Does anyone have suggestions on the best way of learning the art of millwork touchup? I employ great finish carpenters to do installs of high-end pre-finished materials, but always hire a local finish guy to do a final once-over of the project just before turnover. We are a traveling installation company and would rather have someone in-house for that particular aspect of the job. Do you know of any finishing schools or classes I might enroll a couple of guys in?
From contributor D:
Dakota County Tech College in Minnesota might have a class designed for what you are looking for. If you have a supplier of Konig Touch-up Products in your area, they have a couple of videos available.
Then, that same person should attend a Konig workshop. These are often given at Piano Technicians Guild conventions. Contact cdgkonig.com for details.
No offense to Dakota County Technical College, but a touchup person does not need a full-blown refinishing course. He needs to learn burn-ins (the Mohawk method and the Konig method, and these methods differ greatly in tools, materials and procedures), proper uses of putty sticks, proper uses of Bondo-type materials and/or epoxy putty sticks, how to fix crush marks, how to spot color, how to in-paint, finger color, use graining pencils, use PrismaColor pencils, spot spraying, sheen adjustments, etc.
In addition to learning how to approach each type of repair and each type of area needing to be addressed, that person must learn the full gamut of Mohawk products as well as Konig products. Only that way can a questionable defect be assessed and a repair course plotted.
Just be aware that the touchup supply companies teach methods using a flat sample of wood, while in the real world the damages and defects are done to curves, shapes, corners and sometimes flat locations.
That's one thing. Another is that at some point your touchup people ought to be reading this message board and posting questions here. My opinion is that every single touchup, every single defect and every single damage is unique. The only constants are how we technicians adapt our tools, materials and techniques to each repair. One guy may use wax crayon, another may use putty, another may use bondo, another may use either the wax burn-in sticks or the hard resin burn-in sticks. These are just methods of filling. Then there is how each of us might go about leveling that fill flush with the surface or shaping that fill to repair a once-crisp edge or corner. And so on.