I’ve been in the sales and technical support end of wood coatings for over nine years. They pay me to be the guy who knows what makes their finishing systems tick. While learning my trade, I happened one day upon something on the web that was really cool. I found out that there was another guy doing the very same thing that I was doing.

But he obviously had far more experience than I. He already had written a “book” on the subject of wood finishing. The cool thing for me was that his book put everything within the context of the coatings systems that I was also representing. I thought that was way cool. I sent for the book. It came to me as a 5.75-inch by 11-inch pamphlet-sized publication.

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That guy was Ron Bryze. He and I started e-mailing back and forth. As a greenhorn, you sometimes need someone with a little more experience to bounce the hard questions around with. Ron was gracious enough to help me. Even now, nine years into this, I still find new things every day and having Ron to compare notes with has been invaluable.

Since Ron isn’t willing to accept “good enough,” and because he was both very good at his craft and at writing, his book continues to evolve. The next thing I knew, he had a real published soft cover book Titled The College of Wood Finishing Knowledge. This one wasn’t pamphlet size. It was full color and totally professional in its look.

I actually got to meet Ron face-to-face a few years ago. We happened to both be in Las Vegas to attend AWFS. It was fun to walk up and introduce myself to the guy that I had e-mailed back and forth with and spoken with a number of times on the phone.

Since then there has been a lot that has happened in the world. Most importantly, the economy has gone through some pretty tough times. Along with that, those of us who support the cabinet building industry have seen a lot of change.

Who would have known on that day in Vegas that today I would be writing a weekly article published on the web as well as for a monthly published, nationally circulated magazine? Also, I never would have thought that I would lose my connection with Ron. That happened too and I hadn’t heard from him for a long time.

Then, last week I got an e-mail from Ron. He was kind enough, as he was last time, to send me a complete electronic copy of the new second edition of his book. It is really an honor for me to receive this. This is what they mean when they say that the mountain came to Muhammad.

Today Ron and I still work in coatings support. But, as I said, never being a guy to let things stay the way they are, Ron is still moving forward and has created this wonderful second edition of his book. The name of which is Wood Finishing 2.0. The Business of Finishing Wood.

Ron and I have become reacquainted. We have been e-mailing back and forth and did some catching up. We discovered that we are both grandpas. I was honored that he was aware of my work with www.woodworkingnetwork.com. That is how it was that he came upon the e-mail address by which he reconnected with me.

With no regrets, I would say to you that, as a finisher, if there is one book that you should have on your bookshelf as a reference text, it should be Ron’s book. Not only is it full of step-by-step instruction and photographs, it is full of data that you want and need every day as a finisher.

Go take a look at RonBryze.com. Click on the box in the top right corner right next to the thumbnail picture of the book. Up pops the opportunity to glance at the new book’s contents. You can see for yourself what it’s like. The ordering information is also there. Then, take a look around his website and see what else Ron’s creative mind has to help you be a better finisher. This is a guy you should know about. He is full of good, solid information that you should have at your fingertips every day.

Great job, Ron! Your revision and expansion of the book is just what we need.

Until next time…spray on!

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