finishing hardwood: newbie question

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We, too, had a powerboat race this past weekend here on the Willamette. Our house is about 1/2 mile from the river but we can hear the boats pretty clearly - sounds like a swarm of mosquitos.

True - even knowing that the best results come from waiting I sometimes have a hard time holding back from completing a project due to having to wait for the finish to cure. Other times I put the piece aside to cure and then never get back to rubbing it out - this generally happens with my turned pieces. (I've got two pieces that were lacquered late last summer and I still haven't gone back to "color sand" and polish - d'ya think the lacquer has cured long enough by now?
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Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Larry Jaques wrote:

As much as I love to spray lacquer, phenolic varnish has got to be the most user friendly film finish out there.
So easy to rub out, simple to apply, not totally offensive smelling, and durable.
Thinned and wiped on, it's almost foolproof. Dust nib? Rub it off and recoat.
Barry
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You could always go against popular opinion, and just use polyurethane or clear laquer. The laquer might yellow a bit with time, but the poly should stay clear. Both are nice and tough.

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Hmmm. I've always thought poly had an amber tone unless one uses the water-based variety which is practically clear to slight bluish in tone.
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Owen Lowe
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