Cart 0

Expert's Corner — woodworkers

TIP: Finisher’s Glossary: Silicon or Silicone?

aerosol finish finisher finishes flexner furniture pledge polishes sand scratch silicone the finishing store woodworkers

Silicon and silicone are not the same thing, and the terms are used inaccurately so often that I thought it might be worthwhile to explain the difference. Simply put, silicon (rhymes with the man’s name, Don) is sand, and silicone (rhymes with “shown”) is an oil or gel that is used in furniture polishes, caulk and breast implants. Silicone is made from silicon but is clearly very different. It’s Silicon Valley, not silicone valley as it’s often called. The most egregious misuse of these two words I think I ever heard was a finish teacher explaining to the class that...

Read more →


TIP: Removing Oil and Grease Stains

acetone finish finisher finishes flexner grease oil solvent the finishing store wood woodworkers

If the oil or grease stain is fairly fresh on the wood, you may be able to remove it by scrubbing with an abrasive cleanser, such as Ajax or Comet. But if the stain has been there for a while—for example, a can of motor oil that has leaked on a tabletop in a garage—this will probably not work. Here’s how to remove the stain. First, wipe several times with a fast-evaporating solvent such as acetone to wipe off the surface oil. Then, mix a little of the acetone together with some fuller’s earth to make a paste. Fuller’s earth...

Read more →


TIP: Teak Oil

finish finisher finishes flexner teak oil the finishing store varnish woodworkers

TIP: Teak Oil

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you should use a product labeled “Teak Oil” on teak wood, either exterior or interior. Teak Oil is a marketing term. It has nothing to do with teak. Teak trees aren’t squeezed to retrieve the oil. Brands of teak oil can be anything from simple mineral oil to thinned varnish to blends of linseed oil and varnish. Most are blends of linseed oil and varnish. Mineral oil never dries. Thinned varnish dries to a hard film. Blends of oil and varnish dry to a soft, sticky film if all the excess isn’t wiped off....

Read more →


Spray Pattern Heavier on One Side

acetone finish finisher finishes flexner lacquer the finishing store woodworkers

A spray pattern, with all the controls on the spray gun wide open, is supposed to be an even, elongated oval shape. If the pattern is heavier on one end than the other, the likely cause is that one or more of the holes in the air cap is plugged up. It’s also possible that the fluid nozzle has been damaged. To determine which, rotate the air cap one-half turn (180 degrees) and spray again. If the disrupted pattern switches sides, the problem is in the air cap. If the pattern stays the same, the problem is the fluid nozzle....

Read more →


Oil Finishes and Moisture Resistance

coat finish finisher finishes flexner oil penatration sealer the finishing store vapor woodworkers

Oil Finishes and Moisture Resistance

Oil finishes provide very little moisture resistance. This is because oil finishes (boiled linseed oil, 100% tung oil and mixtures of oil and varnish, often sold as Danish Oil) don’t get hard, so they can’t be built up on the wood to provide a thicker moisture barrier. You have to wipe off all the excess after each coat. If you drip some water on an oil finish, the water will penetrate quickly and raise the grain of the wood, causing a smudge mark like the one pictured. If you live in a relatively humid area (not the desert), the surface...

Read more →

-->