Finishing question

I have just finished making a counter top out of birds eye maple with 2 1/4" strips of paduk. It is about 2 x 6 feet in size. Anyway, it will be used as a bar to sit at and eat or drink while in the kitchen. Thus there will be wet glasses and such on it. I bought some bush oil (to pop the grain) and some "rockhard table top finish" at Woodcraft, but I don't really like the looks of it when I applied it to some scrap. It just came out too glossy and commercial looking, also darkened it too much. I then tried just using boiled linseed oil on another sample and liked the shade it produced better. So my question is can I then just apply some MinWax over the BLO and still get enough protection? I think I'll start with a satin and move to gloss if it doesn't look right.
-Jim
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MinWax what?
I think you do need a ployurethane finish to hold up to the intended use. You can get water based crystal clear poly so coloration shouldn't be an issue. You can poilsh out the gloss but with poly that is really hard to do so just use a satin or semigloss finish and don't do to many coats. For the best grain clarity when you want multiple coats the suggestion is to do many coats of gloss and then a final coat or two of satin or semi gloss. The satin or semi gloss effect is created by adding a white paint like pigment to the clear poly so multiple coats can start to obscure the grain.

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Sorry, I meant MinWax Poly. Have you a better recommendation as far as manufacturer? Your advice sounds good though. Do you think it's a good idea to apply it over the BLO? There is a lot of figure in these boards and I really want to maximize it.
-Jim
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jtpr wrote:

Using Minwax Poly can catch you a lot of flack in some circles, but in this case I think it's the right thing to use (and I agree with pretty much everything Mr. Anonymous from SonomaProducts.com said). I used it on our kitchen table (red oak, two coats clear, one coat satin), and it turned out beautifully and has taken one HELL of a lot of abuse with virtually no problems whatsoever. For each coat I basically flooded it on the surface rather rapidly, with no real regard for brushing it out smoothly, then wiped it down with a dry blue shop towel to get full coverage, soaking up the excess and leveling it out, then as it began to tack I followed that with another wipedown using a blue shop towel soaked in mineral spirits, leaving the entire surface glossy wet. That last step levels out the poly to a glassy smooth finish that looks like it was sprayed on. Same process for all three coats, but on the final coat when the poly was *almost* dry to the touch, I gave it a final rubdown with a dry blue shop towel. If you catch it at just the right time (you don't want the finish tacky or it will grab the cloth and cause a mess) you can rub it out as smooth as a baby's bottom. My method might sound kinda wacky to some, but I've done it many times and hey, it works. :-)
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I wanted to put a link to some pics as it might help illustrate what I'm talking about:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jtpryan/BarTop?feat=directlink
In the two pics of the scrap, the one on the right where they are standing on end is more accurate to color. The one on the left is Bush Oil and Rockhard. The one on the right is just BLO. I prefer the color of the one on the right, this is what I would like to achieve, but with a poly or protective coat on it. The other pics are the place where it will go.
Thanks,
Jim
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. Like Steve says, some folks have a bias against MinWax products but I find them mostly as good as any others (I like Microsoft too) and I have used their poly and it works well.
Yes, adding some depth and color with BLO is a great idea. Thin it a bit with mineral spirits to help it penetrate and dry a little faster and let it dry a few days before you overcoat with poly.
Steve was describing a sort of hybrid wiping poly approach. In fact, most of the poly work I do, I do a wiping application. Thin the poly by 50% or more with mineral spirits. Yes, the can may say don't thin more than 10 or 20% but you can ignore that. Flood the surface with a brush then immediately wipe it down with a saturated rag. Not so saturated that it won't pickup the extra but not so dry that it totally removes the material. Leave a super fine and smmoth suface film using really precise strokes with a smooth face on the rag.
Don't touch it after you get it wiped down. Let dry 12-24 hours. On pourus woods the first coat or two will almost dissapear. Then it will start to build. Hand scuff and flatten after about 2 or 3 coats with 320 or 400 sand paper.. Then another coat or two or more (with satin in your case) to you liking depending on how much build up you want. Be careful in corners, molding seams, etc where you can get puddling and over build.
Wait a week, then rub out with steel wool and wax.

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Thank you. But I have been led to believe that water based poly will preserve the color better then oil. Assuming that is true, what I'm trying to find out is can I apply this safely over BLO? If I have been led to believe the color part erroneously, please let me know.
-Jim
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Oops, my bad. I forgot you were going with water based for the clarity.
I don't have experience with WB Poly over BLO. It seems that most folks suggest either a shellac coat in between or make sure the BLO dries at least a week.
I think some full scale testing is required here. Sorry for the primrose path, I forgot you were doing WB.

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No harm. I just didn't like amber shade that the bush oil / rockhard produced. It made it look to "plasticy". I want it to have a sheen, but not look commercial. Your advice will be noted though for other projects..
Thanks, Jim
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Thanks for all the advice. This is how it turned out...
http://picasaweb.google.com/jtpryan/BarTop?feat=directlink
-Jim
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Jim,
Looks fantastic. You've got a nice piece of work there to be proud of. I wish I had a spot for something like that myself. `Casper
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