Bob Flexner

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The Trouble with VOC-compliant Finishes

When it comes to finish, I want something that is easy to apply, offers a little protection and doesn’t require spray equipment. And once I find a finish I like, I tend to be pretty loyal. I used Minwax’s Antique Oil Finish almost exclusively before a friend turned me on to Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish...

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Flexner on Finishing: ‘Green’ Solvents

These environmentally friendly products are surprisingly effective. By Bob Flexner Pages: 60-62 From the February 2012 issue #195 Buy the issue now. The three primary solvents we use in wood finishing are paint thinner (mineral spirits), lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol. Paint thinner thins and cleans up oils, oil stains and varnishes, including oil-based polyurethane. Lacquer thinner thins...

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Wood Finishing 101 – The Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a great gift idea! Save 31 percent on Flexner’s latest must-have book on finishing. Wood finishing doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. It can be “boiled down” to simple step-by-step instructions. And that’s what this book offers; no science, no art, just easily-to-follow directions with lots of pictures to show you every...

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Flexner on Finishing: French Polishing Myths

Linen and more. By Bob Flexner Pages: 60-62 From the December 2011 issue #194 Buy the issue now Three times in the last year, articles have appeared in major woodworking magazines instructing readers to use linen for the outer cloth in a French polishing pad. No explanation, just the instruction. This brought back memories from 30 years ago of...

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...

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Wiping Varnish

An excellent finish for first timers (and beyond). By Bob Flexner Pages: 50-55 From the November 2011 issue #193 Buy this issue now Wiping varnish is the finish I recommend you use if you are finishing for the first time. Wiping varnish is a term I coined in 1990 to categorize a large number of very popular fi...

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Flexner on Finishing: Odds & Ends

Four short (but crucial) finishing subjects. By Bob Flexner Pages: 58-60 From the October 2011 issue #192 Buy the issue now What follows are four concise – but important – finishing topics about which you’ve likely wondered. 1 – Metamerism Most of us have experienced a situation where we finish a project in our shop or garage to...

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Finishing for the Rest of Us

Here’s some tough love: Most good woodworkers are terrible finishers. I know this because I have seen hundreds – probably thousands – of pieces of furniture that have been entered in competitions or in juried shows during the last 15 years. And while the design, wood selection and joinery might be excellent, the finish...