WoodCentral's video reviews
Finishing Secrets

Finishing Secrets
by Russ Fairfield

TOC Video Productions: 2005
3-DVD set, 2 hr. each, $75.85/set, $29.85/ea.

    Woodturners face special challenges in preparing their work for finishing, due to the large amount of end-grain oriented wood produced on a spinning lathe. Mr. Fairfield has fifty-five years of experience with wood finishes, and he shares it here without the influence or backing of any commercial product line. In many cases he shows recipes for producing home-brewed finishes more cheaply than commercial products, that work just as effectively.
    Fairfield explains why a finish is needed at all, and heavily emphasizes the need for thorough, unhurried surface preparation before considering what type of finish best suits a particular turned piece. "There is no such thing as quick," he says. "No finish can be better than the surface under it," and "Finishing is controlling the preparation, the penetration, and the finish."
    The first disc is all about surface preparation. It covers sandpaper as a tool, what types are best and what grits are necessary. You'll learn how to easily level its random grains and how to de-gum it for longer working life. Fairfield goes into detail on techniques for both hand sanding and power sanding, both on and off the lathe. There are many 'sidebar' tips included to make surface preparation easier.
    The second disc covers wax, lacquer and shellac. Fairfield has his preferences, but completes a finish regimine for each one. The beautiful turnings he uses to illustrate these techniques are an inspiration in themselves.
    The final disc covers friction polish, CA glue as a finish, and oil finishes, as well as finishing safety. Also available on VHS, Finishing Secrets can be ordered as the set of three, or as individual discs.

. . . Barb Siddiqui