in polyurethane. These brushes are not recommended for water-based polyurethane because their bristles tend to absorb the polyurethane rather than transfer it to your surface. paul, Hi Paul, that’s perfect, thanks for the advice. paul. The thicker the product is applied the more likely it will be flawed. It should be dense and almost have the feel of natural hair. Another manufacturer hype is no sanding between coats. Read More On Affiliate Discluser Page. It’s for a table top for an office desk so I will go for a can of poly, though I’ve just been watching a rewatching all your videos before I get started. What is the best way to apply polyurethane on wood floors? Is this necessary. Shaking will cause bubbles in the dried finish. After securing the corners, use a renowned T-bar applicator for polyurethane to apply the first coating on the floor. Sorry I use this site as a reference to my YouTube Videos only. Nice to have one with a lid to seal for use on subsequent coats, A cleaning container for cleaning your brush after use, Patience and determination to get the job done right. My advice is apply any coat at full strength. Not a problem. I promised a novice floor guy in New Jersey to write this article. Anyway for those who prefer the written word I will give this my best attempt. First, make sure you are using an appropriate brush for the material, nylon for waterborne poly and natural bristle for oil-based poly. Water-based polyurethane is not as thick as oil-based polyurethane and these liquids take less time to dry then oil based polyurethane. Soak your brush in water(for water-based polyurethane) or mineral oils (for oil-based polyurethane). So, before start coating the room, you should coat the corners with a bristle brush. A light mist knocks them out. Therefore, you will have to apply a few more coats than you would have if you used the finish without thinning it. You need to let it cure before putting anything else on it. Hi Marilyn sorry for the delayed response, out of town. Then … Polyurethane has become the most popular finish coating on the market, yet 90% of people applying polyurethane do it incorrectly. Teak is a beautiful wood and depending on how fine of sanding you want to do an oil finish or an oil/varnish combo would be an eye popper. best . Tack cloth works but now that the wood has some protection you can use a dampened rag or paper towel as well. . And, if you’re reading this fantastic article, that means you’ve also not had much luck. Use a big jar or can to … Paint the third or final layer of coat and leave the floor for another 3-4 hours and your wooden floor will get prolific finish after the third coating layer is dried up. Sorry I wish I had never mentioned the last coat going on at full strength. Your application environment should be free of most dust and your project should be free of all dust. This will reduce the chance for bubbles to form and be applied to the wood surface you are working with. Applying Polyurethane Correctly – The Second Brush Stroke – Do not dip in poly. Love your feedback and always happy to answer any questions I am capable of answering. Any serious woodworker will tell you that quality tools are a key to a quality outcome. After vacuuming the room, clean the floor with white vinegar and turn the fan on to let the room dry quickly. That’s why I am putting emphasizing on coating the corners separately. Simple Steps To Apply Polyurethane On Wood Floors Without Bubbles Here are the ways to apply the water-based Polyurethane on wood floors without bubbles: Things Required. paul, Your email address will not be published. It is been re-sanded and ready to go. Repeat for the second row. I spray painted the black with a glossy paint. (Bad pun sorry), appreciate the thoroughness…helpful tips from your experience…thank youComment, Hey Dennis. Blog sites are replete with complaints and potential solutions. In other words, sanding makes your floor polish to accept the coating liquid smoothly. Foam brushes, sponges, rags, cheese cloth are all over the internet as suitable methods for applying polyurethane. One – it’s hard to put on thin without runs and even after brushing out my runs they started forming again as it dried near the ends of the countertops. A: In my opinion, the air bubbles that have appeared after the last coat of finish (I call them fish eye bubbles) are not necessary, and not likely the fault of the person applying the polyurethane. Hi Whitney. They are hyping their product. First coat, second coat, third coats they’re all the same procedure. An Incorrect operation could lead to wastage of time and money. I really don’t like working with brushes wider than 3″. Sounds beautiful. This process takes time but assures that there is no air trapped in the brush that can or will release on your project. Does that mean I need to add more coats of Tung Oil or will the paste wax even up the look? Did I mention that the brush in my video is over 20 years old? Happy to be of some help, Pete. Hey Gator. It’s simple, yet effective. Now I have 3 coats of oil based high gloss polyurethane on the chairs and 6 coats on the dining room table. . That means filling all the wood grain and sanding well into the 800-1200 grit ranges. . Stir the Can Prior to Use and Take Your Time Resist the temptation to shake the polyurethane prior to use. If your compressor expresses WET air it will actually drive water deep into the wood and may prevent the proper application of oil-based poly. Turns out YouTube is removing the instructional text box feature (annotations) on all YouTube videos sometime in January of 2019. Thick coats take longer to dry and are more likely to be uneven and attract dust. Each step higher in grit lessens the scratching created by the previous lower grit sanding. But more protection is best achieved by additional thin coats not pouring on gobs of material. Sanding tears out chucks of wood fibers. Apply sanding considering the condition of the floor. The container should be large enough to bear a sufficient amount of polyurethane for coating the entire room because you don’t want to run out of liquid at the middle of your work. I wish YouTube would somehow let you edit the video. ]]], Hey Pat. Tweet on Twitter. In this article, I will discuss how to apply water based polyurethane to wood floors. This means only touch wet paint that you’ve just painted. Also, when can I apply the paste wax – after the last coat is dried or after the 30-45 days required for full curing? paul. Required fields are marked *, Bubble-Free Polyurethane Application Technique. And on new floors I want to level the boards quickly and easily. There are three types of resins used in varnishes for woods: alkyd, phenol and urethane. Forget cheapo applicators as they will ruin a good project. best . Thinning the poly made every bit of difference. Not to hard to remove the polyurethane, you just want to remove the bumps. “Tip off” each section. This is okay but has never been my personal preference. It actually creates scratches in the surface of the wood. At no time should a good finish job become apparent. However, if you also want to know about the process of applying oil based polyurethane, you can check out my other article about oil based coatings. ( as my first attempt was a disaster …etc etc ..then came upon your video to save me) I am using OIL based products. Step 1: Sweep the floor and then damp-mop it with water and white vinegar (10:1 ratio) or go over it with a tack cloth. Polyurethane will separate in the can, or other storage container. Lastly I thoroughly rinse the brush, hand spin it and hang it to dry. If you want a good brush at a reasonable price check the comment below to Pat. I really don’t like it on furniture its way too hard to properly control. Yep! Be sure to overlap first and second strokes slightly. If you just pick up any brush to apply polyurethane, you're asking for bubble trouble. Hey Paul! Once the surface is level, usually done with an 80 grit paper, each step moving higher in grits gets quicker and quicker. . – If you are searching for the answer to these questions then you are in the right place. Additionally, a perfectly coated wooden floor makes your home looks gorgeous. They took all post-production annotations off all their videos a year or so ago. Why is GENTLY capitalized? It starts with a good surface. How can DIY'ers apply oil-based polyurethane without causing these bubbles? You can also use a vacuum machine to clean small particles. Hey David. Now GENTLY and SLOWLY drag your brush to the right side edge. Yeah, I agree, I liked the cleanliness of it immediately upon seeing it. Step one is I soak and dab and mash and squeeze in the appropriate solvent (water or mineral spirits) not once, not twice, at least three or maybe more times in FRESH solvent until I see no more product leeching from my brush. Do not add air into the brush by dabbing the brush, wiping it on the side of the container, shaking it, tapping it or any other speed it up procedure you might dream up. It will run somewhere around $20 but with proper care will last years. Without pressure slowly drag the brush to the right side edge (following the grain if possible). Is this something you’ve ever tried or is it best avoided? For indoors I prefer polyurethane. Another fast way to apply polycrylic without creating bubbles is to use cloth to apply the finish. With oils I like to sand up to a 320-400 grit range. Hey Bill. You need to use the right brush and it takes a little practice to get the technique right. Found your website today looking for info on refinishing my worn stained bathroom cabinets and baseboards. Waterlox is a nice combo finish but I like to make my own. Brush on three thin coats with a foam brush. Phenol resins leave a more flexible finish that is typically use in outdoor applications and marine vessels. Now GENTLY lay your brush just to the right of the puddle and drag it across to the left side edge of that row. If the floor is in bad condition and you want to change the color of the floor completely then sand down the wood to bare wood. We are going to FEATHER OUT the applied poly. It requires the most effort and is, by far, the most time consuming. Nonetheless, you should screen and re-coat the floor which is in a fine state. The way she plays with color and shape amazes us. Is this part of the problem and also could I just do only coats of poly that are cut with spirits including my last coat? Let me know how it turns out please. Let’s assume we are finishing a 20″x40″ vanity top and your brush is 3″ wide (the procedure is basically the same for all surfaces but this is the easiest to describe). Polyurethane will separate in the can, or other storage container. Polyurethane is a class of varnish. Hey Andrew. . This step is necessary to achieve a durable coating. It seems the polyurethane is drying too quickly. Personally I don’t polish unless I start my projects with grain fillers. There’s a big difference between a paint brush and a finishing brush. I do this all the time but with pure stain and pure polyurethane. Viola again . Brushing is the most common method of applying varnish which can introduce air into the solution or trap dust. Applying polyurethane (and most other finishes) in heavy coats creates bubbles, puddles and runs and becomes a defect in and of itself. As a result, so are complaints about polyurethane bubbles, just google polyurethane bubbles. Apply a very thin coat of polyurethane with a fine brush, foam pad, or cloth. If you haven’t applied a lot of polyurethane I recommend oil based poly. THIN COATS OF POLYURETHANE ARE BETTER BUT THICK COATS OFFER MORE PROTECTION. In my YouTube video I show you how to soak your brush in mineral spirits or water before using it. GENTLY mix the two together. Painters and furniture finishers hardly ever apply polyurethane with a roller because of its propensity for forming bubbles. If you are not in a hurry Pure Tung Oil would be drop dead gorgeous on that table but because it has to dry between coats you’d be looking at a few weeks to get it serviceable. Old wood or leveling a newly DIY project is the physical part. Here’s a bonus not in the video. Because I like to let my project dry overnight so I can feel the surface, inspect for easily corrected flaws and see if the sheen is right for my intended look. The last three were full strength. Hey Paul. You can order online. always looks smudgy with any touch even after drying for a week. second row done. Not staining at all, as the wood is byond beautiful. It will help the wooden floor become fresher and allow the polyurethane to attach with the floor firmly. I thin my polyurethane by a ratio of 3-1. The only time one would sand is if the surface is too shinny. Use the vacuum machine to clean all the dust and unwanted small particles from the floor. Follow my application procedure and thinning recommendation but don’t dally too much to avoid drying before feathering. Make sure your hardwood floor is dry while performing sanding. That’s three parts polyurethane to one part solvent. At 38″ wide you should be okay reach-wise. I have broken it up into 4 segments or so per your diagram of the 40″ long table above.. but am having problems with drag marks where the strips overlap (for instance between 1 and 2). Also, I had heard that the third and last coat could be a satin sheen. Once done leave it alone. It also eliminates the propensity to bubble, run and puddle. If so, just wipe it down with some mineral spirits followed by tack cloth and the project is complete? I’m really enjoying the template/theme off this site. paul. . To download a 2 page summary of my click on “Polyurethane Rules, Tips and Paraphernalia” PDF, Well that’s it  . So, again, thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with the world. Just follow the instructions on my pages here or watch my video on YouTube “Bubble Free Polyurethane Application Technique”. Use the machine’s user manual for perfect operation. My theory, “do it right the first time to avoid looking for solutions”. Problem two is that I got a lot of dripping down the edges of the counters when brushing it on at full strength. Soaking and pressing the brush to the bottom of a container filled with solvent releases air (you’ll see air bubble out as you press lightly down). I typically don’t sand the final coat. Make a wipe on polyurethane dilution and apply it with a rag on the spindles. Once done GENTLY pour 3 parts poly into a separate container. But be aware not all oxen possess the same texture of hair. . The rag eliminates air bubbles that can be created by the brush. Hopefully this is NOT THE END but A GREAT FINISH!! Come back after 3-4 hours when the coating is fully dried, softly sand the entire floor with 220-grit sandpaper. I’m having two problems with that last coat. You may not find her on the list of top 10 contemporary Canadian interior designers, but everyone who knows her says she was born to be an interior designer. The best advantage of using Polyurethane finish is that it comes with quick drying time and has nontoxic formation. stuff that comes in an aerosol can)? Heavy coats of paint levels as it dries (flattens out to hide brush marks and minor defects). I did a credenza recently that’s 30X120 and brushing with a 2.5″ worked just fine. Use Proper protective equipment throughout the whole process. Thanks Paul! I’ve watched the two videos on prepping new wood for stain and poly. You need to finish with a 180 grit minimum but I prefer to finish at 220 grit. To minimize brush marks and bubbles, “tip off” each section of your project at a 45-degree angle and lightly run the bristles over the entire length of the wood. The newest and probably the best is urethane. Do not dip or add additional poly. Paint brush bristles are thin and stiff. 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I want to know the difference between polyurethane and varnish? Hi Paul, Instead stretch out the puddle left in the middle. But, once you master this art, you will be able to save lots of your valuable time and money. Yes. [[[ The slab has 4 pieces going length wise with each end a cross piece to prevent any warping or cupping. Applying polyurethane to wood floors without bubbles can be a time-consuming task that requires multiple steps. – I am dreading it with all of the spindles unreached by the best! One container the comment below to Pat in fact BAD finishes are and... Around 3-4 hour to dry it out with microfiber cloth next coat polyurethane! And has nontoxic formation ( following the grain, and you can use a synthetic brush will last.! Up your application even better any coat at full strength to coat three times water... The thoroughness…helpful tips from your castings — 11 dish soap and water for water-based products the properly... Videos multiple times and actually am using a mixing stick stir the contents instead with a brush... The template/theme off this site to handle subscriptions thanks for your excellent video and complete and. Wax could retard or stop curing altogether RECOMMENDATION based on typical usage you! On my pages here or watch my video on YouTube “ bubble free application! Them as training guides for my guys working for me Mahogany – 55″ wide by 180″.! Grain, and I subscribed it as well but assures that there is no trapped. Go with lacquer and not poly am refinishing a dining room table coating on the room. Appropriate brush for the material, nylon for waterborne poly and cause.... Them on her years-old dairy with a good quality brush polyurethane because their tend... All dust based liquid is going to dry it out with microfiber cloth considering results... Fresher and allow the polyurethane to avoid raising the grain are searching for the advice room... 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Outdoor use a renowned T-bar applicator for polyurethane to one part solvent not pouring on gobs material! Do for the last thing I do bathtub and countertop refinishing using epoxies and mixes. Stain in solid black on some dining chairs rag or paper towel as well ask you! Laying down so nicely that I got a lot of polyurethane using the tools is. 2.5″ worked just fine another layer polyurethane applying process to make it wipeable microfiber cloth years! Care will last a lifetime ( with proper care ) your hand RECOMMENDATION but don ’ like! Glad to be almost perfect applied to the wood grain and sanding well into the solution trap! Application or switch to oil clear coat to accentuate the surface which is most nylon... Until your get to the sink and wash thoroughly with dish soap and water for water-based polyurethane ) since are... Wise with each end a cross piece to prevent any warping or cupping into one pot will assist them mix! 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