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Newsletter #108

Connecting and Re-Connecting with Old Friends and a New Year

I just celebrated my Silver Anniversary with Apollo Sprayers and it’s time for a little reflecting on how my relationship with our customers, old and new, has changed. I miss the constant contact I had going into shops, doing demos, seeing old friends at shows and talking to my “phone friends.” Nowadays everything moves faster. Finishers who formerly called us to get help and chat about projects have so much information at their fingertips, from hundreds of great finishers and woodworkers on the net and in the terrific magazines. MORE So my question is this: how we can better connect with you in this new decade of a fast moving century? We need to know more about the people who come to our site. So next month we begin a survey, asking questions that that will help us better understand your needs, your projects and your interests. Please give it a little thought. We are all stronger when we work together. Wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us and Apollo.

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

 Featured Product – EZ Pro Sander

We all know how hard it can be to get into curved or tight places with sandpaper. The EZ Pro Sanders makes it easier to get into extreme and difficult corners and awkward spaces. The EZ Pro Sander pack comes with two sanders, a triangular tipped and a square headed sander. The 45° handle is comfortable, streamlined and includes self-adhesive sandpaper in 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 240, 320 grits. But you can use any other sandpaper refill on the market or cut to fit other self adhesive paper.

 Notes from the Road

Mike Anderson, our Director of Education, is seeing America as the guest speaker at various woodworking clubs. From time to time we will let our readers know where Mike has been and how he was received. Mike’s motto is Learning is a Great Tool.

At we always say that preparation is the basis of a good finish. We also know that the more a woodworker learns, or prepares, the more beautiful the product. Mike recently gave a talk at Michigan Woodworkers Guild. We’d like to share a letter we just received from their president.

To: Bill Boxer, Vice President, Apollo Sprayers

Dear Bill,

I would like to thank you for sponsoring Mike Anderson to give the feature presentation at the January meeting of the Michigan Woodworkers Guild held on January 9. Mike did an excellent job, was thoroughly prepared and had an extremely pleasant delivery for such a difficult topic. His presentation covered not only sprayers and spraying systems but water-based products as well. It was easy to see that he carries with him a vast volume of knowledge. He was very
 effective at sharing his knowledge as well. The comments from our membership were extremely positive. We did advertise this presentation and had over 125 members at the meeting. They were not disappointed. In fact there are a number of individuals who approached me to arrange a longer more in-depth, proactive presentation at a future date. Which we may pursue.

Again I’d like to thank you for making this program available to us and for all of your help and patience … we hope that you have a great, healthy and prosperous new year and again thank you for sharing Mike. He is a great ambassador for your

Sincerely, Dr. Gary S. Assarian
Board Member of the Michigan Woodworkers Guild

By the way, when Mike visits woodworking clubs, he also offers special club prices on Apollo Sprayers and other products. If you are a club member and would like more information about Mike’s program, please contact him at [email protected]

Finishing by Flexner: Apollo and HVLP: A History

You may not realize it but Apollo Sprayers, the sponsor of this website, is more responsible for HVLP becoming today’s dominant spray technology than any other spray-gun manufacturer. This is not to say that it wouldn’t have happened anyway, but Apollo did get it started.

Spraying technology has been around for over 100 years. It has been based on high-pressure air produced by a compressor. The air is stored in a tank and fed to the spray gun through a hose. The high-pressure air then turns a stream of liquid exiting the spray gun. Continue reading Bob’s latest article at the link below:

Each month Finishing Expert Bob Flexner provides a full-length article about finishing, plus an array of invaluable tips and tricks. Check out this month’s tips and browse through his finishing archive at the link below.

 Finishing Tip: Paint the Grain First

When coloring in lighter rub-throughs, glue splotches or wood-putty patches, it’s usually best to paint in the grain first, then add the color to each side of the grain. If you go the other way, coloring in the entire area before painting in the grain, you’ll often get the grain too dark.

Trying, then, to lighten the grain by rubbing off some of the color with steel wool will lighten the entire repair, causing you to have to start over.

 Finishing Tip: How to Pick an Oil Stain

We use the term “stain” to identify a colorant we apply to wood to change its color. But stains are not equal. Besides the obvious differences in color, there are at least seven categories of commercial stains that each apply and color differently. If you really want to have control over staining, you need to understand the differences and how to identify and choose each type. This is a brief outline of what you need to know about oil stains. Oil stains are the most widely available and the type of stain most people think of when they think of stain.

These are the easiest to use because the linseed oil (sometimes a mixture of linseed oil and varnish) binder allows plenty of time to remove the excess before the stain dries—even on large projects.

You can identify oil stains by their thinning and clean-up solvent: mineral spirits (paint thinner). Most manufacturers list it as “petroleum distillate.” Some brands use the more technical (and user unfriendly) name: “aliphatic hydrocarbon.”

Though some oil stains contain only pigment, many contain pigment and dye and some contain only dye. The type of colorant used doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference in the way the stain looks on the wood, however, because of the impact of the binder. (This goes for all stains with a binder included.)

Choose an oil stain to apply under any finish except water base, and in all cases where you don’t need any of the special characteristics offered by other stains. Allow overnight drying in a warm room before applying a finish.