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Understanding Wood Finishing HC (FC Edition): How to Select and Apply the RIght Finish (American Woodworker) Hardcover – October 15, 2010
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About the Author
Before beginning his writing and teaching career, Bob Flexner spent 20 years running a woodworking and restoration shop. In addition to writing the first edition of Understanding Wood Finishing, Bob has made two award-winning videos, hosted The Furniture Workshop, his own call-in radio show, and taught several hundred workshops and seminars. In addition, he has written more than 300 articles and edited the leading magazine dedicated to the professional furniture-restoration trade.
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Top Customer Reviews
Another strength this book has is the classification he provides of many finishing products. I especially appreciate the breakdown of "oil" finishes, an area of consternation for many woodfinishers. This arrangement allows Flexner to provide more accurate definitions and instructions for application than if he had grouped them all together.
Furthermore, Flexner provides troubleshooting sections for most chapters covering various finish types. As a bonus for beginners, many of the problems are well illustrated with vivid photographs (vivid photographs and illustrations being commonplace throughout the entire book). The problem is always accompanied by at least one potential problem and at least one potential solution, giving the wood worker a number of options. There are also photos of examples the author has prepared to show the difference in different finishes and techniques.Read more ›
Many reviews state that Bob is opinionated. Yes, he is, and we, the readers of this book, can benefit from it. He dislikes manufacturers misleading statements or missing ingredients lists. Or how about "salad bowl finish" is nothing but thinned varnish. During his professional career, he has questioned everything, researched and found the truth, and presented it here in easily understood language and images.
He focuses heavily on the chemistry of the various types of finishes and puts them in layman's terms to allow the reader to be able to make the overall best choice for type of finish based on a number of factors.
I had the opportunity to sit in on one of Bob's classes. He used a mix of product brands, only one of which was "professional", and simple techniques for hand applying the products. Several times, in a matter of an hour or less, with nothing up his sleeves, he produced better first coats (sometimes over stain) than I've ever achieved as a final finish. He also demostrated a few techniques, including showing how following the instructions for a pre-stain sealer provided poor results. He showed that tung oil is not always tung oil. He had many more examples crammed into 6 hours.
I feel that I now have a much better grasp of techniques and options that will not only allow me to achieve much improved results, but also with less work.
The new edition displays the same clarity in writing, but includes 50% more pages and clear full-color photos. Also included are additional topics on newer technology finishes.
The first edition was a seminal work in wood finishing, exposing and debunking the myths (and product labels) and explaining why things work the way they do. Bob faced the same confusion early is his career, figured it out, and shared it with the rest of us.
This is a great book for someone that is trying to figure out finishes and is getting stymied. If you automatically reach for the same old can of finish all the time and want to expand, this is a great choice.
I have two copies of first edition and refer to them regularly. The second edition will be used likewise.
More than others, Flexner goes into detail and makes it easy to understand wood finishing. Finishing manufactures can tell us everything but this book does away with myths and marketing lies.
Also, unlike other books that show you a $$$$ spray booth to admire Bob doesn't leave you alone with this. I've read a lot of wood finishing books but this is the first one that shows you how to setup a simple and safe spraybooth in your workshop.
As you may have guessed already I recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Haven't finished reading it yet but for someone who doesn't have much experience with finishing I thought that what I've read so far was well written with some great advice.Published 16 days ago by wayne lenhard
Excellent book. I had not done any serious wood finishing for many years. Reading Bob's book, I found out that things had changed a lot both in finishing Techniques and wood... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wayne
I love this book! For a newbie woodworker like myself, it is an absolute treasure of information about finishing. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mike D.