Article Index Flexner on Finishing

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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,...

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Flexner on Finishing: Acetone in the Woodshop

This solvent’s versatility makes it ideal in many situations.by Bob Flexner pages 62-3If 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...

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Flexner on Finishing: Fish Eye & Silicone

The truth behind craters and ridges.by Bob Flexner pages 62-3If 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...

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Flexner on Finishing: Revive or Restore?

Discover how (and when) to give old, deteriorated finishes new life.By Bob Flexner Pages 62-63As 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...

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Flexner on Finishing: How to Choose a Finish

Your decision is simplified by the process of elimination.By Bob Flexner Pages 60-62At 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...

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

Achieve great results with the least amount of work.By Bob Flexner Pages 62-63Think 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...

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Flexner on Finishing: Wipe-on Finishes

How can something so simple be made so hard to understand?By Bob Flexner Page 60-62It’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...