Summer session is coming right up and we kick it all off with our Three finishes in Three Days course!
How many times have you put on a finish and been less than thrilled with it? Finishing is part art and part alchemy and can be confusing and frustrating, but learning about hand applied finishes will improve your mood every time you finish. We’ll cover 3 simple finishes: oils, wiping varnishes, and shellac. These methods are simple ones that don’t involve a lot of equipment, a spray booth, or a haz-mat suit.
We’ll start with surface preparation. Get practical experience sharpening and using a scraper for aggressive work like leveling surfaces and for finer work like smoothing. The scraper is a miracle in the shop and learning how to tune and use one is essential. You’ll also learn how to sand effectively with both hand and power tool methods. Learn when to stop sanding and discover a trick for predicting the future look of your finish.
Next we’ll do color samples of stains from the simple chemical stains like fuming and ebonizing to aniline dyes and oil stains. You’ll learn to seal coat, layer, and tone your wood for incredible results. We’ll also practice and get hands on experience applying topcoats. Rubbing on an oil finish is different than padding on shellac and completely different than brushing on shellac. Little things like the rags you use and how you rub with them on will make a difference in your results. You’ll make samples of all three finishes but with variations on each for different woods and different glosses. Finally learn how to rub out a cured finish. You’ll see and feel what an incredible difference this makes for any piece.
Finishing is the step that most furniture makers rush through. They apply something out of a can, don’t like the results and put something else over the top of that making things worse. Learn how to choose a finish and learn how to apply one with methods you can use tomorrow in your shop.