Charles Neil Finishing Book - My Review


AceHoleInOne

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Let me start out by saying I was very impressed with the acknowledgements in this book:


Tommy Mac of  Rough Cut Woodworking TV show

The President of Woodcraft

Rob Szwedo of General Finishes

The folks at Earlex and Apollo

 

Even our very own MARC SPAGNUOLO :) wrote an inspirational and heartfelt FULL PAGE  “Forward” to Charles Book, very cool!


This is my review of Charles book “Finishing Simply Put”


I have refinished furniture for years. In the early days during bouts of unemployment. It sure helped pay some of the bills. I don’t claim to know it all, but have a very good understanding of finishing and Charles new book, hands down, covers all aspect of finishing, even some of the pro tricks.


Charles has covered everything that you could ever think of. Compressors, turbines, spray guns, oil finishes, how to sand. What to sand, repairs, do’s and don’ts, hand applied finishes, water-based finishes, prestains. Product specific items that Charles uses.


What is nice about the book, you don't have to listen to Charles talk. :P As those of you who have any of the Charles Neil videos, Charles can be a “Chatty Patty,” which is cool because in that chattiness, are some great tips and tricks, same thing goes for the new book, full of tips and tricks.


This book “CUTS TO THE CHASE, foot on the gas with full information, lots of pictures and the book ends like a google search (glossary). If you're new to finishing. This book is for you. If you're not new to finishing, this book is for you.

 

I like to think of this book as an Auto Mechanic’s Motor Manual. You simply can’t remember everything.  


Well done Charles.

 

Go to his website www.cn-woodworking.com for more information

 

-Ace-




 

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Ah come on Ace, try to be a little positive about it. Surely there was something interesting in that book?

 

Well if you give it the thumbs up (I keep an eye on your posts, especially regarding finishing), looks like I have a new present for the Christmas wish list. Thanks for the review.

 

John

 

The ecommerce site doesn't ship to Italy. Probably too many professional tips. Can it be found anywhere else that does ship outside the US of A?

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Ah come on Ace, try to be a little positive about it. Surely there was something interesting in that book?

 

Well if you give it the thumbs up (I keep an eye on your posts, especially regarding finishing), looks like I have a new present for the Christmas wish list. Thanks for the review.

 

John

 

Hey John, lots of interesting stuff. Its hard for me to know what is interesting for most? Does that make sense? This book is an awesome tool for any woodworker. What floats your boat? I'll let you know if its in the book.

 

-Ace- 

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Don't worry Ace, I was being facetious, but only in the first sentence. I like Charles' straightforward approach, so my boat is completely seaworthy. Just need to find a source that will ship to Italy. Thanks again for reviewing the book.

 

John

 

I got ya!.......as for that source thing....your gonna need to learn how to swim.  :P  ;)  :)

 

-Ace-

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Good question, don't really know what the definition of new is? Sorry don't mean to be rude. Let me put it this way...ya know how in school you can learn more and stay engaged with certain teachers better than others. That's how I think of Charles.

 

Does Flexner speak to water-based finishes as much as Charles? I think with each new teacher coming up, they do put some new skin in the game. I don't know of anyone who has more information out on water-based and figured woods than Charles. Water-based manufactures are constantly changing and evolving recipes to help lower the cost of raw materials which has gone through the roof this past year. Which may change how you do your finishing schedules.

 

Very good question you have asked.

 

-Ace-

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Good question, don't really know what the definition of new is? Sorry don't mean to be rude. Let me put it this way...ya know how in school you can learn more and stay engaged with certain teachers in school better than others. That's how I think of Charles.

 

Does Flexner speak to water-based finishes as much as Charles? I think with each new teacher coming up, they do put some new skin in the game. I don't know of anyone who has more information out on water-based than Charles. Water-based manufactures are constantly changing and evolving recipes to help lower the cost of raw materials which has gone through the roof this past year. Which may change how you do your finishing schedules.

 

Charles discusses figured woods quite a bit.

 

Very good question you have asked.

 

-Ace-

 

 

Flexner is a little light on water base finishes.   He is a little dismissive of them in the book, saying they are immature but evolving and look promising, or something to that effect.  

 

I took a look at the Charles Neil table of contents.  He does seem to have more practical ideas, such as a way to use baking soda to fume oak.  I have not seen that before.  Flexner more or less ignores chemical coloring and focuses more on dyes and pigments. 

 

I think I will order it.  I have at least 15 books on joinery and only 1 on finishing so I think I have room for another. 

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The book should be more concise than his "Finishing A to Z", 10 DVD set.  

 

I'm interested in the methods that were used to finish furniture in the 18th and 19th century (period furniture reproductions).

I don't know where that leaves me.

 

This book really shines towards the hobby woodworker. However, as I said above, advance finishers would benefit too. This book does not cover how to recreate old antique finishes, wax, shellac,varnish,nitro lacquers, don't hold me to the period correctness  :unsure:

 

Its not a "specialty" specific book. Who know with Charles...maybe someday he will work on that old timer stuff. :P  

 

-Ace-

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==>^^^

I've gone through my copy... I'll go a bit contrarian...

 

The book is aimed squarely at the hobby woodworker... But it's not a stand-alone resource for the true novice...

 

The true novice will need some background information (Flexner/Dresdner/Weekend Woodcraft class, etc) to get the most out of CN's book... I'm not saying this book isn't for the novice, but it can't be the only source for the novice... If you know nothing about finishing, you need a true beginners text, or better yet, take a class... Once you get the basics under your belt, CN's book can get you up to speed quickly... very quickly...

 

If you've ever taken a class with Charles, you know he presents a ton of information in a short period of time... He just throws the information at you and you need to catch as much as you can as fast as you can... So if you've been frustrated with CN's presentation style in the past, no worries here... His book isn't like that -- it's more measured -- a more deliberate presentation...

 

Like CN's classes/videos, he presents some real tricks-of-the-trade that you won't find in Flexner/Dresdner/Jewett/et al. There are tips that all but the most experienced finisher can benefit from. Charles started in the world of auto finishing and passes-along some real hard-learned lessons...

 

One huge reason to spend the $$ is that CN's book is up-to-date. As great as they are, Flexner/Dresdner/Jewett/etc are essentially a decade old. Even the second editions of Flexner/Dresdner (2000 and 1999, respectively) are dated. The revised texts still present schedules using things like BLO, pumice/rottenstone, steel wool, Scotch-Brite, etc etc... A lot has happened in the world of finishing in the last ten years and CN brings you up to date...

 

The long and short of it: If you've got the basics, then this book is for you. If you've got some experience, but want to really climb the learning curve, then this book is for you. If you're a true novice, take a weekend class at Woodcraft, and then this book is for you... There's no way you'll waste money here...

 

Two thumbs up!

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One huge reason to spend the $$ is that CN's book is up-to-date. As great as they are, Flexner/Dresdner/Jewett/etc are essentially a decade old. Even the second editions of Flexner/Dresdner (2000 and 1999, respectively) are dated. The revised texts still present schedules using things like BLO, pumice/rottenstone, steel wool, Scotch-Brite, etc etc... A lot has happened in the world of finishing in the last ten years and CN brings you up to date...

 

 

Can you give a specific example? And thanks for the review.

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