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Understanding Wood Finishing HC (FC Edition): How to Select and Apply the RIght Finish (American Woodworker) (American Woodworker (Hardcover)) Hardcover – October 15, 2010
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With its clear writing and engaging style, this is without a doubt the best researched, most authoritative, and easy-to-follow book on the subject. - Steve Shanesy, "Popular Woodworking "magazine editor
As professional finishers know and as amateurs will surely realize, finishing is easy once you know what you are doing. Understanding Wood Finishing makes the science of finishing understandable. - Frank Klausz, a professional cabinetmaker
We use Understanding Wood Finishing as the textbook for our students training to go ionto the furniture industry. It's the best written, most accurate, and most thorough wood finishing book in print by far. - David Miles, wood technology professor at Pittsburg State University
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.
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
Great book on wood finishing. More information than one will normally need but you'll be happy it's there for when you do. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Robert Wadsworth
I've been working with wood for over20 years. This book is the best and most straight forward ever. Plenty of color photos . What a dealPublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I can't say enough good things about Bob and this book. It takes all of the mysticism and "expert age old" myths and dispels them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Seme
This book is very comprehensive and has helped me to better understand all the different finishing options. It has helped me take my woodworking to the next level. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jan
I'm new to the trade. This book on wood finishing has taught me a ton of stuff. For example, I now know that a stain does not protect the wood like a finish (like a clear... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Student_of_Life
Ok... Started reading this excellent book and I have gained so much knowledge in reading the first two chapters that I feel like a better woodworker. Read morePublished 3 months ago by pooky0430