Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How to Finish Wood AKA reading Bob Flexner

I sat down to write an entry about a book I have really been enjoying the past couple of weeks. Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish by Bob Flexner is easily the best book on the process of putting nearly Any finish on wood that I've ever read.
The funny part is that there were a few times that I caught myself thinking "I knew that." So I decided to look back and see where I learned that something originally. Often enough, it was an magazine article by Bob Flexner! So, I changed the focus of what I was going to write about.
First of all, buy the book. It dispels a lot of the myths and disinformation that is out there. Since applying an organic or inorganic finish is still chemistry, Mr. Flexner takes that approach to explaining the important bits. Plus, it is intensively visually oriented with more pictures and illustrations then there are pages in the book; which makes sense in a book about finish and finishing techniques. I like the sidebars, which include finish recipes, tips, and myth vs fact entries. Also, with individual chapters devoted to each type of finish, it is easy to find what you are looking for. However, without parroting or paraphrasing from the book (or pointing out that you can use Amazon's Look Inside feature to actually read portions of the book) I thought I'd list a couple of Bob's articles that are available online.
A Primer on Solvents
PROTECTING EXTERIOR WOOD What Manufacturers Won't Tell You
The 7 Myths of Polyurethane
How To Brush a Finish
Heck, that is enough - it isn't tough to use Google, or go on the Popular Woodworking Magazine website and search for Bob Flexner. And buy the book - you'll be glad you did.

No comments: