The title for this week’s post and newsletter comes from a line that was delivered many years ago by Red Skelton. Every week on his show they would have a skit with him in an old west saloon. He’d walk up to the bar and demand a glass of red eye whiskey. Usually, I guess he got a glass of tea – which looked like red eye to the T.V. audience. His response after he drank it at one gulp would be, “That’s smooth!” One week they slipped some real red eye into the glass. It took his breath away. His response was a barely audible, “That’s smooth, real smooth.”
The challenge for me of finishing has always been smoothness. Over the years I have developed strategies that removed drips, lips on edges, roughness, etc. I have had to do this given my stubborn holding to wiping on finish. I actually have a spray unit, but don’t use it because I don’t have the space in my finishing room for a booth to prevent back spray. Also, I am just more comfortable wiping on my finish.
Finish will bring out the grain of the wood. This enhances the look, but, if it’s not applied correctly the person who touches it may feel a roughness that’s akin to that of a fig leaf. It may not take your breath away, but you won’t want to touch it. Instead, I try to elicit the remark, “That’s smooth.