PROBLEMS IN WOOD FINISHING

Once an inaccuracy gets started, it becomes almost impossible to correct.

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on,” said Winston Churchill (or others, if you believe different attributes).

If you are familiar with my teaching and writing about finishing, you know that I have devoted a lot of effort to making sense of the products we use in finishing, especially the ones that don’t seem to match what the label says they are.

The word “lie” in Churchill’s quote is pretty strong. It implies intent, and in many cases I don’t believe that manufacturers of finishing products and people writing or teaching about finishing intend to say or write something that isn’t true. They just don’t understand the products they’re selling or writing about.

With that said, it bothers me a lot when I see some of the inaccuracies still being repeated in magazines nearly three decades after I first began calling attention to them.
deck boardsDeck boards cup. It’s common to see randomly laid deck boards all cupped after months of exposure to rain. The warping isn’t the result of how the boards were laid – heartwood side up or down. It’s the result of compression shrinkage caused by the continual wetting and drying out of just the topside.

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