Brands of alkyd varnish?

I've been reading over some old posts on this board, and have checked out a couple of books from the library- one by Jeff Jewitt and the other by Bob Flexner, and for my next project instead of using just a straight boiled linseed oil finish I want to make my own wiping varnish. The dilemma is that when I visit the hardware stores- HD, Ace, etc., I can't find anything that I can identify as an alkyd varnish. Lots of polyurethane, both oil and water based. Do I need to go to a paint store or is this something that needs to be ordered from a woodworking supplier? Are there any brands of alkyd varnish that are distributed to the big retailers in the US? Thanks for any help.
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Dale,
I have used a product from Behr ( " Super Lac") that I bout at the BORG about 5 years ago. I have finished may projects with it. It is especially receptive to a deep rub-out with ultra fine synthetic steel wool and wax. The jewelry case pictured on my site is an example of the finish.
http://www.woodworkinghobby.com/html/projects_0.html
Good luck,
Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist Woodworker www.woodworkinghobby.com

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On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 06:14:04 -0500, "Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist

I'll bet that's a lacquer product, especially from the "rubability" you describe. Not a good idea to mix lacquer with oil and mineral spirits.
Barry
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Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist Woodworker wrote:

Interesting. I could not find "Super Lac" on the Behr website, but I did find "Clear-Lac". Based on the name and this description on the Behr website: No. 601 Clear-Lac Sanding Sealer & Finish A fast drying, dual purpose sanding sealer and clear finish. It protects wood and resists alcohol stains. BEHR CLEAR LAC will not water-spot or turn yellow and is easy to apply. <snip> As a topcoat, BEHR CLEAR LAC produces a rich, velvety, hand-rubbed, semi-gloss finish formulated for normal wearing surfaces.
I would guess that it is shellac...not varnish. Just a guess, though.
************************************ Chris Merrill snipped-for-privacy@christophermerrillZZZ.net (remove the ZZZ to contact me) ************************************
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 13:50:49 GMT, Chris Merrill

Shellac WILL water spot. <G>
Barry
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On 11 Nov 2003 20:14:00 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Dale) wrote:

I've found GOOD paint stores (rarer and rarer), woodworking stores, and pro finish supply shops all carry what you need. If the local pro finish shops won't sell direct to you, see if you can work a sideways deal through a local cabinet or millwork shop.
Aside from the odd can of Seal Coat, I'm done buying fine woodworking finishing supplies from big box stores and hardware stores. I've thinned Minwax polys for wiping on trim, which worked fine. For furniture, I spend the extra money for high-end products.
I prefer Mohawk/Behlens products most often. I've also had good results with Waterlox Urethane varnish, which is different from Waterlox "Original".
The last time I made a BLO/MS/V wiping varnish, I used a Sherwin Williams oil base varnish in a pinch and it worked out well.
FWIW, for compatibility reasons, a local pro finisher talked me into sticking with one brand of product (except for Seal Coat) when finishing a piece. I'm starting to see the wisdom of his advice.
Barry
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Dale, If your local 'borg' can't satisfy your Varnish requirements, try any local Marine supply outfit. West Marine is a NATIONAL chain and has numerous outlets. Their 'house brand' is fairly decent stuff and I usually pick up a quart or so whenever it is on sale.
'ZAR' brand is another one, usually available at Home Depot as well. 'Interlux' is another well-known brand. 'Epafanes' is really high-priced, and there are many others.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop [PS: FWIW - I bought a quart of "Man-o-War" varnish at a local Home Depot at the beginning of the this past Summer. Used it to finish a 'temporary' hatch. Did a credible job and still looks excellent after the boat spent months on a mooring; just hauled her last week. I also used the stuff to finish a couple of Veterans Flag Cases. Used it for the initial 'wiping' coats, and the final 'flow' coats. Excellent results.]
SNIP Do I need to

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On 11 Nov 2003 20:14:00 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Dale) wrote:

I don't respond very often, as most beat me to the punch and are more entertaining to boot, but this one I can help on.
First, you need to find a 'real' bonafied paint store. They can help you. If you by chance find one that stocks Pratt and Lambert products, pick up a can of #38 varnish. No other fancy names or designations, just #38 varnish, says it right on the can. Comes in flat, medium and gloss, although, I generally buy a gallon of gloss, and a quart of flat. Build up the finish with the gloss, and mix the flat and gloss 50/50 for the last coat if you don't want full sheen. The stuff flows on beautifully, dries clear and hard with a slightly reddish/amber glow. Great finish. The 'hard' part is important to me. A little effort with a gray scotch brite and a good paste wax make for a nice soft finish. Some other products that I have tried dried a bit 'gummy', for lack of a better word.
BTW, also ask for a full-line Pratt and Lambert catalog while at the 'real' paint store. They have many interesting products that you won't typically find in a BORG or hardware store.
Finally, I am in NO WAY connected with Pratt and Lambert, or any of their distributors. That said, I have received lucid, helpful information when I have called their support center, and have found all of their products that I have used to be at or near top in their class. Our local stocking paint store is also pretty darned helpful too.
I'm sure Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore also offer a similarly fine alkyd varnish.
David Glos
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Thanks for the replies. I'm lucky enough to have both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore suppliers in the area. I'll have to check them out.
Dale
(Dale)

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