Article Index Flexner on Finishing


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,...


Flexner on Finishing: Acetone in the Woodshop

This solvent’s versatility makes it ideal in many situations. by Bob Flexner pages 62-3 If you’ve been shopping at paint stores or in the paint department of home centers for the last decade or so, you may have noticed the increased prominence of acetone among the solvents. There is a reason for this. Acetone is among the very...


Flexner on Finishing: Fish Eye & Silicone

The truth behind craters and ridges. by Bob Flexner pages 62-3 If your finishing career has been limited to finishing projects you have made, you may never have experienced fish eye. But if you have done much refinishing, especially of furniture, you have surely seen fish eye. Fish eye is the finish crawling up to form moon-like craters...


Flexner on Finishing: Revive or Restore?

Discover how (and when) to give old, deteriorated finishes new life. By Bob Flexner Pages 62-63 As finishes age, they deteriorate. First they dull, then they begin showing small cracks (called “crazing”). The culprit of this degradation is oxygen, which attacks the finish very slowly. Crazing is accelerated so much by ultraviolet light and heat, however, that...


Flexner on Finishing: How to Choose a Finish

Your decision is simplified by the process of elimination. By Bob Flexner Pages 60-62 At some point as you progress in woodworking, you begin to realize that there are many finishes to choose among; you probably ask yourself if you are using the best finish for your project. Choosing is not as hard as it seems because...


Flexner on Finishing: 5 Tricks for a Silky-smooth Finish

Achieve great results with the least amount of work. By Bob Flexner Pages 62-63 Think about it: What’s the first thing you do when judging someone else’s woodwork? You run your hand over it, of course. If it feels really smooth, you admire the work. If it feels rough, you aren’t as impressed – even though the...


Flexner on Finishing: Wipe-on Finishes

How can something so simple be made so hard to understand? By Bob Flexner Page 60-62 It’s probably fair to say that a majority, or at least a large minority, of woodworkers use a finish they can wipe on and off the wood. No expensive spray gun; not even any brush cleanup. Simple. At least the application is...


Flexner on Finishing: Sealers & Washcoats

Understand the difference between these often misused terms. By Bob Flexner Pages 60-62 It would be difficult to find wood finishing subjects that have been made more confusing than sealing and washcoating. This is unfortunate because these procedures are very simple and easy to understand. Definitions A sealer is the first coat of finish you apply to the wood....

Flexer Aug 12

Flexner on Finishing: Finishes: They are A-changin’

Reformulations may compel you to adjust your finishing process. By Bob Flexner Pages 64-66 Many years ago a friend explained to me the difference between woodworking tools and finishes. Woodworking tools, he said, are physics. You can see them. You can see that a band saw isn’t a table saw even though it has a table. But finishes...