Author: Bob Flexner
From Library Journal
Now it's easier than ever for woodworkers to get a perfect finish on every project! This book dispels the myths about wood finishing and explains exactly how and why every finish behaves the way it does.
Amazon Customer Reviews:
Single best book on wood staining & finishing
A friend loaned me a copy of this book when I was trying to figure how to stain a cherry cabinet without the typical splotchy results one usually gets with this difficult-to-stain wood. This book not only addressed that problem, it gave several techniques to deal with it. Flexner even explained why different brands of stain would have different results. I was so impressed I bought my own copy. No other book I've seen does such a great job of explaining the technical aspects of how finishes work, and what protection each kind of finish provides, while keeping the text easy to follow and understand. This makes it a great book for learning about the many different stains and wood finishes.
Plus, it is more comprehensive than other wood finishing books I've seen. It explains in detail the different application techniques, when and how to use them. There are plenty of helpful illustrations, including color photo examples of different stains and finishes on various woods. So it is a great reference source when working on a particular project and trying to decide the best finish or application technique to use.
I keep looking for other books on wood finishing that would add to what is in this book. But I haven't come across any yet.
So you'd like to finish wood?
This book is a GREAT place to start your journey into wood finishing.
Bob starts by systematically explaining the logic and science behind different types of finish, including oils (varnish "oils" too, polyurethane and such), shellac, lacquer, conversion, waterbase, waxes, and more.
He also explains application methodology IN DEPTH, such as, french polishing, brushing, spraying.
He explains shaping tools (these include scrapers with sharpening methods, spokeshave devices, steel wools, rubbing compounds, sandpapers (all types)) and how to use them to achieve results.
He then goes in depth into suggestions for different woods, limited exotics and many domestics, as well as good rule of thumb's.
Main positives to this book: Mr. Flexner has given in depth and yet layman's explanations of how finishes work and the chemicals involved. This is integral to applying a good finish, in my opinion. This book could stand alone as everything a fledgling finisher needs to tackle any project.
Main negatives: Mr. Flexner is very informative and systematic. That said, he is obviously not a writer by trade. You WILL find yourself treating this as a reference book, its not a "sunday read" for the woodworking inclined. Several times (not many, but a couple) he contradicts himself (there is a passage that "debunks" the myth of better protection from thicker film build of a finish, and then later he suggests building the finish to a thicker film for "better protection...")
These negative in my opinion NO way detract from the book. It is an incredible reference tool for the amateur, and marks a necessary item for the professional finisher's bookshelf.
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