CHATROOM

     chat transcript

"Let's Talk Finishing"

a Special Guest Chat with
MICHAEL DRESDNER
Author, Finishing Expert

with host
Ellis Walentine

Thursday, January 9, 2014
9:30 pm EST





[EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Bob Entwisle for his great job of editing this chat transcript.]


EllisIt is my pleasure tonight to welcome back one of the best known and most knowledgeable finishing experts on the planet, Michael Dresdner. Thanks for joining us, Michael.
DresdnerHello Ellis. Nice to be here.
Stuart_JHi, came over here to find out just what finishing is all about.
DresdnerThat's simple. It's about time.
Stuart_JNot a lot. I mostly turn and use whatever I have handy.
DresdnerWhat is usually handy?
Stuart_JNormally I'll have some Tung Oil, wipe on poly, Danish oil.
DresdnerAll fine. I often use plain linseed oil, eventually followed by wax, depending on what the piece will be used for. I think turning is the least demanding in terms of finishing.
DresdnerJohn Lucas. That name seems familiar. Do I know you?
john_lucasNo but I sure have read a lot of your articles.
DresdnerYou must be a frequent poster then. John, do you have a brother who does woodworking or turning?
john_lucasThere used to be a John Lucas who taught woodworking. He passed away a while back. I'm known for my turning and articles I write for turning magazines
DresdnerAha.
DresdnerSo, now that the gang is here, let's get this started. Questions, anyone? Or comments, observations...
DresdnerOne of your number asked about finishing myths, and which ones are officially busted. What are the finishing myths out there?
john_lucasI have been doing testing on various finishes to try and find something that will block UV enough to keep the colors in woods like Box Elder. Any suggestions?
DresdnerUV absorbers and UV blockers. They can be added to almost any finish, interior or exterior, but most companies that add them to exterior finishes (only) do so in such small amounts they do very little. The problem with them is that they must be added by a formula based on resin weight.
Howard_AZI have a brother who is getting ready to refinish a piano that has been in the family for a long time. I believe that lacquer has been the finish of choice for such work. Is that correct?
DresdnerIt depends on the age of the piano, but certainly lacquer is one of the most user friendly finishes for something like that. The downside is that it tends to build slowly, so will need a lot of coats. The upside is that they blend to one another and make for a very good, easy to buff final finish. The real isuue, Howard, is "what are you used to?"
Stuart_JDoes lacquer need to be sanded between each coat?
DresdnerNo. The only reason to sand between coats is if the last coat is not smooth enough either from dust nibs or brushmarks or orange peel Or bugs. If the finish is smooth enough, there's no reason to sand with lacquer
EllisWhat about roughing up polyurethane for a more mechanical bond?
DresdnerAgain, roughing is really only necessary if the last coat is more than a week old, or if you are using a curing finish. Such as polyester, linear polyurethane, etc. Not oil based polyurethane, nor waterbased. Only two part coatings. If the prior coat is more than a week old, then you can sand for tack.
EllisAha. Good info.
AndyWhat is "varnish"? I haven't been able to find a clear definition for that. Often seems to be used as a generic term for oil based film finish, but not always used that way.
DresdnerOriginally, varnish meant resin cooked with oil. However, since there is no law about the usage of the term, it is often used today for all sorts of things, so the word has essentially lost its meaning.
AndySo the difference is that these days there is a wider variety of products available?
DresdnerYes, there are more products, but more troublesome is that we've given up on agreeing to generic terminology
john_lucasI have a table that I finished with Poly about 10 years ago or more. I just got it back and now own it. The top needs refinishing. Can I sand and coat right over it or do I have to remove it.
DresdnerYes, you can sand and recoat it. Just don't coat it with lacquer. Anything else will work.
john_lucasThanks Mike, I've been putting it off but will tackle it now.
Joe_in_ClevelandQuestion - how did you get started in the finishing business. How did you learn what you know about finishing?
DresdnerI originally apprenticed to a pseudo-uncle in Miami, then apprenticed again once I got to NYC. I worked in a lot of very good finishing shops and learned in every one. When someone is paying you to be competent, they will either quickly fire you or make damned sure you know what you are doing. If you are a quick learner, working for others is a great way to learn.
EllisGreat insight, Michael.
Dresdner'The problem, Ellis, is that there are few if any finishing shops left in the US, so getting hired is much more difficult
EllisSo the internet becomes the middleman.
_StephenDoes wiping down oily woods with solvents cause problems for finishing like it does for gluing?
DresdnerYes, wiping down resinous (not oily) woods simply spreads the resin, and yes, that can cause problems depending on the finish. Best bet is to sand just before finishing, even just a light scuff sand.
_StephenThank you
DresdnerI don't use the term oily woods because none I know of actually contain oil. They do contain resin. Oddly, many plant leaves contain "oil" in the form of wax, but it does not show up in tree boles. Still, resin can be a problem, and once wood is cut, it tends to ooze to the surface.
_Stephen'Oily' seems to be the word in common use
DresdnerYes, but it is a misnomer, and we should do our best to cull that. I suspect it gave rise to people believing that putting oil on wood was 'feeding:" it. It's like the term global warming; it's not accurately describing the real condition. People hear a word and assume it means exactly what they know that specific word to mean. I have a similar problem with the term organic. To a chemist, that means "contains tetravalent carbon."
_StephenI like the word extractives
AndyMarketing probably has a lot do with it, too, and accelerates the spread of bad information
Joe_in_ClevelandDo you have a favorite technique to "pop" the figure in curly/tiger maple?
DresdnerSoak with boiled linseed oil. And I mean soak. I'll soak for an hour or more, completely immersed, then wipe off everything and let the wood dry two days.
Joe_in_ClevelandThin the BLO? Dyes?
DresdnerI never thin BLO. There's no point to that. It is already a low enough molecular weight. And yes, dyes will also pop grain by coloring the end grain more than the flat grain. But for dyes it's a good idea to put them on, then wipe off, then resand the wood once the dye dries. That will open up the flats and make them lighter in contrast to the end grain areas (curls)
EllisAh, that is a good tip.
Joe_in_ClevelandBLO then dye?
DresdnerNo, one or the other. If you really want to do both, put the dye on first, but the oil will change the dye color. Remember, BLO is not clear, it is amber.
Joe_in_ClevelandGot it. thank you.
Bob_in_NJOk, how about metamerism? Any simple lighting rules or methods to match colors?
DresdnerThe only real way to deal with metamerism is to color in the same light under which the piece will be viewed. We used to have a multi-source light box, but that is getting much more complicated these days with doped CFLs. There are so many more colors of internal lighting along with natural external that it can be a real problem.
john_lucasI was going to say the same thing. You can get CFL's in so many different colors and it's hard to tell by the packaging
DresdnerRemember too that metamerism can even show up with the color change in natural light from morning through evening.
Bob_in_NJSo I guess viewing under a range of different light sources would be the best way to sort of predict/prevent surprises.
DresdnerYes, you hit it on the head -- "sort of predict." Prevent is a bit tougher
EllisI often use a combination of dye and pigment stain, in succession, to get a deeper, more complicated color. Do you agree that this is a good method and are there other tips or tricks to keep in mind?
DresdnerYes, layering color is a great way to even out color and make metamerism a bit less problematic, but it can't eliminate the problem entirely. There are also a host of other reasons why layered and mixed layer coloring is a better idea than simple staining.
EllisI just don't usually get an acceptable outcome from either pigment or dye stains alone.
DresdnerThat's because nature uses both.
DresdnerIf you are trying to copy nature, doing that will help you get closer.
EllisThe organic approach, as I suspected. Thanks.
DresdnerVery funny.
EllisWe've had a [neverending] discussion here about "Danish" oil finish. I know your take from years of working with you, but what can you tell our readers about these finishes?
DresdnerDanish oil is the general term for varnish that has been thinned and sometimes mixed with extra oil to make it easy to apply. At its heart, and once it cures, it is nothing more or less than thin varnish. Once you know that, everything else falls into place and how it behaves starts to make a lot of sense.
EllisAnd how do these Danish oils differ from "wiping varnishes?'
DresdnerOften Danish oil has more solvent, and wiping varnish a bit less, but they are the same mix of ingredients. On the other hand, some Danish oils have more solids than some wiping varnishes. Again, the terminology is not restricted, so people call their product whatever they want to make it sell.
EllisThen, why does Waterlox cure to a moisture resistant film and Watco doesn't?
DresdnerWatco does also.
EllisI've had some pretty bad luck with it in the past.
DresdnerEspecially the Watco formula that John S. revised once Rustoleum bought Watco. He boosted the solids up to 43 percent. When SWP owned it they dropped it to 12 percent. That makes it a very different animal.
EllisWell, this could be important news for disillusioned early-Watco adopters.
DresdnerWaterlox has always been high solids.
EllisRight.
DresdnerOf course, if you want high solids, use regular oil based varnish. It contains the same ingredients only in different amounts. More importantly, it will surely contain higher solids and thus build faster. It is the thickness of the build that you are seeing when you talk about water resistance.
EllisRight. And my beef with Watco was that it builds so slowly.
DresdnerAgain, Ellis, build speed is formulated depending on what a company perceives its customers want.
EllisYeah, I understand a lot of the trade-offs.
DresdnerIt is neither better or worse, only closer to what you want.
EllisI guess they will use whatever works for them.
EllisOkay, now what about mixing up your own special formulas? Linseed Oil, Tung Oil, Poly, Turps, etc.?
DresdnerIt's fine to mix your own formulas if you know what you are doing. For that matter, once you learn about shampoo, you can make your own.
EllisI'll stick to wood finishes.
DresdnerThe problem with mixing your own formulas is that often people don't know enough about formulating to do it. And that can make bad finishes. If you can do it better than the guys in the stores, by all means do it. If not, don't waste your time.
Bob_in_NJOne reason to mix your own would be that you could keep the formulation the same year in and year out. Rather than use a commercial product that gets reformulated at the whim of the manufacturer and the regulations they continue to have to meet.
DresdnerYes, quite true. Assuming you can continue to get the same raw materials year after year. Where does one buy resins, for instance, and know their quality?
Bob_in_NJ http://www.woodfinishingenterprises.com/varnish for various resins and such, though about the quality I'm not sure.
DresdnerHe's a pretty reliable source. He certainly has the knowhow to do quality control testing. That's a good place to start if you want to mix your own.
Bob_in_NJThanks, Michael that's good to know.
Stuart_JIs the difference between high and low build speed also the difference in ease of applying?
DresdnerIt is certainly a factor, though not the only one. Higher solids usually, but not always, means a thicker finish, which often, not always, means more difficulty applying. So I'll give that a very qualified yes.
EllisWhat about friction polishes, especially for turned work?
DresdnerMost friction polish is a combination of shellac and wax. Wax and shellac are quite compatible together, and the mix gives you more than just wax and more ease of application than just shellac. Some of the friction polishes are very nice formulations and work just dandy for a lot of turning application. For those that like friction polish, you might also want to try lubricated French polish.
EllisYeah, I've had some luck with them. Especially for stuff that just needs to look presentable. I'm wondering if the gloss or sheen or whatever is likely to break down over time. I'm suspicious of wax finishes.
DresdnerGloss always 'breaks down' as you put it. Is that a problem? Certainly, the harder the finish, the longer the gloss will last. Thus wax would not be my first choice if I wanted the gloss to stick around. A lot of this is balancing ease of use with appearance and durability. And much of finishing is a balancing act.
EllisAnother good way of looking at it.
Dresdner --- Which takes us back to the very first question.
EllisI've already forgotten...
DresdnerWhat is finishing all about? Or something like that. I'm paraphrasing
EllisAh, the global question.
DresdnerYep
EllisClose enough.
AndyProtection & appearance
AndyIs there any way to determine or predict if a piece of wood will blotch before the stain goes on?
DresdnerYes, several ways. First, only certain categories of wood blotch, so you can quickly eliminate those that are not in those categories. The ones that can blotch are A: those with resinous pockets -- including cherry and many softwoods, specifically most pines -- and B: woods with endgrain sections that intrude onto the flat grain. This second group is a bit tricky.
AndyOK. I use maple quite a bit
DresdnerFor instance, maple, since you use it a lot, has a tendency to have random sections of end grain (twisted or buckled growth) show up in the flat grain. When this end grain is in a uniform pattern, we call it figure -- curl, quilt, etc -- and we think it is good. When it is irregular, we call it blotch. So, if you are using a softwood, assume it will blotch. If you are using a hardwood other than cherry (again, assume cherry will) take a look at the grain pattern on the machined face.
EllisCurly, quilt, etc?
AndyI like wormy maple, but that doesn't blotch much. The clearer stuff does so more often. Hard maple or sugar maple ...
AndyHow about predicting blotching on a particular piece of stock?
DresdnerNot sure? Take some mineral spirits and wet the wood with it. Often that will show you, albeit more faintly, what will happen when the stain goes on.
AndyI was familiar with that technique for seeing if sanding was sufficient to eliminate scratches, didn't think of that to predict blotching
DresdnerYou'd be surprised at how well that works.
AndyI'll have to remember that. Thanks!
DresdnerAndy, go out to the shop tomorrow and do it once, for no reason than to try it, and you will never forget it. Seeing is a better teacher than reading words.
AndyIt's not even 8:30 here in CO. I can try that tonight!
DresdnerLet us know how it worked out.
DresdnerNow there's also something else to remember. Blotching of the first type, the resin pockets, only happens with colors that have the solvent for that resin in them. They can be dyes or pigments, but those colors in water alone will not blotch the A type of wood. Anything will blotch the B type, but then you can check that easily.
EllisI never categorized blotch-prone woods before. Thanks for a new way of looking at it.
AndyYeah, Ellis makes a good point: you've shown us a more systematic way to approach this overall. My thinking in asking the question was much more narrow
Bob_in_NJSo a water based dye for the type A followed by a clear sealer sounds like it would work. What about controlling or limiting the blotch on type B?
EllisI've always lived by experimentation
DresdnerIt is almost impossible to limit blotch on type B. However, one way to approach it is to use a waterbased pigment system with very coarse grind pigment. Find a board that will blotch, and one you do not want to do so, and do the following: Make up a stain by taking custom colored latex wall paint and reducing it with water until it is as thin as most stains. Apply that by flooding on and wiping off, or simply wiping on. You will find it is the most blotch resistant stain you've ever used.
Ellis...because of the aqueous vehicle?
DresdnerIt is a combination of the vehicle and the pigment size.
DresdnerBesides, you don't even have to mix colors. Just take your color in to the paint desk at Lowes/HD etc. and let them mix the right color. A quart of paint will make at least two quarts of stain, and they now sell custom paint colors in little four ounce bottles for three dollars.
EllisThrifty is good.
Bob_in_NJYes, I was thinking about the little sample cans you can get, a great source for custom stains!
DresdnerAt any rate, stain made from latex paint is a boon for a lot of jobs. Try it.
EllisSo, how would you decide on whether to use a varnish or a lacquer?
DresdnerAll finish decision making is done with a decision tree
EllisAh, let's go there...
DresdnerYou start by asking the right questions in order, and you get your answer. For example, what must it endure (durability)? What do I want it to look like? How do I want to apply it? Must it be reversible? Do I want to buff it? Is smell an issue? Is flammability and issue? And so on.
EllisCheck. Check. Check. Check. Check
DresdnerEventually, you will get down to one finish that has all the characteristics you are seeking.
EllisCan the average woodworker do this?
DresdnerOf course, but the problem comes in being able to answer those questions for each individual finish. That's where you will want a cheat sheet.
StuartHAs a hobbyist making things for himself or his home, would that also incude the expected placement in a room, as in near a window or not?
DresdnerYes, absolutely
EllisSeems to me you had a huge cheatsheet in your book.
DresdnerI've put cheat sheets out in a number of forms. My first book had a fold out wall chart cheat sheet.
EllisThat's the one I was recollecting.
DresdnerMy second, third and fourth had them printed in the book itself. Then there is the latest, a video I did for Rockler last year. It has a gigantic wall chart that takes you through all that and more. It's called a finishing flow chart.
EllisI haven't seen that video. Gotta talk to somebody over there.
AndyMagazine articles occasionally provide them, too.
DresdnerIf you are in the Seattle area, we'll have an 8 foot version of that at the new Rockler store in Northgate. Rob Johnstone and I will be there demonstrating and answering questions on Saturday the 25th of this month.
EllisMaybe this summer. Meanwhile, it would be nice to be able to check it out online.
DresdnerOtherwise, the flow chart is the subject of the latest video.
DresdnerWhile I am happy to help Rockler by spreading the word, I don't want people to think I'm hawking these.
EllisThat will be a great boon to so many woodworkers.
DresdnerHere's the finishing flowchart online: http://www.woodworking.com/ww/finishing101.aspx
Stuart_JHere is a PDF: http://www.thewoodworkersroundtable.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/finishing_flowchart.pdf
Bob_in_NJ Michael, thanks for that link to the flowchart
EllisExcellent. We'll archive this chat so people can reference your decision tree at their leisure.
DresdnerAgain, that's not the cheat sheet, but I do elaborate a bit on that section in the video. I think.
EllisAre you doing much finishing these days, Michael?
DresdnerSome. Ukes, things I make for the kids, and of course photo shoot fodder.
EllisFinishing is still a vexing question for so many woodworkers.
Joe_in_ClevelandDo you do any woodworking and finishing on your own as a hobby?
DresdnerLately I've been doing optical illusion cutting boards and multi piece bracelets. Typically over 100 pieces.
EllisOoh, those sound like collector's items.
DresdnerAnd just found an amazing new glue that makes that work a dream. The turners will love it.
Bob_in_NJWhat glue?
EllisPlease name names.
DresdnerIt's called Nexabond 2500
Bob_in_NJhttp://bioformix.com/Products/index.html
DresdnerRemarkable stuff. Just won the 2013 best new product innovation award at AWFS
EllisThat wouldn't be the stuff I saw in Cincinnati about a year and a half ago?
DresdnerPossibly. I didn't ask them when it came out.
EllisI met the creator. Bunch of high powered chemists. Essentially a cyanoacrylate...
DresdnerI did an interview with them. Rather funny. My first question was,"Why Nexabond? What does the name mean?"
EllisSounded good. Forward thinking.
DresdnerFour people on the line -- a PR guy, a VP and two chemists. Dead silence. Then "No one ever asked us that before." No one knew. Except for the 2500 part. That is a misnomer. The head chemist told me the original formula they were playing with was 2500 cps, but the final formula is nowhere near that.
EllisOh yikes. You don't need to be smart to be successful, but that formula is pretty special.
DresdnerThus, even that is now meaningless.
EllisWell, good formulas should be rewarded.
DresdnerWell, adhesive formulation and finish formulation are remarkably similar. After all, we ask the same things of both glue and finish.
EllisThat was what I was thinking.
DresdnerWe want it to start as a liquid and be easy to spread, dry clear, and stick to wood.
EllisWhat do you know about the longevity of Cyanoacrylate bonds?
DresdnerThere are a lot of cyanos, and different things affect the bonds. For instance, there are cyanos meant to let go after a certain time and then those meant to last indefinitely
StuartHWet latex painted door touches wet latex painted door frame and, voila, ....door glued shut!
DresdnerGood point. Paint is glue, and glue is paint, only uglier.
Bob_in_NJhttp://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/editors-blog/nexabond-instant-adhesive-test
DresdnerUnfortunately, some of the information in that Popular WW piece on Nexabond is not accurate. However, I just did a piece on it for WWJ, and that should be.
Bob_in_NJI'll look for your article.
DresdnerThe Nexabond is meant to last a very long time, and is quite water resistant, and fairly heat resistant. In addition, it has more flex than normal cyano, so it is likely to tolerate minor wood movement better and certainly will tolerate shocks better.
Howard_AZAre any of the online sources selling Nexabond?
Bob_in_NJYou can buy it direct, Howard. http://shop.bioformix.com/
DresdnerYou can also get it at Rockler and Woodcraft. Both carry it. Though not necessarily all three formulations.
Bob_in_NJSounds like interesting stuff. The cyanoacrylates have come a long way since the first tube of crazy glue came out.
Howard_AZIsn't/wasn't Eastman 910 a cyano?
DresdnerYes.
Howard_AZThat is what I remembered. I recall that we kept it in fridge and it was very expensive.
DresdnerYou can keep it in the fridge only until you open it. After that, do NOT keep it in the fridge. In fact, prior to opening it, you can keep it in the freezer.
DresdnerThere are lots of different cyanos for different applications.
DresdnerNexabond is made for wood. It's one of the only ones that is. It also contains secondary resins that dramatically change its behavior.
EllisA lot of turners use CA glue for a finish. Would this be a good application for Nexabond?
DresdnerPossibly, though it will behave differently. I'd have to know why they were using cyano as a finsh -- what characteristics they are looking for -- to know whether Nexabond would be better or worse for them. It is slower, does not penetrate as deeply, and is thicker, not merely in how you perceive it, but in how the wood perceives it.
EllisGood point.
DresdnerThis is difficult to explain without getting into formulation and what, exactly, is different about it.
EllisFair enough.
DresdnerLet's just say that while it bonds wood very tenaciously, it tends to sit on it rather than be completely absorbed by it the way most other cyanos are.
Bob_in_NJHow goes the acting? It's your recent passion, as I recall.
DresdnerI have a callback for 12 Angry Men on Saturday.
Bob_in_NJCool the local theatre group did that recently
DresdnerHowever, the last three years I have been reviewing instead of writing. You can read my reviews at http://www.michaeldresdner.blogspot.com
DresdnerBob are you an actor?
EllisHis wife might say so
Bob_in_NJNo but I stayed in a Holiday Inn once.
DresdnerClose enough
EllisAr ar
DresdnerWe need to get back to finishing here. It's getting late out there on the east coast, is it not?
EllisNever too late for a good chat.
DresdnerIt's still early here, so I'm happy to stick around for a while.
EllisMy motto is, if everyone is having fun, there's no rush.
Bob_in_NJIs it feasible to brush or wipe on lacquer?
DresdnerYes, both. But, use different formulations than spray lacquer. You will want something with more lubricity and a much slower solvent package.
Bob_in_NJYes, that I would pretty much assume
DresdnerAt least two companies I know of make brushable lacquer, and either can be wiped, though quickly. They still set pretty fast.
Bob_in_NJOk, and a spray formulation would flash off the tips of the brush
DresdnerBob, since you like mixing, you can make your own.
DresdnerGet your hands on some MAK or MIBK, or even just EB and you can slow laquer down to where it will handle well.
Bob_in_NJSome sort of retarding thinner
DresdnerYes, all those are retarding thinners.
DresdnerProbably the easiest to find is EB. Sherwin Williams sells it, a Butyl Cellosolve Lacquer Retarder. They sell it both straight EB and EB cut with regular lacquer thinner. Buy the former if you can. They only have it at their "industrial supply" stores, not the consumer stores.
_StephenAnything slow down alcohol in a shellac finish?
DresdnerYes, higher molecular weight alcohols slow it down. However, shellac has a different problem, that is also solvable, but not by alcohols. You want to reduce the surface tension. While higher molecular weight alcohols are slower, they are still polar, so they don't solve the surface tension problem.
_Stephensoap?
DresdnerNo, there are specific surface tension reducers made for various different resins. You merely need to find the one that works for shellac. For that, you want OSI's L 4702. It happens to be that one. Though I don't remember the number. Maybe it was 4701. I can look that up if you need it.
EllisWow, custom alcohols for shellac.
DresdnerNot really custom. They are pretty common.
Ellis..among folks who are doing this for a living. The hobbyist is still on his own.
DresdnerYou can buy butanol from any chemical supply house. It's pretty common. You can also use PG to slow down shellac. And you can get that in a lot of places.
EllisRight, Michael, but these nuanced finishes aren't commonly explained to hobbyists.
DresdnerNo, they are not. Which is part of the problem with people thinking like finishers. The problem is that those of us who can write about this don't have a venue to do so.
EllisHmm. What're we gonna do about that?
DresdnerWoodworking magazines have too large and general an audience for this sort of finishing minutiae. There really isn't a place for this stuff. Whenever someone tried to do a finish mag, it failed, and for two good reasons.
EllisYeah, and there aren't many finishing mags left. (any?) So maybe we have a packaging problem. Marketing.
DresdnerNo. For one thing, there simply isn't a market for it.
EllisWho could use this info, and where do they go for information?
DresdnerThere are very few finishers, and most of them won't read finishing mags because they feel they already know this stuff.
EllisRight. It all comes down to the customer.
Bob_in_NJYes, not being a pro finisher or woodworker, keeping up with finishing developments is difficult. Most of what is published in the ww magazines tends towards simplified explanations that pretty much all end up in the 'follow the manufacturers directions' area, and do not touch on the finer points or gory details, etc.
DresdnerQuite right. That is what editors want. Simple, wide spectrum, and written in a way to protect them from liability. And they are right -- that's what their readers want. I have no complaint with it. That's most of what I write.
EllisAnd the rank and file don't have the time or temerity for sophisticated finishes.
Bob_in_NJYes, and from a business view of the publishers, I can understand it, but I tend to like the gory details, even if I end up 'following the manufacturers directions', but often a behaviour of a finish is observed that bears investigation/explanation etc.
DresdnerI think that is why we need guilds. In my guild we have a mentorship program, and at each meeting we have time to ask the other members, and resident experts, questions.
Bob_in_NJYes, it's pretty much come down to a need to preserve and pass on the knowledge that will otherwise disappear in time.
DresdnerExactly
EllisSome guilds are able to sustain strong informational programs.
DresdnerOur guild is pretty good that way. We have a lot of very knowledgeable people in it.
EllisOur approach at American Woodworker was to edit our articles from the reader's perspective. "Who is the reader?" was our mantra.
DresdnerAnd where did that get you?
EllisPretty far, in its environment.
DresdnerEllis ...and where is it now?
EllisWhere are all the rest of them?
DresdnerFWW, WWJ, and Wood are all still here, and still writing quality.
DresdnerWhile AW got bought out from under us.
Bob_in_NJI mentor a bunch of young engineers at work and it's often the most fun part of my job.
DresdnerTeaching is indeed fun
DresdnerOh, we were supposed to list myths.
DresdnerWhat myths are alive?
EllisSpeaking of myths, Bill Tindall, one of our regs wanted to know about any that you would care to comment on...
DresdnerI know. I told him I don't know what myths people subscribe to, but if he listed them, I'd answer them all.
EllisWell, we may need to plan that for a future episode.
EllisWhatever happened to the guitar factory you set up for that Korean company?
DresdnerFender bought it and moved it to CT
DresdnerThe former Hamer plant/Ovation plant.
EllisAha. Did they keep your processes?
DresdnerThe final one, yes. It's still used today.
DresdnerHey, do any of you know how to remove the sanding pad base from a Festool sander?
Bob_in_NJFestool, hmm, no no experience with em.
EllisIt's a screw that holds it on, Michael. 5mm hex socket
DresdnerThe screw won't budge, and there's no way to lock the pad
DresdnerIn this case, the pad ripped off at the foam, so all that is left is a thin, sharp plastic disk. There's no way to lock it and the screw is FAST.
EllisBummer. You have to spike that pad somehow.
EllisOkay, well our numbers have dwindled and it's almost midnight. Thanks so much, Michael, for joining us tonight. It was fun.
DresdnerThank you. It was indeed fun. Talk to you later. Bob, it was nice meeting you.
EllisLet's stay in touch.
DresdnerOk. Stay well. Good night.
EllisCiao..................


A Note from The Cockpit:
    I first met Michael Dresdner when I joined the American Woodworker staff in 1992. He was working as the director of research and development for Martin Guitars, in nearby Nazareth, Pennsylvania. He had been writing and producing finishing videos since 1980, and was now writing a bimonthly finishing column for American Woodworker. As his editor, I had the good fortune to interact with Michael on a regular basis, and to learn a world of finishing techniques firsthand from this expert finisher and formulator. When American Woodworker went online in 1994, Michael became our chatroom host, a role he later repeated in the early years of WoodCentral. His knowledge, sense of humor and willingness to share his wisdom are just a few of his endearing qualities. We're grateful to have him grace our pages.
... Ellis Walentine, Host


About Michael Dresdner:
    MICHAEL DRESDNER is a nationally known finishing and woodworking expert, consultant, lecturer, columnist, and author of several videos and well over 200 articles. His books include The New Wood Finishing Book and Build Like a Pro: Painting and Finishing and Finishing Fixes, a guide written in question-and-answer format. He has been a contributing editor to Fine Woodworking, American Woodworker, and Woodworker’s Journal. He has written byline columns for Vintage Guitar Bulletin, Stringed Instrument Craftsman, Guitarmaker, American Woodworker and Woodworker’s Journal. His primary addiction outside the field of wood is community theatre. In addition to working behind the scenes, he frequently acts in plays at Lakewood Playhouse and Tacoma Little Theatre in Tacoma, Washington.