Author Archives: Bob Flexner

Bob Flexner

About Bob Flexner

Bob Flexner is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking and the author of woodworking finishing books including "Flexner on Finishing," available in the ShopWoodworking.com store at this link.

One method of removing white water marks (rings) is to wipe over with a lightly alcohol-dampened cloth. You’ll have more control if you fold the cloth into a pad, like a French-polish pad. Use only enough alcohol so you leave an evaporating trail resembling a comets tail as you wipe.

How to Remove Watermarks

A wet drinking glass can make an ugly white  or dark ring on your furniture. Here’s how to fix the damage. by Bob Flexner Watermarks occur on furniture with finishes that have aged. These marks, also called water rings when they’re round in shape, rarely occur in newly applied film-building finishes, even those such...

Top closed. With the hinged top folded closed,
the piece serves as a chest of drawers. Notice
my veneer repair in the lower left-hand corner
of the top.

The Thick & Thin of Veneer Repair

Veneer is just thin wood – so don’t be afraid of it. by Bob Flexner from the November 2009 issue, #179 I love repairing old furniture – the older the better. I find repairing more challenging and satisfying than making new because someone else, or time and age, has set the parameters within which...

Wiping Varnish – What is it?

Wiping varnish is simply any brand of oil-based alkyd (regular) varnish or oil-based polyurethane varnish in any sheen (gloss or satin) thinned about half with mineral spirits (paint thinner). Rules for Application ■  Wipe or brush on the wood and ■  Wipe off all the excess; or ■  Brush off some or most of...

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Flexner on Finishing: Refinishing Furniture

Repair, strip and refinish to restore old pieces. By Bob Flexner Pages: 58-60 From the August 2011 issue #191 Buy this issue now Refinishing is a topic worthy of an entire book. In fact, restoring furniture includes all of woodworking and finishing because all skills may be called into play. In lieu of a book, here...

Finishing for Beginners

Finishing for First-Timers

If you’ve never put brush to bare wood (or you’d like a refresher), learn how to greatly improve your chances of success. By Bob Flexner It’s one thing to describe finishing steps to an experienced finisher. It’s quite another to teach someone who has never applied stain or finish to anything. Describing finishing so...

woodworking oil finish

Oil Finishes: Their History and Use

Here’s how to cut through all the confusion about oil, tung oil and wiping varnish. By Bob Flexner Finishing is a mystery to most woodworkers, but it’s not because finishes are difficult to apply. All that’s involved in applying a finish is transferring a liquid to wood using one of three really easy-to-use tools:...

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Flexner on Finishing: Finishing Cherry

Some straight talk about cherry and blotching. By Bob Flexner Pages: 70-72 From the February 2009 issue #174 Buy this issue now When I opened my furniture-making and restoration shop in 1976, the woods considered best for high-end furniture were walnut and mahogany. Of course, oak and maple were also used, and sometimes cherry....