Charles Neil’s new book on finishing”Finishing,Simply put”

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Review by a1Jim posted 11-18-2013 09:23 PM 6269 views 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Charles Neil’s new book on finishing”Finishing,Simply put” No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hi friends
I just received my copy of Charles Neil’s new book on finishing “Finishing,Simply put”I have been waiting some time for it to be completed. When Charles does something he always goes 150% on it, This book has taken a while to get published because Charles would keep adding more to it, to make sure all of the information he could, based on has accumulated knowledge of his 46 years of furniture making and finishing was included. This book is chuck full of all types of the up to date information including : tips, types of finishes, techniques, products by type and brand(including extensive product testing), it has many ways to save a finish gone bad and how to avoid mistakes in the first place .also has hundreds of high quality photos to show comparisons of products, examples of what to do what not to do.
This book covers the whole spectrum of woodworkers/finishes from the brand new novice to a seasoned woodworker. I know over the years I would keep trying finishing products and found they would make my projects look horrible. I didn’t know if it was the product I was using or how I was using it, now I know it was both. If I would have had Charles book back then I could have saved hundreds of dollars buying bad products that I would use once and would have saved hours and hours of trying to fix the finishing I’d already done the wrong way
Charles has written this book as if you are in his shop talking to you one on one with clear uncomplicated language. I understand after Charles book pre orders have been filled he has sold out but has more that will be available in a week or so. I’m pleased as can be to have this great up to date reference on finishing.

Did you know that most of the finishing products have recently been reformulated to meet government standards? What this means is that many of the finishing products just don’t perform they way they use too, this is another reason to have Charles book ,he has tested most finishing products and gives you results as to how they compare to each other and if they still are the same as they use to be.


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#1 posted 11-18-2013 11:05 PM

Jim; I encountered the government standards, when I purchased a gallon of Cabot timber oil to re cover the deck. The product I purchased could not be applied with my new stain sprayer like I had done previously, because the government made Cabot change the formula. But, If I went over the border to Vermont, they are allowed to carry the original formula. It doesn’t make sense.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

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#2 posted 11-18-2013 11:22 PM

I agree Don it doesn’t make sence ,but it is due to government programs unfortunately a lot of their programs don’t make sence.


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#3 posted 11-18-2013 11:51 PM

Interesting. Thnx for the info Jim

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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Jim Jakosh

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#4 posted 11-19-2013 12:02 AM

Thanks, Jim. I will have to get a copy. I like information presented in layman’s terms He states you don’t nee a Chemistry degree and I was never good at it any way.

I found out about the new government standards when I went to buy driveway sealer. I used to use the stuff with Gilsonite in it and they have outlawed it. that was the best stuff on the market , too!
If they outlaw lacquer thinner, I hope it is after I’m gone because I’d be lost with out it.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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#5 posted 11-19-2013 01:48 AM

Hi Jim
I know you will be happy with Charles book once you get.


View stefang's profile


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#6 posted 11-19-2013 09:06 AM

I would surely get a copy of this if I lived in the States Jim, but our products and standards are different here although the Norwegian paint companies have some very good products too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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#7 posted 11-19-2013 03:34 PM

Hey Mike
Maybe Charles will write a Norwegian version :) I know those experts we all have heard of say the Norwegian wood is good I think they were called the Beatles LOL Please excuse the corny sence of humor.
It would be intersting to know all of the differences .


View CharlesNeil's profile


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#8 posted 11-19-2013 04:26 PM

Stefang .

Not trying to sell you anything , but the products are but a small portion of the book, however irrespective of what is available to know how to test it and what to expect can help alot. It is better to know it doesn’t work or does work before you use it on a project.

The book is directed to the hobby woodworker, The folks who are in their garages and basements, but want good finishes. It addresses alot of mistakes folks make, and how to avoid them and how to correct them .

I have been here on Lumberjocks for a number of years as well as having several of my own forums and being a member of numerous other forums. I have answered thousands of emails and questions from folks who wanted advice and in most cases a solution to get out of trouble.
The book is now in its second printing, which will arrive next week, and we are now getting ready to order the 3rd . Time will tell if we achieved all of our goals, but I think we did , and they were to make finishing as simple as possible , and have you have a clear understanding of what your looking for, and how to achieve it with out being an expert or chemist .

Jim, thanks for the review , and hope to see more, good, bad or indifferent, just remember I am a woodworker, finisher , not a writer, but I dont think you will have any problem understanding it .

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4167 days

#9 posted 11-19-2013 04:35 PM


I also just received my copy.

It is about a great deal more than product. He spends a great deal of space about getting the wood ready to finish. He talks about sanding, what sort of sander to use and what grits of sandpaper to use. Where scrapers are better. What is the effect of drum sanders.

Then he talks a great deal about stains, dyes, and other methods of coloring wood.

Finally, he talks about the final finishes.

Like all that Charles does, he makes it understandable.

Great book, well worth the price.


View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#10 posted 11-19-2013 04:47 PM

Your Welcom Charles
I second what Domer said ”Like all that Charles does, he makes it understandable” All the details in thes book are clear as a bell with lots of photos to help demonstrate each point Charles makes, a very easy read. Even though I have lots of videos on finishing a book is great to just look in the index to help find the subject you have questions about,hard to do in a video.


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#11 posted 11-19-2013 05:59 PM


Congrats on the book! Save one of those copies for me! I plan on getting out there soon!


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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#12 posted 11-19-2013 08:44 PM

Jim, I agree. I just received my copy of “Finishing, Simply Put…No Chemistry Degree Required” is a very clearly written book with great photographs and content. I have not been able to put the book down since receiving it. A wealth of information for any woodworker, whether it be a novice or a seasoned professional.

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19331 posts in 4476 days

#13 posted 11-20-2013 04:49 AM

I just received mine too. Haven’t had much time with it yet, but I trust is is worth the wait ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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#14 posted 11-22-2013 10:08 PM

Thanks for the tip Jim. I’m on my way now.

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#15 posted 11-22-2013 10:23 PM

Just finished reading it cover to cover wow Never before have I read a finishing that’s so complete and some down right amazing stuff. If you want to know what green tea,baking soda,mayonnaise and setting your furniture on fire has to do with finishing I guess you’ll have to get your own copy :)


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