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Newsletter #105

The Go-To Site For Finishers

This has been a banner year at on so many levels. The number of visits to our website increase daily and more and more readers subscribe to our newsletter. We keep researching new products, such as the Erecta-Rack™, and we are proud to introduce them on the site. Our sales team keeps coming up with new specials to help get our products into the hands of woodworkers and, as a result of all this activity, our sales have increased! It’s easy to decide if you need most of the products at You see a photo and description and then you decide whether to purchase the item.

Finishers who are new to HVLP sprayers need more information to understand the technology and to relate the systems to their own work. To help the finisher see the new Apollo Power Series in action, we have four useful videos on homepage. For a hands-on demo, you can visit us at the Woodworking Shows – the next one is at Costa Mesa, California, October 29-31. Woodworking Clubs can get in touch with our Education Director, Mike Anderson, who travels the country providing free talks to clubs. Information is always available on line or by phone. Part of our commitment to the finisher is our willingness to discuss your particular situation and needs, so we always welcome your questions.

Bill Boxer
Sr. Vice President and COO
Apollo Sprayers International, Inc.
[email protected]

Woodworking Show Prices

“There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and the people who consider price ONLY are this man’s lawful prey.” John Ruskin

For those who do travel to The Woodworking Shows we have developed special packages that are only available at the show. We take our basic equipment package and add additional value to your purchase. For example, when you buy an Apollo Sprayer, the package might include an extra gun or perhaps a needle and nozzle kit. (We are not telling you yet, come and see.) While many online or advertised offers may look similar, our “show price” is unique and very special.

So as the new season begins, we look forward to seeing old customers and new, on line, at shows, on the phone and at woodworking clubs.

Safety First and Second

Do you remember the good old/bad old days? Kids sat on their parents’ laps in the car. Houses were built with lead paint and asbestos. Now, we are so much more aware of the hazards out there and our need to protect ourselves. features an excellent respirator made by MSA, North America. MSA is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of sophisticated products that protect people’s health and safety.

MSA’s products are geared to specific applications. The FS1400 Respirator is perfect for the woodworker because it protects while painting or stripping. When the user breathes, the air stream flows through the cartridges and contaminants in the air are removed. As a result the wearer breathes in clean, fresh air. In addition to chemicals, the wearer is protected from dust. Finally, and most importantly, the mask is comfortable. After all, what’s the use of a respirator if it sits on the shelf because you can’t stand to wear it? Additional cartridges and pre-filters are just a click away, another important element in getting maximum effectiveness from your respirator, because a clogged filter restricts your breathing. Save your breath by wearing a comfortable MSA respirator and change your filter and pre-filter often.

Cover Your Eyes with the Best Protective Glasses.’s newest products are protective glasses made by MSA which offer you two different types of quality eye protection. MSA Easy Flex Glasses have hard coated polycarbonate lenses for high-impact protection. They are comfortable, so it is easy to wear them all day, safe in the knowledge that these glasses meet the highest government standards.

For those who wear prescription glasses, the MSA RX Over Glasses work best, fitting comfortably over prescription glasses. Both styles will protect the worker in a confined space from particulates, dust and projectiles. Over the years we’ve got a lot smarter about the hazards of the shop and it pays to get smart with the best possible protection.

Introducing Bob Flexner’s Newest Book! is proud to introduce our resident expert’s new book, Flexner on Finishing. In his article this month he reveals what got him started in finishing in the first place – it seems that he got tired of the inconsistencies and wrong information that many publications offered, and decided to find out for himself. Then he started sharing his knowledge by writing about finishing, and we’re all fortunate that he did. It makes fascinating reading.

Finishing by Flexner

Each month Finishing Expert Bob Flexner provides an array of invaluable tips and tricks. Check out this month’s tips and browse through his library of articles and tips. Click the links below :

What’s Brewing for Woodworking Witches and Wizards

Halloween is coming and here at we know some year-round Wizards and Witches. (Ours a really nice though.) Coatings manufacturers are our Wizards and Witches, adding and mixing and boiling and coming up with secret potions and never revealing their secrets. But there are some things we do know about the process the coatings manufacturers use and we’ll let you in on how they achieve their wizardry.

Stains are made with a binder that holds all the stain ingredients together. The binder is basically a thinned down topcoat, either water based or lacquer based. Then color is added, either aniline dyes, or very finely ground pigments, or a combination of both dyes and pigments. To make everything work properly, a blend of surfactants, that are also called surface tension modifiers or wetting agents, are added to help smooth or level the surface. Then defoamers and various other ingredients are added. The producers of the ingredients, amounts, sequence and temperatures are all part of the formulator’s skills and secrets. Most of the colors used in premium water-based stains are aniline dyes. These colors are all chemically produced to be vibrant and transparent and will enhance the natural grains and appearance of finer woods, such as walnut, mahogany, cherry, oaks, etc. Dyes are used because of their ability to penetrate into the wood fibers and enhance the natural grains and beauty of the wood.

Pigments are made from finely ground clays (rare earths) and are used in stains when you want the color to sit on the surface and provide an even color film. This method is preferred more for the construction grades of wood, such as poplar, bass wood, fir, spruce and most soft woods. Some stains are made with a mixture of dyes and pigments. Stains can be wiped, brushed or sprayed on.

Toning and Shading and Other Special Effects

Sometimes the wood in a project can vary in color and needs to be toned, or perhaps the finisher wants to shade the wood to create a special effect. Then stain can be added directly to the topcoat. Several coats need to be applied to achieve a uniform color. These colored topcoats are usually applied over previously stained wood. When toning and shading, it is easier is spray the topcoat than to brush or wipe, especially on a big piece, but any method works. Shading or toning is different from the process known as glazing. Glazing is done with pigmented products that are most suited to wiping or brushing. Simply, it is a layer of color, usually applied between coats of finish to highlight selected areas such as applied moldings, raised panels, carvings, grooves in turnings or spindles, or any other area that you wish to highlight. Glazing is also useful to change the hues of the woods in general, or to even out different, undesirable areas, such as sap-wood, different boards in glued up table tops, edges where you have sanded through the stain, or even glue marks.

At The we recommend Aqua Coat Gel Stains for glazing and Aqua Tone Stains for all your projects. The Gel Stains can be modified or thinned with the various colors of the Aqua Tone Stains. All of the products are compatible and give the finisher the ability to solve color problems and to be as creative as he/she wants.

More Magic

Can you remember when we didn’t have the internet at our fingertips? When you could only learn by going to see the expert live, in person? Now through the magic of DVDs we can increase our skills by learning from two nationally recognized, outstanding woodworkers, Steve Shanesy and Glen D. Huey.

Glen’s DVD, Finishes That Pop, gives the finisher 40 minutes of instruction using different coatings and various methods. Glen is not a finisher who uses one coating and one means of applying it. He considers the wood and the result he wants to achieve and works his magic. He uses all types of coatings and wipes, brushes and sprays, depending on his vision. Unlike the wizards at the coatings manufacturing companies, Glen shares his remarkable methods with us all.

Steve Shanesy is the publisher of Popular Woodworking. Steve’s DVD, The 10 Commandments of Finishing takes the mystery and guesswork out of wood finishing. Steve has more than 20 years experience in cabinet shops. In addition to being a woodworker, he has a BS in journalism and skillfully teaches how to achieve a smooth finish, avoiding blotching and perfect sanding techniques.