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Expert's Corner — myth

Caring for Furniture

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How to care for furniture and woodwork has to be the most confusing and misrepresented topic in all of woodworking and finishing. Claims from product manufacturers range from one absurdity to another: from replacing natural oils in wood to moisturizing the finish to causing wax build-up. The misunderstandings these claims cause lead many people to think that some products actually damage their furniture. A discussion of these misunderstanding, or “myths,” follows at the end of this article. With so many products on the market, and with so many confusing and even contradictory claims, how can you decide for yourself, or...

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TIP: Finish Both Sides?

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A pervasive myth in the woodworking community is that you should finish both sides of wood, especially tabletops, to reduce the likelihood of warping. This myth has been carried to the extremes of finishing insides of chests-of-drawers, cabinets and drawers. Especially for the undersides of tabletops and the insides of drawers and cabinets, it’s often a good idea to apply a finish for looks, feel and ease of cleaning. But the finish does almost nothing to prevent warps. All your experience tells you this. For example, finishing undersides or insides of furniture made before the 1920s was very unusual. If...

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