Article Index Bob Flexner


Furniture Restoration

Learn how to repair typical damage. by Bob Flexner page 46 Thirty-five years ago, I traded $125 worth of work for the mid-19th-century Empire chest-of-drawers pictured here. You could argue that I paid too much, because the amount of work involved in restoring it was considerable, but it was an impulse trade and I...


The Solution to Finish Problems?

All sorts of damage can occur to a finish. I’ve written about the most common problems and how to fix them many times. Four of the articles I wrote for Popular Woodworking are included in my book, “Flexner on Finishing” (Popular Woodworking). These articles deal with problems such as water rings, rubs and scrapes,...


Why is Finishing So Difficult?

Misleading claims and directions may be due to manufacturer ignorance. by Bob Flexner page 62 In the previous issue (#216) I wrote about teak oils and how none have anything to do with teak wood. Reading the article, you may have asked yourself why companies would put out products that aren’t what they say...


Teak Oil: The Oil That Doesn’t Exist

‘Teak oil’ is whatever a manufacturer chooses to put in the container. by Bob Flexner page 38 No wood finish illustrates better than “teak oil” why finishing is so confusing. Brands vary from mineral oil, to linseed oil, to tung oil, to oil/varnish blend, to wiping varnish, to simply wax and turpentine. Many brands...


Flexner on Finishing: Catalyzed Finishes

Apply a professional, quick-drying and durable finish at home. by Bob Flexner page 58 You may have heard of catalyzed finishes: pre-catalyzed lacquer, post-catalyzed lacquer and catalyzed or “conversion” varnish. These finishes are commonly used in industry and in cabinet and professional refinishing shops. But there’s no reason you can’t use them also. The...

1411_PWM_1_Veneer damage

Flexner on Finishing: Furniture Deterioration

Cracking, crazing and physical wear have specific causes and remedies. by Bob Flexner pages 59-60 Everyone who buys, sells, works on or collects old furniture, or who has some in their house, has to be concerned with deterioration. It’s staring them in the face every time they look at the furniture. Totally stopping the...

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...


Matching Colors

Use the method that allows you to keep trying until you get it right. by Bob Flexner pages 60, 62 One of the most challenging tasks in wood finishing is matching the color of an existing object, color swatch or photo in a magazine. Most people try to accomplish this with just a stain,...


Application Problems

Solutions to a baker’s dozen of common finishing difficulties.

by Bob Flexner pages 58-60

It’s easy enough to provide instructions for applying finishes. But in the real world, things go wrong; problems occur that you have to deal with. With the combined goals of defining the problems, providing ways to avoid them, then fixing them after they occur,...