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Tauntons Complete Illustrated Guide To Finishing Hardcover – March 11, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With scores of color photos showing in medias res finishing work and dozens of carefully composed illustrations showing angles, strokes and tools, this latest entry in Taunton’s guide series should give even the most amateur aspirant a shot at sophisticated wood finishing effects. Jewitt, a Cleveland-based refinisher who runs his own business, is the veteran of two previous books, Hand-Applied Finishes and Great Wood Finishes. Here, he uses his expertise to introduce would-be home finishers to everything from the right brushes and spray guns ("conventional" v. "HVLP," or High Volume Low Pressure), to the proper techniques for sanding molded edges by hand, to the difference between glazing and toning. The book is intelligently laid out: no page is ever too busy, but each spread contains enough information to take readers through a full step of a process so that they don’t have to drop whatever tools are in hand to flip a page. Well paced and comprehensive, Jewitt’s book is a valuable resource for neophytes and pros alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jeff Jewitt is the author of Hand-Applied Finishes and Great Wood Finishes. He lives in Cleveland.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (March 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585922
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In addition to running a full-time finishing supply company, Homestead Finishing Products, Jeff finds time to re-finish, write and teach. He has written extensively for FINE WOODWORKING Magazine for over 14 years and has written articles on finishing for other magazines and Professional Journals. He has developed finishing products which are sold all over the world under the "Homestead" name and is the author of 5 books: HAND APPLIED FINISHES, GREAT WOOD FINISHES, THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FINISHING (Taunton Press), FURNITURE REPAIR AND REFINISHING (Handyman Club of America) and SPRAY FINISHING MADE SIMPLE, as well as 3 videos: COLORING WOOD, APPLYING TOPCOATS and SPRAY FINISHING MADE SIMPLE (Taunton Press).

I've written 5 books about my passion for woodfinishing and refinishing. Below are some personal comments about each book.

"Hand Applied Finishes" 1997. My first book and written in response to my first generation of students. The first book you write is always the hardest because you never know if it's the only one you'll write. This book was targeted towards the myriad of amateurs, novices and home warriors who dread finishing. Covers the "classic and traditional" techniques like brushing varnish, French Polishing and will introduce you to some intermediate techniques like glazing and using dye stains. The best part was doing the video which is now avaialable as a DVD. It doesn't appear on this page but you can search "all departments" on amazon with the keyword "Hand Applied Finishes DVD".

"Great Wood Finishes" 2000. My second book and Randy O'Rourke did the photography. Randy has done photography for everyone from Martha Stewart to "Houses on the Water" and is one of the best woodworking photographers in the field. This book covers 14 popular finishes from start to finish, and was the design impetus by the Taunton Press to utilize this concept. What followed was their "Complete Illustrated Series" with authors covering everything from tablesaws to routers. My best selling book and uses some of the basics covered in Hand Applied Finishes and expands on them. Covers both spraying and hand application techniques.

"Furniture Repair and Refinishing" 2001. The only book I've ever written on refinishing and repair techniques. You'll have to get this by joining the Handyman Club of America or using the re-sellers listed on Don't tell anyone but I actually consider myself a much better repair/refinisher than a straight finishing guy.

"The Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing" 2004. This book took 2 full years of my life to write. It's everything I know about finishing and in one sense was what I wanted to write for the first book but couldn't because the subject had to narrowed somewhat. I was given complete freedom to write all that I knew. My wife Susan assisted by doing all the photos. If I'm asked "Which one of your books should I buy? (assuming you ignore my response - "all of them") this is the one book to get. In fact this book along with the DVD, "Hand Applied Finishes" makes a nice set for anyone. At this point I had a better technical grasp on the chemistry of finishes as I was well into my current career as a finish and stain formulator for the business I own today, Homestead Finishing Products.

"Spray Finishing Made Simple" 2010. My latest book and one I've wanted to do for the past 5 years. I probably would have published this myself if Taunton hadn't generously offered the idea. Bottom line - if you are thinking of spraying a finish, or have a spray gun, get this book. It's a downright steal for under 20.00 for a 125 page book and 50 minute DVD. Great step by step action covers everything from spraying stains and sealers to clear lacquers and latex paint. As the troubleshooter for my business, I know all the in's and out's of the problems you'll get into spraying. Plenty of advice on solving problems and cleaning/maintaining your spray equipment.

----Jeff Jewitt---- 3/10/2010

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Caleb James on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book lives up to its name. It is "complete". If you are looking for a straight forward explination of how to do certain finishes this is not the book for you. The book is around 300 pages and you can expect to read most of the pages before you get a good idea of how to "completely" finish a project. This is more like a college text book rather then a finishing guide for dumbies. For me I like this kind of approach since I want to know why I am doing a certain process rather than just what is the next step in a finising process like a french polish for example. The only reason I didn't give this a five star is that the explinations are not very clearly stated. Like I said you have to do alot of reading of different sections before you can put things together. I hope this helps someone to decide if this is the book for them.
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110 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Keith Mealy on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At over 300 pages of superbly illustrated information, this book is the new bible on wood finishing. The words "Complete" and "Illustrated" in the title tell it all.
Just about everything you need to know about finishing from basics to advanced is covered. Every topic is illustrated with full-color photos and line drawings when needed.
Plenty of hints, off-page references and guidance.
Topics are covered in anywhere from a half-page with three photos to whole chapters. Jeff and his wife, Susan, the photographer, have gone out of their way to show every process and product talked about. Every chapter is organized the same way, which may be the way of Taunton's new, "Complete Illustrated Guide to..."
If you are only going to buy one book on finishing, or if you have a whole shelf full, you need to buy and read this book.
Great job, Jeff and Susan!
Now that I have a bit more time, I thought the table of contents would be interesting and tell more about the wealth of information in this book:
1) The finishing environment
2) Tools for surface preparation
3) Finishing Tools
4) Preparing Flat Surfaces
5) Preparation of Curved and Complex Surfaces
6) Fixing defects
7) Stain Basics and Application
8) Glazes, Padding Stains and Toners
9) Natural Dyes, Chemical Stains and Bleaches
10) Controlling Color
11) Filling Pores
12) Sealers
13) Choosing a Finish
14) Reactive finishes (including new conversion finishes)
15) Evaporative finishes
16) Water-Based Finishes
17) Rubbing out Finishes
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By AK on January 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read a bunch of finishing books in search of the perfect finish. This book is by far the most thorough, best organized book out there. The quality of the images and illustrations are outstanding and the books is packed full of useful information. I love all of the high quality images they use to show you errors in finishes and then go on to show you how to resolve the problems. They give pluses and minuses of each finishing technique and show you the best ways to apply them. All in all, A GREAT BOOK.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Weber VINE VOICE on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall this book cover everything you need to know about finishing.

It is illustrated with wonderfull color pictures.

The text is clear and complete, it cover methods appropriate for the hobyist up to the industrial shop.

All the aspect of finishing are addressed.

If I had to buy one book about finishing that would be the one.

I would have given it 5 start if the book was organized in a more chronological fashion. I would have put the section talking about would conditioning, filling pores etc before the staining which would in my opinion would have make the reading easier.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jay H. on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike the other books in the Taunton's series, this one seems to jump around. The presentation is complex. This book may be useful to a more advanced woodworker. As a novice I found it daunting. It is, with out a doubt very thorough.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GH on December 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Taunton's Guides are well written and illustrated with many color images. This one has a tremendous amount of information, but beginners may be put off by the large number of finishing materials and heavy machinery that are discussed; if you've just built a table and want to know a couple of ways to finish it, this book may be excessive. But if you want a full discussion of finishing techniques and you can sort out which ones are for you, this book is fine.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Mitton on December 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Finishing is one of the few areas in woodworking where modern technology can add to the craft. It's also an area where I know many woodworkers start to scratch their heads over the options available. This book does two things very well.

Firstly it outlines all of the different finishing option available today and considers their pros and cons and explains why you would use one on a particular project instead of another. The finish on an outdoor teak bench will likely be much different than that of a display case. Reading the book will give you an excellent understanding of why.

The second thing I especially like about the book (and all Taunton books) are the great pictures that outline each project. By following the techniques and pictures you have an almost foolproof guide to great results.

An excellent addition to any woodworker's library.
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