Tuesday – Friday | August 25-28, 2020

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA | USA


Finishing Symposium

Symposium Code: FIN Code: FIN

Sponsored by: FUJI SPRAY, Gemini Industries and Milesi USA

Presented by: FDMC magazine and Woodworking Network


Woodworking Network’s veteran online editor, Karl Forth, will moderate this full-day symposium that includes a number of presentations and an opportunity to talk to suppliers and finishing experts face-to-face with your questions. Included in the discussions are descriptions of the characteristics of different finish types, and the pros and cons of each type, and application method. In addition to discussions of the existing and emerging new materials, the symposium will address new technology in finishes and benefits that may be available to early adopters. The program is being developed and presented by FDMC and Woodworking Network.

The symposium is one of several taking place the day before IWF starts. There will be a joint coffee & carbs meet-up during the registration process and a joint luncheon for all symposia attendees.


It has been estimated that 25 percent of manufacturing cost is in finishing, but it can increase the value of the finished product by 50 percent or more.

The IWF Finishing Symposium will be held August 21, 2018 in the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta, the day before IWF exhibits open on the show floor.

The full-day event will look at new technologies and best methods that finishers could use in their business. Newer finishes such as polyester, polyurethane and UV finishes will be discussed, along with water-borne and low-emission products.

For the first time, there will be a presentation describing digital printing and staining, an emerging technology more wood products manufacturers are considering.

Final and detailed descriptions of presentations are not yet available. Here are some general subjects that will be part of the program.

What's new with waterborne coatings, and the many advantages of that finish, will be covered, as well as finishes that many shops have not yet adopted, such as polyester, two-component polyurethane and some UV products.

New technology in application equipment will be discussed, including light curtains, robots in finishing, and advanced controls and automation. Higher volume processes and flatline finishing systems will also be discussed.

Looking at the sanding process, and tracking the cost of quality will also be discussed.

Targeted Audience: Manufacturing personnel with specific responsibilities in finishing or quality control from across the wood products industry are most likely to benefit from this symposium.

IWF Finishing tentative schedule:

9 a.m.-10:15 a.m.-- Phil Stevenson of AWFI will discuss establishing a finishing system in your company, setting up finishing standards, performance measurements and developing training.

10:15 - 11 a.m. -- Jason Chiu of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, University of British Columbia, will speak about problem solving in wood finishing and new developments in surface preparation, including sanding.

11 – 11:45 a.m. -- David Jackson of Gemini Coatings will discuss finishes that many shops may not have adopted, such as polyester, two-component polyurethane and some UV finishes.

11:45 a.m. -- 1 p.m. Lunch

1 - 1:45 p.m. -- Les Smith of Sherwin-Williams Co. will speak on developments in waterborne coatings, low-VOC, non-isocyanate and non-formaldehyde technologies in the coatings business.

1:45 - 2:30 p.m. -- Bob McKenna of SAMES-KREMLIN will explain new developments in spray guns, including transfer efficiency and reducing VOCs in a finishing operation.

2:30-2:45 p.m. Break

2:45-3:30 p.m. -- --Massimo Di Russo - General Manager of Cefla North America will discuss flatline finishing systems and developments in larger volume applications.

3:30-4:15 p.m. -- Don Kuser of North American Plywood will discuss digital printing and staining on wood products, and how these technologies are affecting wood finishing.

4:15-5:00 p.m. Question and answer session with all speakers. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions about their own finishing operation.

About the Speakers:

Karl D. Forth has covered the cabinet, furniture, millwork and wood products industries for 20 years. He is online editor of FDMC Magazine and Woodworkingnetwork.com, where his responsibilities include magazine stories, online articles and event organization.
Phil Stevenson of AWFI, a leading finishing consultant, will discuss a new method of training in which the goal is to create a system for finishing within the company rather than training a person that could leave that same company. He will discuss how to organize a finishing system and set up metrics and ways to measure your company’s finishing performance.
Jason Chiu is a quality control certification specialist and extension trainer at the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, at the University of British Columbia. Jason holds a Bachelors degree in Wood Products Processing from UBC. He has worked for several secondary wood products companies performing; quality systems implementation, training, and process layout and design. Jason has conducted audits of several industrial finishing facilities and performed hands-on finishing training, as well as developing a comprehensive range of finishing testing services for industry.
David Jackson has over 30 years of experience with wood finishes. He has worked for two coatings manufacturers and held positions in technical, operations, and sales. Jackson is currently an employee/owner of Gemini Industries. He writes blogs for FinishingIQ.com and has been a columnist and contributing editor for eight years for Wood Digest’s Finishing magazine and its predecessors Finishing and Restoration and Professional Refinishing. He also presented at IWF 2012, 14, & 16 and AWFS 2017.
Based out of the company’s headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Les Smith is responsible for marketing strategy and execution for the cabinertry segment of Sherwin Williams Industrial Wood Division. Les has 20 years of finishing experience in automotive and wood coatings. In his 18-year career with Sherwin-Williams, Les has held many sales and marketing management positions. Engaging with cabinetry manufacturers, product designers and industry associations, Les draws on his industry knowledge to influence product development and business development initiatives at Sherwin-Williams to better serve the cabinetry segment of the industrial wood market. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from Ohio University.
Bob McKenna has been in the finishing equipment industry for over 30 years. Bob has experience with all facets of the finishing process: pretreatment, material handling, liquid and powder application equipment, and cure ovens. His key business philosophy is to always be a good listener and ask a lot of questions. It takes effort to fully understand a company’s processes, goals, and objectives. Once you have that insight, it puts you in the position to provide the best equipment solutions to your customer. He is currently the West Region Manager for Sames Kremlin. In this role, he travels the Western US working with and training Sames Kremlin Distributor Representatives. He also conducts on site evaluations and audits of manufacturers finishing processes.
Don Kuser is the General Manager of North American Plywood Corporation. Since 1948 North American Plywood Corporation (NAPC) has been importing panel products from around the world. In 2003 NAPC started panel processing under Don’s supervision and has grown into a full-service component processing unit. Cutting, Laminating, Routing, Edge Banding, UV Coating, UV Edge Coating, and now high quality digital printing. Don and his team are pioneering the process of digital printing and digital staining direct to substrate. The DesignPly® process removes needless steps and saves time, money, and natural resources. The designs and applications are only limited to your imagination.