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Details on the Brilliant Finishes DVD
Gain the confidence and knowledge to finish your turnings with a sensuous, supple, smooth gloss finish that begs to be touched.

There are six chapters on the DVD that begin with an Introduction on why we struggle with a fine finish and why I choose a gloss finish for most of my work.

I then discuss the Theory of Brilliance and dissect in detail, with illustrations, why surfaces look glossy or dull and how to technically achieve a glossy surface.

Some sanding tips are covered in general but the following project chapters drive these basic concepts home with much more detail as the finishing techniques progress.

Chapter one: Basic Finish, features a quick production-type finish (about a 12 -15 minute finish on a 4" peppermill) that looks great on wine stoppers, pens, small bowls, ikebanas, confetti lights, peppermills etc. You will learn how to quickly prepare the surface and apply a finish that not only looks great but feels "sensuous".

You may not need to watch the additional chapters but you'd miss out on some neat tips and tricks to really learn and understand the importance of surface preparation when sanding, finesse scraping, finish application and really driving home the theory of brilliance by watching how I achieve a gloss finish that continues to get more brilliant and glossy with subtle nuances using different finishing techniques.

Chapter 2: Ebonized wood, introduces the turner to the use of dyes but the real focus is in obtaining a gloss finish while protecting the dyed surface from damage. This finish is crisper in the reflective properties than the gloss in chapter one. It may take a bit longer to accomplish but the results are quite noticeable when compared to the basic finish. Learning how to build a CA glue finish on ebonized wood is a great way to learn and understand why it’s important to build the finish without cutting through the glue which would ruin the ebonized surface. The many layers of this finish illustrate how to build a glossy surface on any wood that accepts glue well to achieve a brilliant look on your work. After viewing this chapter, you will really begin to understand the counter-intuitive idea of why you need to sand a finish to create a mirror-like surface.

Chapter 3 focuses on spraying a urethane clear. This finish is featured on my cherry burl inlaid peppermills. Of course the finish begins with foundation preparation. New techniques are shared on how to repair blemishes in the surface. These repairs are seamlessly performed to create a stable solid platform for the finish. Spray gun control is covered to illustrate how to achieve a drip free finish. The repair of small blemishes is covered throughout the spraying process.

Since dust particles adhering to a sprayed-on finish are difficult to avoid, the rest of the chapter is devoted to removing dust that clings to the dried surface and then polishing it out to restore a brilliant high-gloss shine. While this finish is applied over a several day period to allow for the drying and curing of the finish, the actual application time is approximately 1 to 2 hours depending on the size and shape of the piece. A compressor and spray gun are required tools to accomplish this finish as well as an exhaust system / spray booth if finishing indoors.

Chapter 4: The DVD closes with a traditional finish called French Polishing. I have had multiple requests over the years to cover this technique. This is a great finish to learn and use when large, broad expanses of curves are encountered, like on decorative bowls or hollow forms. French polishing creates a finish on items like these that rivals a sprayed on finish. It does take some muscle and more time to achieve a French polished surface, but the tools are so simple and basic, it would be a shame not to give this old technique a try.

One of the great advantages to French polishing is the capability to make repairs at any time during the finishing stages. The application of shellac is such that the film of finish on the surface is built into one homogenous amalgamated layer that can be continuously built upon or sanded to achieve a smooth blemish-free finish that reflects its environment like a mirror. You’ll also learn through polishing how to create a crisper reflective surface on an already highly polished surface which can make the fuzzy edges of a reflection clean and crisp for a truly brilliant gloss finish.

What better way to learn a finishing technique than to look over one’s shoulder and in a way learn one-on-one. It would be impossible to get up-close and learn these techniques in a classroom situation like a demo or symposium.

A good finish is really all about seeing the details unfold in the surface of your piece and the DVD platform is the perfect way to showcase all the details.

Whether you employ some or all of the techniques found on this DVD, you will enhance the overall look and feel of your work and your finishes will look less labored-over, more fluid and sensuous, because ultimately the finish and consistent texture will determine whether the creator of the piece was a beginner, novice or a pro.