"Finishing, Simply Put" by Charles Neil
You know the type of book that just makes you want to sit back in your easy chair, kick off your shoes, maybe slip into your footie pajamas with the ice cream stains on the front, enjoy a six pack of… er, hot cocoa… and just read it all the way through. I love books like that. "Finishing, Simply Put" by Charles Neil is not that kind of book.
Oh, don't get me wrong, it's a gripping read. I mean, "simply put" is right in the title, and nobody makes the complex understandable like the southern sage of sawdust himself. (Charles doesn't know I call him that.) Beginning with the first page he takes you right into his shop where his Virginia hospitality and, dare I suggest a pitcher of sweet tea, makes you feel right at home among the tiger maple and flame birch. For a moment you almost forget that you're chatting with one of the most accomplished period furniture makers you're ever going to meet, even if you only do so through the pages of his book. But as the chapters progress, and the finishes begin to build up, you suddenly remember who's the teacher, and who's the student. This guy knows a lot of stuff!
Want to know how to apply a two part wood bleach? Having trouble with your blotches? Need a solution for orange peel or fish eyes? It's in all in the book. From pre-sanding to pre-finishing to trace-coating to grain-filling, all the way to stain application and dye migration, equalizing, layering and color degradation; it's all in the book. You'll learn to use ferrous sulfate, potassium dichromate, asphaltum: the forgotten finishing gem… it's all in the book. The table of contents alone is as long as some entire books on the subject! There isn't a type, technique or tool that isn't covered in exhaustive detail with hundreds of full color pictures. It's 50 years worth of finishing knowledge condensed into 231 well organized pages.
No, this isn't the kind of book you sit down and read through on a lazy afternoon. It's an encyclopedia that's meant to be kept in the workshop, pulled out often and referred to when you're in a panic because you just messed up that chest of drawers you spent a month building; or when you're trying to achieve that special look that you just can't seem to find in that can; or when you're simply in the mood to pack your brain with information until your eyes glaze over like you've been in the fumes again. Whatever the situation, Charles Neil has created a resource that no shop should be without!
Get the book on Charles Neil's website.
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