View Full Version : Apprentice wood finisher

John Keane
08-07-2005, 7:15 PM
Jim Becker has been most helpful and generous with his guidance both public and private. I consider myself a journeyman woodworker, and an apprentice finisher. I have come to the full realization that the more of it I do the less I really know about it. I could buy a finishing book, but if your only going to buy one book, which one? A second hand edition, even dog eared, would probably do the trick. Most of us get into a routine. We find a process or procedure that works to our satifaction and thereafter don't really pursue a new procedure or process. I guess what I am looking for or soliciting is a tried and true finishing process that regardless of the wood species will deliver that finish that when achieved one can be proud to say "I did that". I expect that there is one than one 'favorite'. In my quest to improve my knowledge and capabilities I may ask for amplification. TIA John Keane

Jim Becker
08-07-2005, 8:02 PM
Jeff Jewitt's books are excellent and you can also call him on the phone...http://Homesteadfinishing.com . Dresdin's stuff is also good, as are Flexner's books. I also recommend you check out Steve Mickley's (http://johnjacobmickley.net/Shop%20Pages/Woodshop.htm) advice on finishing...top notch from a really good finishing expert. (Steve is the moderator of the finishing forum at WOOD Online and also has penned some articles for them) Click on the "finishing considerations" link at the bottom of the page my link takes you to. BTW, if you accidentally get to the "home page" of Steve's site, you can click on his watch in the picture to get back to the shop/finishing advice areas...most of his site is for his business.

Keith Christopher
08-07-2005, 8:37 PM
also at homestead finishing check out their forums.

*****Moderator removed direct link to another public forum - TOS violation ***


Mike Cutler
08-07-2005, 9:24 PM
John. Jim has a nice list of books in his post . I personally like the book by Flexner. He goes into some detail on the chemistry of finishes and the cellular properties of some different species of wood, and why they interrelate. Additionally he touches on the compatibility of different types of products based on chemistry.
Jeff Jewitt's books are also very good, he also has alot of info on his website.
Currently I've been using the General Finishes line of products, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Nothing sophisticated though. I've been finishing a lot of Jatoba with the Seal A Cell and the Arm R Seal wipe on oil/urethane topcoat. Both are being used "clear".
I've also used the Bartley's Gel Stains. They were a little different to use, but once you experiment a bit they are very versatile.
I'd like to start experimenting with lacquers and shellacs a bit more, but my shop definitely isn't setup for these products yet. Not enough air exchange, and I don't want to use a repirator while finishing.
I don't really know that there is one magic finish technique/product that works on all woods. The cellular differences and the mineral/chemical properties of each species would almost require different techniques for different types of wood.
I used to kinda dread finishing,but the more I've been playing around with them lately, the more I'm starting to enjoy the finish process as much as the building process. I still hate the cleaning up process though :D

Carl Eyman
08-08-2005, 9:37 AM
That is Jeff Jewitt's Finishing. The reason I chose this is, as Jeff says, it is meant to be a tool that is in the shop ready for reference when you have a question. I have several of the books Jim mentioned, and feel you can't go wrong with any of them, but this still tremains my 'one book" choice.