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Newsletter #122

A Little Learning Is a Wonderful Thing!

This month I have been thinking about how important it is for all of us to continue learning all of our lives. Our brain can be compared to a large muscle. You have to use it or lose it. If you are on, we know you are interested in new information on our favorite topics, woodworking and finishing.

At we like to think of ourselves as the educational voice of HVLP technology and finishing. Those of you who read our newsletter each month know that we have a team of noted, expert woodworker/writers who are current in the woodworking field to provide different viewpoints on various subjects and topics. Now we are working on presenting our information in different formats to accommodate the needs of a variety of woodworkers.

As learning specialists have discovered, people absorb and then use information in different ways. Some people learn from reading. Others learn from listening to the information. My son Jeff, an IT expert, learns best when the information is visual and hands on. He can fly a plane and is a computer whiz, but “book learning” is a struggle. Those of us who are lucky have many channels open and can enjoy a variety of platforms.

How do I learn? At present, I turn to my vast collection of woodworking magazines for new ideas and to enjoy photos of great work. I also learn about new products in magazines. For instant answers I go to the internet. I also follow my favorite bloggers regularly. Right now, I am enjoying Charles Neil’s great sense of humor and I respond to William Perry’s site with envy.

Are you on Facebook? Come to the Apollo Sprayers’ page and see what some of our friends have to say and get more in touch with the company. Right now the staff is involved in the Lean Six Sigma Institute and where we are discovering new ways to increase productivity and customer service. There are photos of the Apollo team on Facebook. is an enjoyable problem for me. I click on and all of a sudden two hours have passed. I have learned new finishing and photographic techniques, listened to great musical performances and watched historical footage. Here’s the link to the ApolloHVLP Channel where we have some informative videos.

We just came to an agreement with WOOD Magazine. Together we will develop a series of videos on preparation for finishing, using HVLP equipment, following all the steps required to finish a complex project. We’re excited because many of our customers are highly visual people, these videos should be really helpful reference works for the first timer and the experienced finisher. Because you can always learn something new.

I think back to life ten or fifteen years ago, when we had magazines and books and hands-on seminars at stores and trade shows and of course courses from experts at schools. Now we have so many choices at our fingertips. All we have to do is choose. It is truly a wonderful world.

 bill boxer signature

Sr. Vice President and COO

Apollo Sprayers International, Inc.


Special of the Month: Get FREE Accessories When You Buy Apollo Turbines

Now is a great time to add an Apollo Sprayers HVLP Turbine to your finishing arsenal. Because right now you can get up to $363.40 in accessories depending on which Apollo Turbine System you buy. The offer is good on Apollo Models 835, 835VR, 1035, 1050 and 1050VR and is only valid until April 15th.  Click here to GET YOUR PAYBACK COUPON mail it in to get your rebate!


Erecta-Rack Gets a Rave Review

Everybody’s favorite modular rack drying system, got a glowing write-up in Tools of the Trade. Contractor Scott Burt says Erect-Rack makes his life easier and his work more successful. CLICK HERE TO READ THE PDF.

Finishing Feature Article by Bob Flexner: After You Finish: Caring for Furniture

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 misunderstandings, 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 advise your family, friends and customers, intelligently about which product or brand to use? READ MORE

Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Fill Nail Holes After Sealer Coat

It’s more efficient to use widely available Color Putty or similar product to fill small nail or brad holes in furniture after the sealer coat has been applied than it is to use wood putty before applying the stain and finish.

There are three reasons.

First, using Color Putty after the sealer coat but before the topcoat is much faster. With a little putty on your finger, you can move from one hole to the next very quickly, wiping off the excess as you go.

Second, you don’t have to wait for the putty to dry before sanding smooth as you do with either water-based or solvent-based wood putty.

Third, you have a much better idea of the matching color to use after you have applied a coat of finish than you do on the raw wood before applying a stain or finish.


Finishing Tip by Bob Flexner: Spray Pattern Heavier on One Side

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.

To clean the air cap, soak it in acetone or lacquer thinner to dissolve or soften the obstructing matter, then blow it out with compressed air if you have it. You can also use very small-diameter picks supplied with spray-gun cleaning kits such as the one offered by The Finishing Store.

Be very careful trying to use a toothpick, because it might break off in the hole and be difficult to remove. Above all, you don’t want to use any metal that might damage the hole.

If you determine that the fluid nozzle has been damaged, you will have to replace it. The fluid nozzle and needle are usually sold in sets.