Post details: Nordy Finishing Q&A - Part 2


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Nordy Finishing Q&A - Part 2

Nordy Finishing Q&AOn what projects does a woodworker want to use a polyurethane gel?
Nordy: You can use it anywhere you want a urethane finish. Urethanes give you a hard, durable, tough and, in most cases, waterproof finish. A lot of people prefer the gel type for application as opposed to the liquid type you have to brush on. It's just a question of personal taste.


Nordy Finishing Q&AWhen did you develop a relationship with Sam Maloof, who is regarded as one of this country's greatest woodworking craftsmen?
Nordy: I met Sam about 20 years ago at the Southern California Woodworkers Association. They had a big event. That was the first time I met him, and I visited his home, which is really like a museum. He's a great collector himself. He collects Navajo rugs, and he collects pottery. He used to trade some of his stuff for Navajo rugs and pottery. We have a nice relationship. Rockler packages Sam's poly/oil finish. The mere fact Sam Maloof still uses it gives credence to the product.

Another highly-regarded finishing expert is Michael Dresdner. How did you meet him?
Nordy: I knew him because of his work. He's a very popular writer and has written a couple of books. I met him a few years ago at a trade show. We sell his books and he writes articles for Woodworker's Journal. He's a contributing editor to our finishing department.

Nordy Finishing Q&AWunderCote, a water-based, wipe-on polyurethane finish, is one of Rockler's newest products. What are the benefits of WunderCote?
Nordy: It's so easy to use. It's in a flip-top bottle, and you just pour it out and use a foam rubber brush over the surface. It dries in about 20 or 30 minutes, although our label says one or two hours. It doesn't require much sanding (with 220 grit paper) between coats, then you can re-coat it. I've done that in half an hour after I applied. it. What's nice about a water-based polyurethane is it dry's faster, is very easy to apply, and easy to clean up. What's different about our finish is others tend to have a plastic look to them when they're finished. Ours has a slightly amber cast to it so it looks more like a varnish finish.

Is there anything else you'd like to add about the finishing process?
Nordy: Like any skill or acquired labor, the worst part is fear of doing it. Half the battle is just trying it. There's such an abundance of products out there that there's something for everybody. There's just no end to products. There should be something anybody can apply for a very professional-looking finish.

We're constantly on the lookout for new products that we're testing. We try to have a real wide selection on the internet and in our stores. Usually in each store there's someone that specializes in finishing, and then we have classes at our stores. Mostly it's getting up the nerve to try it and getting used to the products you're using. In a lot of cases it's fun, especially when you have a beautiful project and you want to put the finishing touch on it that enhances the whole project.

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