Author Archives: Bob Flexner

Bob Flexner

About Bob Flexner

Bob Flexner is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking and the author of woodworking finishing books, including “Flexner on Finishing,” “Understanding Wood Finishing” and “Wood Finishing 101,” available at ShopWoodworking.com. Also available are his DVDs on "Repairing Furniture" and “Refinishing Furniture.” Bob is probably best known for defining the products used in wood finishing and organizing them into categories that make them easily understandable.

Suspicions Confirmed: Zero VOC Claims Exaggerated

Ever since water-based paints and finishes began carving out a market for replacing solvent-based products, claims for the amount of solvent these products contain have been getting increasingly lower. That is, until a few years ago when some products actually began claiming zero VOCs. I’ve been suspicious of this claim ever...

Hide Glue – Part 4: Factory Pictures

When I wrote my posting on how hide glue is made last Dec. 5, I knew I had pictures from the Milligan & Higgins hide glue factory, but I couldn’t find them. Now I have, so I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you. There’s no...

Overspray and Bounce-back

Terminology is important. If we aren’t all using the same definitions, we can’t communicate. Using sloppy language is one of my pet peeves, and I spend lots of effort just defining terms. Here’s a term I often hear misused: overspray. Overspray is the sprayed finish that misses the target. It’s less...

Peeling Paint on Exterior Doors

A reader had a problem with the paint on his front doors, which he thought might be caused by exposure to strong sunlight for many hours each day. Fortunately, he sent pictures, which told me a different story. From the pictures, it seemed more likely that the damage was caused by...

Update on Finish Company Consolidations

I’ve reported previously on Sherwin-Williams buying Valspar and PPG’s attempt to buy AkzoNobel, which would combine the two largest coatings suppliers in the world. To complete the purchase of Valspar by Sherwin-Williams, Valspar was required to spin off its wood coatings division to Axalta, which it did. (I had never heard...

Paste Wax – Make it Harder & Glossier

The first big investigation I ever did for an article in a woodworking magazine was on paste waxes. I collected 13 different brands and tried to figure out the differences. I also read as much as I could find on wax. This was all brought back to me when I got...

Paste Wax for Table Saws & Machinery

In my recent postings, I’ve been writing about silicone oil and fish eye. So a few days ago I was having a deep discussion with a friend about paste wax, and it reminded me of the time I was in a friend’s shop and noticed him spraying Pledge on the top...