One of the Most Helpful DVD's I've ever watched!!

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Review by teenagewoodworker posted 06-14-2008 05:12 AM 2690 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
One of the Most Helpful DVD's I've ever watched!! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Charles Neil’s Finishing A – Z Beyond the Books is a DVD set that EVERY woodworker should have. it is packed with i think about 15 hours of finishing on 10 DVD’s and it is so thorough.

the two whole DVDs are just on preparing for the finish and sanding and i thought that there wasn’t much to know about sanding and preparing to finish but after Charles goes through it i just thought wow. even on preparing for a finish i learned a lot.

then there are three DVDs on coloring. these videos go over really everything that you need to know. all the way from telling if you have a dye or stain, to controlling color to get whatever look you want with different coats and everything, and everything (and i mean everything) in between. these DVD’s are what i thought helped to really improve my finishing game because it really opened up my eyes to how much there is. its not just a Minwax world now, now i use dyes and better stains and use dyes on woods that i never would have thought to dye before. an example of this is how being inspired by the DVD i dyed some mahogany with a General Finished Vintage Cherry Dye Stain and it really brought out the color a lot. Charles even (which i thought was really cool) goes into some manufacturer finishing techniques such as making maple look like cherry with layering dyes. it really is a great couple of DVDs and is such a help

next is three DVDs on spraying finishes. as you’ve come to expect by now it is very thorough. in the beginning he goes over every aspect of the spray gun because really you have to know the machine before you use it. they all different ways of spraying, different topcoats that you can use, and he even goes far enough to show you ways to practice in your own home.

the next DVD is on hand applied finishes. it goes over a lot of the different finished that there are and goes a lot into the oils from what i recall and even the properties of the finishes. i found it really helpful because again i was able to see many different finishes and learn about them and learn some application techniques.

the last DVD was the Special finishing techniques DVD. this is really the “let me show you how to do some really cool stuff DVD”. its hard to explain but this is a great DVD to watch and talks about glazes and not as much wood finishing but more getting cool finishes on other surfaces such as MDF, but its just a really fun video.

overall this is a wonderful DVD and whether you see your self as a knowledgeable finisher, someone who doesn’t like finishing, and especially someone new to woodworking you will learn a lot and maybe it will even change the way that you woodwork and finish just like it did to me!

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2727 posts in 4613 days

9 comments so far

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 4587 days

#1 posted 06-14-2008 05:48 AM

I saw that and thought it looked really nice but it is really expensive!!

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4629 days

#2 posted 06-14-2008 08:58 AM

Excellent review, Denis! I’ll probably just stick to the single short Wood Whisperer DVD for now…at least until I get my “go to” finish down pat. But if I branch out, this is what I’ll get.

-- Eric at

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Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4667 days

#3 posted 06-14-2008 10:57 AM

I really like Charles’ approach to woodworking. He has a straight-forward approach and is refreshing to listen to. Thanks for the review. I have been considering getting this series.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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Bob #2

3810 posts in 4867 days

#4 posted 06-14-2008 01:07 PM

You did a stellar review of this materail .
Hats off to you for your efforts.
When you consider what you spend on tools and materials the series is a bargain.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 4578 days

#5 posted 06-14-2008 01:42 PM

Thanks for the great review! Will definitely have to have a look at that set.

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4613 days

#6 posted 06-14-2008 02:58 PM

thanks for the comments everyone! i really wanted to do a good review on this one and i have his sugar chest videos, his gluing large panels video, and his pattern making video to review which i will probably do one every day instead of all at once but they are all great videos and worth the money. you can always have one go to finish which i have as the wiping varnish but the ability to accent the finish and the wood with dyes greatly improves the look. like i mentioned using the vintage cherry on mahogany above. I’ll put one project with a simple wiping varnish and one with the dye and even though it is just one simple thing it makes a huge difference.

Click for details!

Click for details!

like just that extra dye i think brings out the color so much and even though the majority of the times i don’t dye my piece the ability to do that or to accent the piece to match other furniture or even to make poplar look like walnut for a child’s toy (for example a crib for their doll) i think is a great asset to have even though you don’t use it all the time.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4061 posts in 4909 days

#7 posted 06-14-2008 04:22 PM

Great Review, Denny. How much was the DVD set?

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4613 days

#8 posted 06-14-2008 04:55 PM

douglas, i think that its around $130. its a lot but a great investment!

View a1Jim's profile


118134 posts in 4422 days

#9 posted 12-14-2008 06:51 AM

Hey teenage
Your review was great. Charles Neils the best woodworker I’ve seen(sorry Norm). This is the most comprehensive video set on any woodworking subject I’ve every seen. If you make a great project an you put a poor finish that destroys what you’ve made then your project is a failure .If you have any doubt about the cost ,hock your table saw if you have to it’s a bargain at twice the price for 30 years experience by the most intuitive woodworker on the planet. I,m a 20 plus year woodworker that teaches woodworking that thought I had watched , read , an viewed almost all subjects on woodworking having been my passion and obsession for all these years. until I had come across Charles Neil on line. This video set will open a whole new world of finishing that will highlight any woodworking project you make and will reveal even to seasoned woodworkers any thing and every thing about getting a great finish. The Wood Whisperer has a great presentation and interesting podcast but his finishing does not compare in any way to that of Charles. Sorry Marc



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