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Expert's Corner — naptha

Asphaltum, A Forgotten Finishing Gem!

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Many years ago, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I had the privilege of working with two older gentleman in Charleston, South Carolina. Their forte was antique restoration as well as creating reproductions of the same. They went by the names of Jim and Bob, one was from Germany as I think, and the other from Sweden or Italy, I can't recall. The language barrier for whatever reason was not an issue, even though neither spoke very good English. It was simply woodworking seem to create a universal understanding between us.  As close as I could determine they were...

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TIP: Wash Off Stripper Wax

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Directions on cans of paint-and-varnish remover instruct to “neutralize” the stripper as a final step. This is misleading and often leads to finishing problems. The instruction is misleading because there is nothing in paint strippers that needs to be neutralized. “Neutralizing” refers to acids and bases, not solvents. What needs to be done with all paint strippers sold in metal cans is remove the wax they contain. Manufacturers add wax to these products to retard evaporation so the stripper remains in contact with the paint or finish longer. This wax will retard the drying and weaken the bonding of most...

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