Article Index Flexner on Finishing

10 Finishing Tips & Tricks

Solutions for common situations, from softening edges to stripping. by Bob Flexner pages 66-68 Here are 10 tips and tricks you might use to both speed your finishing and get better results. I’ve arranged them in the rough order of typical finishing steps. Soften Sharp Edges Machining wood leaves edges sharp. Always soften them...

Colonial Apprenticeship

A brief history of a not-so-romantic woodworking education system. by Bob Flexner pages 62-63 Ever since the renewal of interest in woodworking in the 1970s, especially among amateurs and small-shop professionals, there has been talk of reestablishing an apprenticeship program similar to what existed hundreds of years ago. But what was that apprenticeship system...

paint strippers solvent strippers

Flexner on Finishing: The EPA & Paint Strippers

Is this government agency overreaching the bounds of its evidence? by Bob Flexner pages 62-63 This article is an opinion piece on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulation on the paint strippers we have available; I think the government agency is going too far. If you wish to learn more about the differences...

Flexner on Finishing: Brands of Dye Stain Differ

Make sense of different dye types to understand what works for you. by Bob Flexner pgs. 60-63 In the last issue (#230), I mentioned that I liked to use W.D. Lockwood or J.E. Moser water-soluble powder dyes (they are the same) for staining, and non-grain-raising (NGR) or TransTint liquid dyes (they are also the...

7 Ways to Get a Darker Color

Gain more control over your staining with these techniques. by Bob Flexner pgs. 60-63 The most popular types of stains are oil stains, also called wiping stains (though most stains are wiped after application). Oil stains are widely available at paint stores and home centers. They are very easy to use because they provide...

Changing VOC Laws

Air quality initiatives affect coatings availability in different areas. by Bob Flexner pgs. 62-63 Four years ago in this column I explained how VOC regulations are putting restrictions on large users of finishing products and causing changes to formulations affecting all users. I concluded that only the large users are directly affected by the...

Explaining Polymerized Oil

Simple in theory, not in the real world. by Bob Flexner pgs. 62-63 A reader of my blog (at popularwoodworking.com) asked me to explain what polymerized oil is. So here goes. On one level the explanation is incredibly simple and on another it’s representative of all that makes finishing and finishes so hard to...

Flexner on Finishing: White Water Rings

Understanding causes and remedies of this typically shallow damage. by Bob Flexner pgs. 62-63 A friend sent me a web link to a video and short text recommending the use of mayonnaise to remove white water rings on tabletops thinking that I would scoff at this remedy. I didn’t. I’ve actually seen mayonnaise work...

Flexner on Finishing: My ‘Half-right Rule’

Knowing which half to believe is why finishing seems so difficult. by Bob Flexner pages 62-63 Many years ago I coined what I call my “half-right rule.” That is, half of what you read or hear about finishing is right; you just don’t know which half. You may suspect that I developed this rule...