Category Archives: Finishing

Every Chest Deserves Paint

Every time I build a tool chest for a customer or during a class, someone asks me this question: Why are you going to paint over all those beautiful dovetails? My answer: Because it’s the best finish for a tool … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Uncategorized | 28 Comments

A Recipe You Should Try: ‘Soft Wax’

One of the themes in “The Anarchist’s Design Book” is about how I have turned my back on modern finishes that – even with precautions – are harmful to your health. During the last four years I’ve moved almost exclusively … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Design Book | 43 Comments

A Scrubbed Finish

Editor’s note: Search around for information on how to achieve a “scrubbed finish” and you will encounter a comedy of chemistry. People try to achieve this with all manner of stains and caustic chemicals. A real scrubbed finish is simply … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Design Book | 8 Comments

Soap Finish: The Mushy, Flat Stuff

After cooking the soap concoction and letting it cool for 24 hours, it became opaque and thickened to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Today I used it to finish the top of a worktable that is based off examples shown in the … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing | 18 Comments

Soap Soup, the Movie

My first experiments with a runny soap finish didn’t impress me – the wood just got wet and a little slimy. But after watching this movie, I’m trying it again. This time I’m going to let the mixed finish sit … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing | 12 Comments

A Clean & Simple Furniture Finish

“Most of (Hans) Wegner’s furniture is delivered untreated – only buffed and treated with soap and water, so that the fine wood is ready to become more beautiful with use. Some furniture is delivered with a clear lacquer finish.” — … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing, The Anarchist's Design Book | 11 Comments

Truth of the Day: Plastic Finishes

I don’t write much about finishing because Bob Flexner has done that for us. “Understanding Wood Finishing” is one of the core books that should be in every woodworker’s library. Read it once through and then refer back to it … Continue reading

Posted in Finishing | 20 Comments