Tauntons Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing (by Jeff Jewitt) – Book Review

  • Title: Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing
  • Author: Jeff Jewitt
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Cost: $29.14 (at time of review) from Amazon.com.
  • Overall: (5.0 of 5.0)  Simply one of the best books I have read on any construction topic.  Jeff is incredibly detailed on a wide variety of finishing topics.  This book is going to stay permanently on my work bench as a reference guide.
  • Link To Amazon:  Tauntons Complete Illustrated Guide To Finishing

Overall

If you have not already guessed I have an affinity for woodworking.  One of my favorite areas of home improvement is finish carpentry.  There are so many incredible accent pieces you can build that will define the character of your home.  From a beautiful mantel over the fireplace to a one of a kind shelving unit, or an elegant hand rail for a staircase, the only thing that limits you is your creativity.  In this case, my creativity was limited by my knowledge of wood preparation and finishing.  Jeff Jewitt to the rescue!  This book opened my eyes to a ton of new finishing techniques that I absolutely cannot wait to apply to upcoming home projects.

Things I liked:

  • Coloring Wood.  Chapters 7-10 discuss in great detail the ways in which you can color wood.  Jeff covers everything from basic stains to chemical stains and bleaches.  Half of the subjects presented in this portion of the book were not new to me but they opened my eyes to some great new techniques.  These topics were explained in enough detail that you should feel comfortable giving them a try in your own shop.
  • Finishes.  Prior to reading this book I read close to 50 articles on various lacquer products available for top coats.  I really wanted a a summary of my options and I found it in Jeff’s book.  Jeff’s section on Finishes, Chapters 13-17 answered every question I had.  One powerful idea from this section is the difference between 1) reactive finishes, 2) evaporative finishes and 3) water-based finishes.
  • Illustrations.  It is absolutely true that a picture is worth a thousand words.   The illustrations in this book are fantastic and add value to the explanations and techniques.

Thing I didn’t like:

  • Nada.  There was absolutely nothing I didn’t like.  Keep writing Jeff!  Wonderful resource for every wood worker.

This is the ultimate resource for wood finishing.  I strongly recommend getting this book and making sure its handy for all your projects.  I am sure you will be referencing it regularly as I do.