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Sanding and Finishing Projects

  1. Working with Oil Varnish

    Examples of different varnishes for woodworking finish

    Originally, the word "varnish" meant a mixture of natural resin and drying oil. Today's oil varnishes usually contain synthetic resin, but like their ancestors, they're durable, beautiful and easy to apply.

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  2. Glazing with Aerosols

    Edging on a picture frame finished with an aerosol glaze

    You can now buy ready-to-spray glazing stain in aerosol cans, and that it is available in two formulations: one for wet glazing and one for "breakaway" or dry glazing. Let's look at what those are, how to use them, and how they can add character to our finishes.

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  3. Avoid Finishing Disasters

    Laying out soaked finishing rags to dry

    Steer clear of finishing frustration on projects with a tight deadline by putting these practices from expert Michael Dresdner into place.

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  4. Using a Nearly Natural Finish

    Examples of boiled linseed oil and dyes added to wood

    Our finishing expert demonstrates some great tricks to make your inexpensive wood look high-class.

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  5. Six Spray Finish Slip-ups: How to Avoid Them

    Spraying finish onto a guitar

    Train yourself in the proper techniques, materials and equipment to avoid (and fix) mistakes.

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  6. How to Repair Wood Dings, Dents, Flaws and Knots

    Tools for repairing dents and blemishes in wood

    How to get rid of these small problems, before they become big ones.

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  7. Applying Finishes to Softwoods

    Softwood pieces with two different staining techniques

    Splotching and grain reversal are the two big problems that arise when traditional oil-based stains are applied to softwoods. When done properly, softwoods can be stained evenly and beautifully.

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  8. A Short History of Guitar Finishes

    Guitar finish made from egg white, sugar, honey and gum arabic

    Borrowing liberally from both furniture and car coatings, guitar finishes run the gamut from edible to high-tech.

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