LumberJocks

Taking the time to read Flexner's book

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by RipFence posted 11-11-2017 03:03 AM 312 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RipFence's profile

RipFence

67 posts in 2505 days


11-11-2017 03:03 AM

Just read the chapters on oil finishes and on varnishes from Understanding Wood Finishes. Really wish I had read his book years ago. SOOOOO much misleading or just plain wrong information on the web. He does a great job of giving straight facts.
If you haven’t read one of his books, and you care about finishing, you really owe it to yourself to stop by the library and pick one up.
Cheers,
Jim


12 replies so far

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10462 posts in 2192 days


#1 posted 11-11-2017 04:34 AM

I think anyone who reads this, or any good book on finishing, is well ahead of the curve. I have this book and one by FW but the Flexner book is a better general book on finishing.

I would also recommend Tage Frid’s trilogy.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Rich's profile

Rich

1857 posts in 401 days


#2 posted 11-11-2017 04:34 AM

Wait. What? Misleading information on the Internet? It can’t be.

Besides his book, I never miss his regular Flexner on Finishing articles in PW. Two other good books are by Jeff Jewitt and Teri Masaschi.

Along with reading, try things out. In between projects, I do countless sample boards in different woods that I use regularly and every dye, stain and finish I can get my hands on. Some of them are winners and many are definite no-goes, but it gives me a head start on where to begin when I do get to the finishing stage of a project.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View RipFence's profile

RipFence

67 posts in 2505 days


#3 posted 11-11-2017 02:44 PM

Hi Rich:
Yes experimentation is key!
I mixed up two DIY Danish oils. One with Tung oil and one with boiled linseed oil. No visible difference in color or sheen (BLO may darken more with time). Flexner mentions that Tung is more water resistant. So I did some tests with a wet glass sitting on a test piece for one hour, then let the wet spot air dry. It left a slight but noticeable mark on the BLO but no mark at all of the Tung oil version. So then I did two hours on the Tung, still no mark. Then I wet the glass with soapy water. Still no mark on the Tung version. So, my Morris chairs will get my Tung Danish Oil finish, starting today.
Cheers,
Jim

Along with reading, try things out. In between projects, I do countless sample boards in different woods that I use regularly and every dye, stain and finish I can get my hands on. Some of them are winners and many are definite no-goes, but it gives me a head start on where to begin when I do get to the finishing stage of a project.

- Rich


View Rich's profile

Rich

1857 posts in 401 days


#4 posted 11-11-2017 03:13 PM

That’s pretty cool, Jim. What did you use for the varnish component?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

501 posts in 1397 days


#5 posted 11-11-2017 03:20 PM

gotta get a copy!
thanks

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View RipFence's profile

RipFence

67 posts in 2505 days


#6 posted 11-11-2017 03:42 PM

Thanks Rich. I used Pratt and Lambert #38 satin varnish.

What did you use for the varnish component? – Rich

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4709 posts in 2305 days


#7 posted 11-11-2017 04:02 PM



Thanks Rich. I used Pratt and Lambert #38 satin varnish.

What did you use for the varnish component? – Rich

- RipFence


Good choice, I just wish it was easier to find (the P&L), it’s my favorite. Flexner’s book is awesome, I read it much like a novel. Jeff Jewitt’s book is equally good, but arranged in a different fashion. I find it more useful as a esk reference when I need to check something. It’s my belief that one (or both) should be required material in any hobbyist shop…maybe a few pro shops as well. Someone mentioned this above, but Flexner writes a regular blog at the PWW site, as well as a regular column in their magazine…one of the reasons I still subscribe.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RipFence's profile

RipFence

67 posts in 2505 days


#8 posted 11-11-2017 04:16 PM

I just wish it was easier to find (the P&L), it s my favorite.

Thanks Fred. Based on Flexner’s discussion about protectiveness of the various finishes, I also made up a wiping varnish with two parts P & L and one part mineral spirits. It was just as easy to apply but I liked the darker color from oil.
So this brings up a new question:
Can I apply 2 or 3 coats of oil/varnish/mineral spirits and then finish with a final coat (or two) of just wiping varnish?
I can’t see why this wouldn’t work but after reading Flexner’s book I am keenly aware of how much I don’t know.
Cheers,
Jim

View Rich's profile

Rich

1857 posts in 401 days


#9 posted 11-11-2017 04:32 PM

Fred, uspaintsupply.com sells P&L. Their shipping rates are reasonable as well, with a $10 flat rate up to $99 and free thereafter.

Jim, that should work fine. You might want to hit it with some 400 or 600 grit before the top coat.

I definitely want to play around with the blends you’re doing, Jim. When I use tung oil, I usually apply it by itself, give it a few days to cure, and top it with lacquer. I also am a fan of both Waterlox original and Arm-R-Seal. They are both oil based, but give different results. Arm-R-Seal is clearer and I like that on light wood like maple, and Waterlox seems to highlight the figure more, but is a bit yellower. All are subjective though. Just my observations.

I’d like to see if mixing tung oil with a high grade urethane would give me the depth of Waterlox with less color.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4709 posts in 2305 days


#10 posted 11-12-2017 12:28 PM

Rich, thanks…I bookmarked their page.

Jim, what you want to do will work fine…but why you would want to do it is a little puzzling to me. You will get the same result if you first hit the wood with a coat of BLO (or one coat of the danish oil mix), wipe it off, dry overnight, then just use the wiping varnish. The BLO (or danish oil) will provide some color/grain enhancement, then the varnish for protection.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RipFence's profile

RipFence

67 posts in 2505 days


#11 posted 11-12-2017 02:41 PM

Thanks Fred! I was thinking that more coats = more protection. But, as you say, the varnish would be much more protective so maybe one coat of Danish and one coat of varnish would be the way to go.
Cheers,
Jim


Rich, thanks…I bookmarked their page.

Jim, what you want to do will work fine…but why you would want to do it is a little puzzling to me. You will get the same result if you first hit the wood with a coat of BLO (or one coat of the danish oil mix), wipe it off, dry overnight, then just use the wiping varnish. The BLO (or danish oil) will provide some color/grain enhancement, then the varnish for protection.

- Fred Hargis


View jimintx's profile

jimintx

501 posts in 1397 days


#12 posted 11-12-2017 04:17 PM

I have determined there are four books by Flexner (maybe more, but I quickly found four, when I include two editions of one title).

The one I think might be the preferred one to get is titled “Understanding Wood Finishing: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish”, a 2010 update of the original from 1994.
.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com