Author Archives: 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.

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...

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....