Ever have a problem with finishing? I’m probably alone in this. Or I’ve been sniffing too many fumes. Finishing is chemistry plus alchemy. Plus one more thing. This item is an attitude. An attitude that finishers have but furniture makers do not. Backing up. We never back up. We go forward. We have three forward gears plus one gear for hacking up a ball of spit when we screw something up, but forward always forward. There is no reverse in furniture making. Full or half or quarter or limping speed but forward, always forward.
Finishers on the other hand, if they don’t like a finish, if a color doesn’t work, they do something astonishing. They take it off! Moving backwards! Who knew? They remove a finish because it went on wrong. They strip a finish if the color reacts badly with the wood. They move backward and think nothing of it and no less of themselves. They can avoid this reverse gear usually because finishers also do something we furniture makers avoid. They practice. They do a sample board. They gauge their odds of whether something will succeed first and then move forward.
Not us. We never warm up before cutting into a board. We walk into the shop, look around satisfied at our kingdom and grab that precious stick of mahogany and put a cut exactly a 1/4″ too short into it.
Time for another four letter vocabulary practice session I’m afraid.
As the world turns back on its axis, let us try to learn from the finishers. Practice first, then move forward, with speed.