Franksgiving Day One: Finish

Experienced woodworkers develop techniques that are simple to use and easy to remember. Sometimes those techniques provide a smack-your-forehead moment. That was the case when Chuck Bender and I visited with Frank Klausz in early November.

Sitting on a shelf in his round, water-tower workshop was a new can of Waterlox (Water tower and Waterlox?), which I was amazed to find out is Frank’s favorite finish. He has a multiple-step process by which he applies the finish, but Waterlox is the only finish he uses – that’s keeping it simple.

Sitting next to the new can was a Waterlox container that had seen its better days. I asked Frank what had happened and why the can was crunched. His reply reinforced the fact that we were in the presence of an experienced woodworker.

“I squeeze the can,” Frank said, “to remove the excess air, which keeps the finish fresh.” I officially smacked my forehead. Think about this as you slip into your turkey-induced coma on Thursday.

Build Something Great!


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4 thoughts on “Franksgiving Day One: Finish

  1. Years past, at a Woodcraft seminar with Sam Maloof, the question was asked: What are the measurements of the ingredients in your finish?

    Sam replied, to the effect of: Carnauba, Beeswax, Turnpentine, maybe a little BLO if you like the smell.

    Questioner: yes, but how much of each?

    Sam: as much as you like.

    He also explained why he used a screwgun and drywall screws to assemble many of his pieces, instead of more traditional methods.

    Sam: Because it works and nobody has complained yet of anything falling apart.

  2. Looks like you are overdue for a week-end course with Frank. Maybe you’ll learn something old that’s new again.

    1. Mitch, I’m one of those guys that think there is very little in woodworking that’s actually new. But when you see such an accomplished woodworker doing something so simple yet effective, you know it’s worthwhile.

  3. I have a bunch of pint sized soft plastic squeeze bottles that I use for finishes that I mix up. I can squeeze out all the air even when only two ounces of finish remain. (They don’t stand up so well on the shelf when squeezed that much.)

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