The Secret Wood Finishing Tips of the Pro’s and Snappy Dressers

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What do the secrets of a fine wood finish, a really loud shirt and corny jokes told by the 1990’s Hometime star JoAnne “Jo-Jo” Liebeler all have in common? They can all be found in the new DVD from The Woodworkers Journal: The Way to Woodworking: Step-by-Step to a Perfect Finish! Even with all the excitement going on in this video, it will definitely teach you a thing or two about sanding, finishing, staining and a whole list of other unique and expert wood finishing tips that you can only get from the pros. While we’ll be covering the DVD in general today, look for some new related HomeFixated articles soon, with more content inspired by just some of the great tips and topics on this DVD.

How to Finish - A Hamburger?
How to Finish – A Hamburger?

Home improvement expert JoAnne Liebeler and finishing expert Michael Dresdner take you through one of the most detailed descriptions that I have ever seen on the fine art of finishing wood. And when I say detailed – I mean seriously detailed. It’s got a flowchart and finish durability chart that’s out of this world (kinda-like Michael’s shirt) that really does make sure you have the perfect finish.

Finish Flowcharts and Food Shirts

Best Combo of Flowchart and Loud Shirt Ever?
Best Combo of a Flowchart and a Loud Shirt Ever?

What I really found impressive about this video produced by our fine sponsors at Rockler Woodworking & Hardware were two things. 1) I really enjoyed the fact that Michael Dresdner took the time to break down the steps of proper wood finishing into – dare I say; “laws”? These laws must be followed in order to achieve the perfect finish on any wood. And, what better way to express those laws on paper than by creating a flowchart. 2) I was also very impressed by the fact that they let Michael Dresdner pose on the cover of the video with a really loud shirt imprinted with junk food designs. If only they sent a junk food shirt replica with every DVD, they could sell a million copies.

Dynamic Duo of Home Improvement

If you thought the dynamic duo Batman and Robin were bad to the bone, then you haven’t seen the powerhouse combination of Dresdner and Liebeler. There’s nothing like watching a blockbuster duo of home improvement hero’s coming together to showcase some of their skills.

The Dynamic Duo of Wood Finishing
The Dynamic Duo of Wood Finishing

Michael Dresdner has over 40 years of finishing experience and is a nationally known author of four books – he also stars in four finishing videos of his own and has written extensively for the Woodworkers Journal. He’s even taught and lectured extensively on the subject of finishing. And in case you’re wondering if you’re going to learn anything from watching this DVD, if anyone was going to teach you a thing or two about finishing fine woods, it would be this guy. Dresdner knows his stuff and he certainly delivers it to you through his “shop teacher persona” in this guide to the craft of fine finishing.

JoAnne Liebeler is an expert in her own right. Besides the fact that, I’ve had a crush on her since I was in high school shop class, she has a knack for home improvement and a funny bone to boot. TV host and producer for shows such as Hometime, Home Savvy and Passport to Design, JoAnne, brings this video to life with her onscreen presence, wit and charm.

14 Chapters of Pure Woodworking Magic

The title of this DVD is not deceiving. It really is a step-by-step approach to the perfect finish and the finish flowchart certainly lives up to its name. From eliminating glue spots before the first sanding to adding pore filler, the flowchart comes to life and breaks down the steps to a perfect finish expertly. Little tips and tricks of the trade that are just as useful for the novice woodworker as they are for the seasoned pro are sprinkled throughout the video.

before (1000x502)I was particularly impressed with the chapter on touch-up techniques. Dresdner is a wood finishing artist when he blends together a putty hole nearly seamlessly with the surrounding wood. He uses a pair of magnifying glasses and a set of watercolor brushes to create a perfect matching wood grain from scratch. It’s an amazing job that has to be seen to be appreciated. That information alone is worth the price of the DVD.

Dresdner's a Wood-Magician
Dresdner’s a Wood-Magician

The chapter of coloring wood with dyes and pigments was fascinating as well. It went into great detail about pigments and dyes that blew my mind. It’s like the saying by Mark Twain “the more you learn the less you know” and I felt dumbfounded by all of the new knowledge. There were so many new dye/pigment facts that I had learned in just a few minutes that it’s going to give me finishing ideas for the next lifetime.

Dye and Pigment or Pigment then Dye?
Dye and Pigment or Pigment then Dye?

Last but not least, I really liked the “rubbing out the finish” chapter – not just because the name has such great innuendo potential, but because it really did have some wild stuff I’ve never seen done to wood before. Best of all, Jo-Jo grabs a hold of some wax and a buffer and goes to town on the back of a guitar body and makes that sucker shine like a diamond in a goat behind. It’s a neat process that is shown step by step.

rub out (1000x506)
Jo-Jo Sure is Buff

While those are just a few of my favorite things that can be found in this great video guide, it’s certainly just the tip of the iceberg and there’s plenty more in the DVD that we’ll be covering in upcoming articles on HF. You can get the DVD right here at Rockler for yourself for just $29.99. It’s not a bad price for a video chock full of tips and techniques, a superior method for finishing and one of the best uses of a super bright food-themed shirt in the universe.

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About Eric

Since Eric built his first skateboard ramp in his parents driveway; he’s breathed, slept and eaten DIY construction. As a second generation master carpenter who runs two Florida-based construction firms, Eric’s had the chance to work on everything from Mcmansions to your local mall to the cat lady’s bathroom. So when it comes to dealing with construction s@#t; he’s the man—literally. There isn’t a tool or construction material that Eric hasn’t used and abused, and if there is; it’s rocking in a dark corner nervously waiting for him to show up for work.

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