Bar counter top finish


My son and I are making a bar top with a Brazillian cherry veneered top. Since it is going to see some hard use, what are other alternatives to polyurethane? What are the pourable "plastic" solutions, or are they a solution at all? If you have a specific product in mind, please let me know.
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System Three 'Mirror Coat'. Its a 2-part extremely clear epoxy made for your specific application. http://www.systemthree.com/p_mirror_coat.asp

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On Wed, 14 Jun 2006 15:19:19 GMT, "Max Mahanke"

Self leveling.. okay, so what happens if your bar has a rounded face and you want that to be coated too?
(that website requires you to be a member before downloading PDFs...)
I've always been interested in how those 'deep' finishes are achieved.
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On Wed, 14 Jun 2006 15:48:49 GMT, Owamanga

The idea is that you let it drip over the sides and eventually the increasing surface tension while it cures will hold some of the epoxy on. It won't be as thick as on a horizontal surface. This results in a huge mess, of course (make sure the WHOLE floor is masked). The whole process is a pain in the neck, but done right it can look quite nice, if you like the whole thick, glossy look.
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eganders wrote:

If you don't want that thick plastic coating, and want a durable top, Behlens makes a counter top varnish. It's not as tough as an epoxy coating but I think it's far more attractive and will show off the wood grain and color better.
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Years ago I used an epoxy on a table top, covering foreign coins. Thick enough to cover the coins. Does ANYBODY know of a way to get it up, to recover the coins??? I'm willing to sacrifice the table.
Thanks for any answers...
Rich.....
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I'm picturing a chisel and a mallet....
todd
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Use a saw (cheap dovetail or X-acto saw) to cut through the epoxy to the wood near the coins. Try to wedge a flat screwdriver or chisel down into the slot (dependinig on how thick the saw kerf is, this may be difficult and require a very thin tipped screwdriver - be REALLY careful if you use a chisel) and 'lift' the epoxy. The epoxy will generally not adhere to metal as well as to the wood, so you should be able to 'pull it off' of the coins. This can be pretty difficult, but not impossible.
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rich wrote:

Heat? Working with electronics I have sometimes needed to remove something that had been held down with epoxy. I used a soldering iron to break up/dig into the epoxy. For your coins on a table I'm thinking maybe a heat gun? You would probably really want to do this outside as I have not found anyone who is fond of the smell of burning epoxy.
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Thanks All for the input. Sounds like mechanical, or mechanical plus heat. Was hoping there was a magic solvent that would free all the coins, polish them, stack them neatly, and then evaporate!
Regards, Rich.....
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You can get pourable bar-top epoxy in Home Depot (I think Lowes carries a 2:1 mixture that's a bit more difficult to measure/use) or at a craft store. Remember, many craft stores will accept another company's coupons, so you can get a large bottle of Aristocrat/Envirotex Lite for up to 40% off. (i.e. bring in a Rag Shop coupon to Michaels) which is far cheaper than buying System 3 or West Systems epoxy. The Famowood brand that Home Depot carries is thinner than the Envirotex and it is best to wait awhile before pouring or /all/ of it will simply run off the edge of the surface. Ideally, it should be just slightly thicker than maple syrup, but not as thick as honey, when you pour it.
A few hints: /Seal/ the surface that you are going to coat with epoxy. You can use a thin coat of the bar top finish. If you are in a rush, you can use the cheap 5-minute or 2-hr epoxy from Wal-Mart. Mix, spread and scrape flat with a razor blade or plastic spreader. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you don't want any thick bumps in the surface or it might poke out above the final coat. Use at least two coats. Any minor unevenness will vanish into the final coat.
The instructions will say to breathe on it or to use a propane torch to pop the bubbles after you pour. An easier way to do this is to find a fine mist sprayer (try the travel or beauty supply section) and get 91% isopropyl alcohol. Once you pour the surface, wait awhile for the bubbles to rise, then very lightly mist the surface with the alcohol. This will pop many more bubbles than the torch method will. You'll have to re-check and mist again (You can usually do this up to an hour and a half after mixing) to make sure that no new bubbles have appeared. If you did not seal the surface with epoxy this will be an impossible task because air will keep escaping from the wood.
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 18:45:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@fenrironline.com (Fenrir Enterprises) wrote:
[snip]

[snip]
An excellent group of posts, thanks for your detailed input.
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Printer Supply outlets carry 99% Isopropyl Alcohol. I use it for mixing shellac from flakes as to 91% is hard to find.
On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 18:45:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@fenrironline.com (Fenrir Enterprises) wrote:

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On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 04:31:38 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

Alcohol is so hygroscopic (aborbs water from the air) that I suspect that 99% isopropyl would turn into 95% or lower the moment you take the cap off. I've found 91% in Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerds, and Walgreens (pretty much any drugstore) in the 'first aid' section.
Don't use 70% to mist epoxy with. I think that there's too much water and you'd damage the surface because it wouldn't evaporate fast enough.
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