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I read through as many postings as humanly possible which is a lot cause I have a lot of time on my hands. I had an idea and figured I would post it here. Maybe some one could sticky the post and just show good examples of finish with a very specific direction involved. Mostly on this portion of the forum I find mistakes and people asking advice. It would be nice for us newer wood workers to have examples of what works instead of what does not. I do check out the project showcase section however the focus is not usually on explaining the stain. Regardless I will continue to tinker as it is my best resource at the moment. I know I am asking alot of the more experienced but I do feel that if I have a decent idea I should speak it. Well in this case write it.
 

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IMHO, there is no "Master Finisher", you have the ones that want to be, some are quite good at it, and others that have no clue but chime in with off the wall stuff. The best way to learn finishing is get some scraps and start trying different techniques, and find the ones that work for you. Mr. Woodworker from Timbucktwo may have a special formula that works for him, may not work for you. Practice, experiment, practice, experiment, practice, then do it again. The biggest problem I find is "I need this finished by tomorrow", first of all, take the time to finish it properly. There is no "overnight" finish process, things have to dry, they do this differently in other parts of the world. Don't get me wrong, there is good info here, if you have read the posts, you can pretty much filter out the crap from the shinola.
 

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If all else fails, think about investing in a couple of reference books on finishing. They will help you understand the characteristics of each finish and the required steps and materials needed to obtain good results.

Jeff Jewitt has published at least a couple and there are many others who have as well. Periodically, others have made specific reference to books, do a quick search and you should find links for several.
 

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Really underground garage
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There's 1/2 dz guys on here that have paid their dues in the finish room.

JMO but,finishing is one of a cpl areas that getting hard data is going to prove quite difficult.It's an area that is very subjective.......

Take the case of spray guns.Same gun used by two different finishers on the same day,same compressor,same settings and it's very possible to get two completely different "looks".Change any setting on the gun or bump pressure up/down a few #'s and we can change the looks even further.Time of year,time of day,mix ratio's,bla,bla,bla.

As mentioned,go buy a cpl books on the subject.And then if at all possible...find a mentor or heck,bust out the wallet and take a finishing class.Now you'll have,hopefully,a solid foot in the door.The rest is going to be up to you.Also don't limit yourself to "just" woodworking.The hotrod crowd knows tons about spraybooths,resperators,buffing,etc.Further,don't limit yourself to the study of just one type of finish.Try and get as broad a base of knowledge as you can when starting out.

Learn a thing or 2 about safety!!!!!Good luck.
 

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Well that would involve writing a book. There is no one size fits all finish and it would depend on the individual project which would determine the finish. Some finishes work better indoors and some outdoors. Some finishes work better on light colored woods and some work better on dark woods. Then the amount of water a project is exposed to is a major factor. Some finishes have more environmental concerns and availability because of in certain areas. Some finishes are better sprayed and some folks don't have the means. Then in the middle of all of that is the personal preference of the finisher. The only thing we could do here for you is open a thread of some project you are wanting to finish and give us some details of the conditions. In the process of asking and answering questions we could work out the best fit for a finish. Personally I wish someone would ask how to finish something before they start on it. I really hate to tell someone to strip the finish off and start over but sometimes that is the easiest fix.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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If not at the top, very close. Bob Flexner.
 
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