Questions for General Finishes



I’ve really been into learning a lot about finishing lately, and I’m sure I’ve been annoying my woodworking friends on twitter with all of my finishing related tweets. Finishing is important though, it can make your hard work shine and shimmer even more than great craftsmanship. I believe to get great results, you need to understand what the professionals do, and then approximate that as well as you can in your shop. General Finishes is a company that has a line of Professional Finishes and Retail Finishes, and they have great products and sell to small woodworking shops and home woodworkers through retailers we’re all familiar with like Rockler, Woodcraft, and Eagle America.

In my quest for more finishing knowledge, and to share that with y’all, I’ve been discussing finishing with Tom at General Finishes off-and-on since May 2010. He’s agreed to answer our questions about finishing and General Finishes products, so, what are your questions? Leave a comment, and I’ll include them in my interview with Tom.

Update March 8th, 2011: Comments are now closed. Stay tuned for your answers in a new blog post.

8 thoughts on “Questions for General Finishes

  1. Alex

    I’d love to learn about baby- and kid-safe finishes – durable, safe to nibble on :) Thanks!

  2. Jesse

    I’m making a project out of maple, what are some good ways to get a great finish on it? I’m with Alex as this will be for my baby when she comes in a few months.

  3. Rob

    It seems that every time I use Rosewood in a project I have dificulty with the finish staying tacky. I have tried different finishes (my current favorite Minwax wipe on poly, Waterlox and others), I have tried cleaning the wood with alcohol and thinner, and mixing in japan dryer. The only solution I have found is to give it extra time and buff the tacky part off between coats and before the final coat of wax. This solution works and looks gerat but takes a long time and does not build as well. Any ideas?

  4. PickeringMike

    per your question on fav finishes: I use shellac applied in 1# cuts (wiped on) for most projects because it dries fast but am willing to experiment with anything except HVLP as I don’t have one yet ;)

  5. Eric R

    What finish best simulates hand rubbed wax, but is more durable and less likely to need re-applying.
    I’m also with the other guys inquiring about kid safe finishes.
    Thanks
    Eric

  6. Todd A. Clippinger

    Interestingly enough, there are more locations and outlets around the nation to purchase Sherwin Williams, MLCampbell’s, Lilly’s, Rudd, and numerous other professional finishes than the finishes sold through WoodCraft and Rockler.

    I do not hold anything against General Finishes or any other products that Rockler and WoodCraft sell, but the local outlets will give you local walk-in support where you can get personal contact.

    When I am in my local supplier stores I often end up sharing personal experience with another customer just learning to finish as the sales clerk answers questions and then states “just ask Todd, he uses/does it all the time.”

    A problem that I ran into when I tried Target Coatings was the shipping issues that arise. I got a can of damaged product and so therefore I had no local support. It was then I found that just buying the product locally is better because I can walk in, purchase an undamaged can, & if I have an issue just return it.

    If you want to know what the “professional” are doing then ask a cabinet maker in your area where they get their product. I can guarantee that the majority have a local supplier that caters to their needs and they are not buying from a woodworking store and you can buy there too. The difference is they just don’t do all the heavy marketing to the average woodworker but they will accept your dollars and give you help too…locally.

  7. hambonez

    When using a hvlp set up how concerned should we be about air in the lines? Is this mainly a shop plumbing issue? Meaning should we run 25′ of copper around the shop with drops, etc to make sure we take the air out of the lines?

  8. Tom Monahan

    To Todd’s response about local vendors…General Finishes also sells through distribution through cabinet and hardware suppliers. Currently we have distributors listed on our website for the listing. The woodworking market is just one of the markets we cater to.

    As far as “baby safe” finishes are concerned…almost any evaporative finish once cured is considered baby safe. The main rule is to allow whatever finish you apply to completely cure before exposing the child to the finished material. More often than not, the wood can be more harmful when ingested than the coating that covers it.

    Finishing woods such as rosewood can be challenging because of the natural oils that are present in the wood prevent oil based finishes not to dry properly. You are better off using a solvent based finishes such as lacquer or shellac to counter act the oily woods.

Comments are closed.