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  Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out
  Author: Hendrik Varju

Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out
 

Hendrik Varju / Passion for Wood / September 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9781432-6-8
9 hours, 52 minutes on 5 DVDs

 

Price: Cdn. $94.95 + applicable taxes
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After four successful instructional DVDs called “Jointer and Planer Secrets”, “Revelations on Table Saw Set-up & Safety”, “Working with Plywood” and “Wood Science & Design”, Hendrik decided to turn his attention to the world of hand staining and finishing techniques.  In order to learn surface preparation techniques and hand finishing methods, you’ll need to start with the companion 5-DVD set called “Surface Preparation and Staining”, but this second 5-DVD set is called “Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out”.  This DVD course takes you through everything you need to know to successfully choose and apply a wide number of finishes to your projects using hand application methods, all spread over nearly 10 hours of footage on 5 discs.  As is Hendrik’s usual style, this DVD set is a detailed step-by-step course – not the “usual” DVD fare that may have disappointed you in the past.

The DVD starts with a review of hand application tools from rags to brushes and rollers.  Hendrik then takes you through an in-depth review of finish categories and characteristics so that you have a full understanding of some of the science behind the finishes.  He categorizes finishes by film thickness, the thinner used and the curing method.  Hendrik believes that true skills cannot be developed without a proper foundation of knowledge to build on.  Learning about the scientific properties of finishes helps explain why certain finishes behave the way they do and why various problems occur in your finishing.

After an overview of the various finish categories, Hendrik then moves into an in-depth review of various finishes, devoting a full chapter to each one.  He covers brushing lacquer, shellac, water base, straight oils, oil-varnish blend and varnish (which includes spar varnish, polyurethane and wiping varnish).  For each finish, Hendrik covers the characteristics, shows you how to thin them and then shows you how to apply them by rag, by brush or by roller, depending on what is most appropriate for that finish.

Regardless of the care you might take in your finishing steps, most film finishes will have some minor imperfections such as dust nibs at the very least, as well as uneven sheen or other surface imperfections.  Hendrik devotes an entire chapter to cover the nearly lost art of “rubbing out” a finish.  He shows you how fine grit sandpaper, steel wool, pumice and rottenstone can be used to vastly improve the final film without having to apply another coat.  He turns a mediocre finishing job into a stunning surface that feels silky smooth, complete with a coat of paste furniture wax.

Hendrik is known for his extremely long and detailed “bonus footage” sections in his instructional DVD courses and this DVD is no exception.  In Chapter 12, he covers “The Perfect Polyurethane Finish”, giving you his step-by-step recipe for achieving the best polyurethane finish by hand.  His special techniques include his time tested thinning ratios, his insistence that a “dash” of further mineral spirits must be added to the mixture every 10 minutes or so, his use of a brush spinner to avoid overthinning of the finish, and many other tips you’ll only learn from a seasoned professional finisher.  Hendrik shows you how to completely avoid brush marks and then deal with minor dust nibs with wet/dry sandpaper.  He then shows you his patented (if it could be patented) wiping varnish technique, complete with the rubbing pad method he developed.  He shows you how to use two pieces of cotton T-shirt material to make a fantastic new finishing tool, and even a worn-out sport sock!

The bonus footage doesn’t end there.  Hendrik then goes on to demonstrate one coat of brush-on varnish on a real project.  Demonstrating on flat panels is the way most teaching is done in the finishing area, but showing his techniques on an actual project has even more relevance to your own finishing struggles at home.  This exercise shows you how Hendrik handles not just flat panels, but verticals, outside corners and inside corners.  You won’t want to miss this sequence, which is filmed entirely in real time, with the camera man struggling to keep up with the action.  Hendrik will show you how to really work a paint brush and how to handle runs and overspill onto adjacent surfaces.  You might not know this, but Hendrik is the son of a house painter and started working with a brush almost as early as he learned to walk!

In this must-have video, you will learn:

  • about the simple application tools that will allow you to achieve professional hand finishing results
  • how different finishes have various film thicknesses and why this is an important consideration
  • the difference between a solvent and thinner and why a firm understanding of these issues explains both application techniques and results
  • about the different ways that finishes cure and why this is important to the properties of the final finish you put on your projects
  • how to thin and apply brushing lacquer
  • how to mix and apply shellac and why this is such a spectacular finish
  • how to apply water base and the special precautions you need to take with this finish
  • how to apply straight oils and how to choose between tung oil, linseed oil, walnut oil and mineral oil
  • how to make your own customized oil-varnish blend and the specific finishing sequence from one coat to the next
  • how to thin and apply brushing varnish and polyurethane, including special attention to avoiding brush marks
  • how to turn a mediocre finish into a spectacular one using materials such as wet/dry sandpaper, steel wool, pumice and rottenstone
  • how to make a finish not only look good, but feel fantastic
  • Hendrik’s personal step-by-step methods for achieving the perfect polyurethane finish, complete with a final coat of wiping varnish
  • about Hendrik’s specially developed wiping pads you can easily make and use in your own workshop
  • how to handle a real project finishing coat, including horizontal surfaces, verticals, inside and outside corners
  • how to maintain and clean your brushes using Hendrik’s approach with a brush comb and brush spinning tool (you’ll rarely have to wash another brush!)

As always, Hendrik’s DVD courses are not like the usual 45 to 60 minute production you may have found disappointing in the past.  Hendrik takes you through every procedure in real time, ensuring that you fully understand the thinking behind every step.  Most woodworking videos and television shows just show you the “gist” of each technique, editing away the finer details and problems that might arise.  If you truly wish to elevate your hand finishing techniques to a professional level, the details are everything.

Normally, Hendrik can only cover all of the high-level details he loves to teach in person, but he has once again succeeded at giving you personal coaching in a DVD format.  As a 5-DVD boxed set running for nearly 10 hours, “Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out” will become the leading instructional woodworking DVD in this area. Together with the companion DVD, “Surface Preparation and Staining”, you will receive almost 19 hours of hand staining and finishing instruction you can immediately put to use in your own workshop.  As the trademarked name says, this is “Private Woodworking Instruction in a Box” and nothing short of Hendrik’s in-shop seminars and courses even comes close.

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Safety Discussion
Safety Discussion
Application Tools
Chapter 1
Application Tools
Finishes Categorized by Film Thickness
Chapter 2
Finishes Categorized
by Film Thickness
Finishes Categorized by Curing Method
Chapter 4
Finishes Categorized by Curing Method
Finishes Categorized by Thinner
Chapter 3
Finishes Categorized
by Thinner

Brushing Lacquer

Shellac

Chapter 5
Brushing Lacquer

Chapter 6
Shellac
Water Base Straight Oils
Chapter 7
Water Base
Chapter 8
Straight Oils
Oil-Varnish Blends Varnish, including Polyurethane, and Wiping Varnish
Chapter 9
Oil-Varnish Blends
Chapter 10
Varnish, including Polyurethane,
and Wiping Varnish
Rubbing Out the Final Finish The Perfect Polyurethane Finish, Step-by-Step
Chapter 11
Rubbing Out
the Final Finish
Chapter 12
The Perfect Polyurethane Finish, Step-by-Step
Project Finishing Demonstration Can’t Beat Real Hair
Chapter 13
Project Finishing Demonstration
Thoughts on Woodworking
Part 1

Can’t Beat Real Hair
Finishing Within a Reasonable Time Improving the Finish After the Fact
Thoughts on Woodworking
Part 2

Finishing Within
a Reasonable Time
Thoughts on Woodworking
Part 3

Improving the Finish
After the Fact