Article Index Bob Flexner

Cabinet-grade Finishing

Not everything has to have a furniture-grade finish. by Bob Flexner pages 66-68 If you read the woodworking magazines or look online, you often come across instructions for filling pores, glazing, toning, rubbing out and so on. These are wonderful techniques for use on sophisticated projects such as furniture. But they...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

sanding sealers

Flexner on Finishing: Sealers – What Are They?

An explanation of this most confusing of finishing treatments. by Bob Flexner pages 52-53 In the late 1980s, I hosted a local call-in radio show dealing with finishing and restoration. I remember one caller explaining that he had applied four coats of tung oil; he asked what he should use to...