2 New DVDs from Hendrik Varju

September 8, 2010

I just received word that our very own Guest Expert Hendrik Varju has released two new DVD titles. The first new title is “Surface Preparation and Staining” and the second is “Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out”. I haven’t had a chance to review them yet, but coming up on future visits with Hendrik we’ll have a chance to talk with about the DVDs and answer some of your questions too.

Surface Preparation and Staining Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out

To give us an idea of what we’ll find in the two new titles, I asked Hendrik if he wouldn’t mind writing a short guest post to give us an idea of what’s inside. He gladly accepted and here’s what he sent:
I’ve often said that half of woodworking is about avoiding tear-out and the other half is about finishing!  It is amazing how much time everyone spends learning the intricacies of fine joinery like dovetails, mortise-and-tenon, etc. only to later ruin the project with a poor finish.
The first new 5-DVD set, “Surface Preparation and Staining”, covers numerous steps required to perfect the surface even before you can start on any staining or finishing at all.  I cover steps such as hand sanding, machine sanding, pre-raising the grain, bleaching, steaming out dents and so on.  I also cover many special staining problems such as blotching, staining end grain, staining plywood so that it matches the solid wood in the same project, etc.  I then cover a number of different stain categories, I cover their characteristics and, most importantly, show you how to apply them.  I show you how one stain product works beautifully on a certain species yet works very poorly on another.  I even show you how to stain both inside and outside corners so that you don’t see any lap marks.  If you’ve purchased some of my DVDs in the past, you’ll know that I always include extremely long and detailed bonus footage.  This time around, I spend nearly 2 1/2 hours on card scrapers and scraping planes, taking you in excruciating detail through tuning of a new scraper, to jointing, burnishing and so on.  I’ve never covered the process in a more detailed way ever before in a live seminar format.
The second 5-DVD set, “Hand Finishing and Rubbing Out”, takes you from the wood preparation and staining stage right through final finishing.  I cover a huge array of finishes from tung and linseed oil to oil-varnish blends (Danish oil), brushing lacquer, water base, shellac, varnish and polyurethane.  As in my live seminars, I go into great detail on the characteristics of each finish, even explaining some of the scientific information that will help you understand why finishes work the way they do.  I go through thinning ratios, give you warnings about problems that will come up, show you how I clean my brushes and lots more.  I give you my step-by-step finishing secrets for varnish and polyurethane, including my special rubbing pad method for a final coat of wiping varnish.  I even include a chapter in which I offer real-time footage of me applying a coat of finish to a small bookcase project, taking you through the special ways I hold the brush, handle the inside corners, etc.  The bonus footage on this DVD set involves detailed coverage of “hand rubbing techniques” using silicon carbide sandpaper, steel wool, pumice and rottenstone.  In that section, I take three panels with horribly dust nibbed varnish coats and show you the steps I take to salvage the finish and make it both look and feel beautiful without any recoating.  One panel is taken through some of the steps, another through all of them, and another is left untouched so that you can see the comparison of all three at the end.
Anyhow, you can read a lot more about these new titles by going to:  www.passionforwood.com/dvds.htm.  You’ll see the two newest titles there at the bottom.  If you click on each title you’ll be taken to a new web page where each DVD is explained in great detail.  The first DVD set runs for 9 hours and the second is almost 10 hours long.  So you have all of my surface preparation, staining and finishing techniques outlined over a nearly 19-hour long intensive DVD course.  Enjoy.


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  1. Ken F says:

    Hi Matt,
    Another Winner!

    A how to do on finishing coming from Hendrik Varju, that’s fantastic and you know its going to be in so much detail that you could not believe. We all need the guess work taken out of finishing and Hendrik is one to do that.

    It can be so frustrating working for weeks on a project that in minutes with a bad finish can look like a cheep #######, You know that even someone with a conscience won’t give it to their in-laws. “Think I would”.

    This DVD set is a must to have at any skill level “PERIOD”.


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