Finishing veneered plywood recommendation


I'm about to complete a set of cabinets made of veneered plywood with mahogany trim. The plywood is the "Apple ply" or "blond wood" variety they sell at Home Depot/Lowes. Not the real Birch ply, but similar in appearance. In the past I've finished it with whatever Polyurethane I've had on hand, but that tends to impart a darker yellowing look to the veneer. I'd like to finish it with something that will keep it lighter, closer to the "white" tones it has when un-finished. I'll accept some darkening, but like I said I wanted to avoid the yellow look. Does this make sense? Since this is just for the workshop, I'm not overly concerned about filling the grain on the mahogany or how that is finished, I've planned on using the same finish throughout. Having said all that do you have any recommendations and techniques?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Water borne poly is non-yellowing. If you use Enduro, you can add a crosslinker to the poly to increase it's hardness and water and chemical resistance to a remarkable degree. You need an HVLP to apply it.
Dave
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Wanna bet? I can show you counterexamples...polycrylic if I recall correctly.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

HELLO??? since when is polycrylic a "water borne poly"? IT'S AN ACRYLIC
SIGH.
SOOOO....how much exactly do you want to bet?
Dave
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I've tried a handful of different oil based varnishes from various home centers. I've found Varathane 'Diamond Clear' Interior Gloss (local Menards carry it) to be noticeably lighter (less yellow) and clearer than the others.
I like to thin 50-50 with mineral spirits and wipe on (with pantyhose) 3-5 thin coats (waiting a day, 220 grit hand sanding and vacuuming thoroughly between coats).
sl
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If memory serves the Diamond Clear is waterbased. I grew up with oil and am very happy with the progress they've made with waterbased!

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Did not have had the name quite right.. the can I have reads 'VARATHANE INTERIOR OIL WOOD FINISH Classic Clear-Diamond wood finish'. sl
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I've tried a handful of different oil based varnishes from various home centers. I've found Varathane 'Diamond Clear' Interior Gloss (local Menards carry it) to be noticeably lighter (less yellow) and clearer than the others.
I like to thin 50-50 with mineral spirits and wipe on (with pantyhose) 3-5 thin coats (waiting a day, 220 grit hand sanding and vacuuming thoroughly between coats).
sl
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"Deft" nito lacquer is a fairly "warm" look and you could certainly use Zinsser Bulls Eye "clear" shellac. Both will add "some" color but not the classic "yellow" like poly.
I'm leaning toward shellac more on every project now...
http://www.zinsser.com/subcat.asp?CategoryID=3
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Thanks for the recommendations so far. I've got some things to try now...
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I was very pleased with the water based product I obtained from Homestead finishing products. It is made by a company called Fuhr. It was their model 355 Acrylic finish. I has a very slight amber tone to give a little depth.
I had good success using the highest quality brush (Golden Taklon, a very very fine bristle) on my face frames and Harbor Freight's Gravity feed HVLP gun for the doors and drawer fronts.
" Product Series #355 & #375 - WATERBORNE ACRYLIC VARNISH - A unique self-cross linking acrylic varnish that was developed to replace the conventional solvent based catalyzed finished used in the kitchen cabinet industry. With proper application, this finish exceeds all KCMA testing for finish coats. Self-sealing, it has excellent scratch, water and chemical resistance. It features incredible "early" sandability, meaning you can sand it in as little as 20 minutes. A slight amber tint (#355) makes it a very attractive, non-yellowing finish for cabinets as well as all furniture requiring a tough and durable finish. Use the water-clear version (#375) when you want a clear and non-yellowing finish. This product provides for an easy switch from the conventional solvent catalyzed lacquers and varnishes. Low odor when applying. 375 is extremely user-friendly and buffs out as well or better than traditional nitrocellulose lacquers. Both products available in high viscosity version for better sag resistance on vertical surfaces (#355HV & #375HV)
LOW SHEEN, SATIN, GLOSS / QUART, GALLON, 5 GALLON (SEMI-GLOSS SHEEN AVAILABLE IN GALLON AND 5 GALLON. #375 NOT AVAILABLE IN LOW SHEEN QUARTS)"
Dennis Slabaugh, Hobbyist Woodworker
www.woodworkinghobby.com
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Look at McFeely's http://www.mcfeelys.com/subcat.asp?subcat=5.5.6
Their Crystal-lac 2001 is clear, non-yellowing. Their are others too. Typicially water based. also have the 2000 version that does have the typical Nitrocellulose or Poly yellowing if that's what you want.
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