Help: Refinishing Bar tables (high traffic)

Hello!
I have aprox 20 small bar tables that need to be refinished and I am not sure how to start. The tables are about 2 inches thick but are made a many small (but long) 1 inch wide pieces of wood glued together. The surface is not absolutley smooth as a result and the wear in the finshes is concentrating on the small seams. The tables were stained a very dark red brown but have a thick shinny coat (but wearing into the wood in along the seams). So...the tables need to be brought back to life for a high traffic bar enfironment.
Do I need to concern myself with the type of protecive coat that is alreay on it? Polyurethane or varnish etc...Do I sand down to to bare wood everywhere and then re-stain and then apply varnish or polyurethane? How many coats....Do I need to sand between coats...I basically need a really good "How to" that I can apply to my situation on the whole sanding and refinsh stages. Also...the bar is open from 11 am until 2 am...so the work would be started at close (2 am)...how much time will be need to give a good buffer for dry time for the 11 am open???
I know there are lots of variables not disclosed...any help would be great!
Jerry Lynds j snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
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wrote:

Yes. Some finishes (all the good ones) will be fussy. A finish strong enough to survive in this application will place mechanical stresses on a finish beneath it. If that finish isn;t the same, then you're likely to get crackling or crazing. Some (cellulose lacquers) are just chemically incompatible and will wrinkle.

Yes.
Depends on your finish.

Not usually. Most finishes have a "window" where they can be re-coated without sanding. After this window closes, you have to wait much longer until they're really cured, then sand.

This situation sucks, especially the tiny time window. The best way is to remove a few tables at a time, do them off-site, then bring them back in. However you might not be able to do this.
If you have to do it in situ, then your _only_ option would appear to be an acid-cure formaldehyde. In the UK I use Rustin's Bar Top finish, a heat-resistant version of their Floorcoat that I use for stripped and sanded floors.
This is tough, hardwearing, resistant to mnost spills and works well in service. It also has _very_ fast curing. In a couple of hours it's ready to re-coat, and in six hours you can walk on it.
On the downside, it _STINKS_ when it's curing (I wear a full-face mask). You'll need to ventilate the room well afterwards. In this weather that could be difficult. It also needs a reasonable "room temperature" to cure.
Your time window is very tight for getting the tables sanded, and having two coats on them in this window. I'd want two teams of people (one sanding, one painting) and a dust curtain to section off the dust from the sanding area. You might also need to leave a few tables with just one coat, then re-coat them in the afternoon when trade is slack. Sort out your sanding machinery too.
I'd certainly remove one table from the bar beforehand, and do a trial run on it.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

You could just dump 50-coat polyurathane on it and call it a day. It sounds like you're completely new to it all, so be advised that 50 coat is a product- not applying 50 seperate coats. It leaves a really thick, flat surface on a tabletop, and the only sanding I'm aware of is to clean up the drips on the bottom edge of the tabletop. A lot of people place photographs, coins or other little things on the table before dumping the stuff on, and the top still comes out flat. Personally, I'd avoid the stuff under the poly, because it looks pretty tacky, but in a bar situation, it may be really popular.
It's not exactly a classy solution, but your patrons would almost have to *try* to damage it.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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50-coat varnish is actually a 2-part ultra refined epoxy that goes on clear and is tough as nails. It can be a little tricky to apply the first few times you try, so if you buy it, test it a few times to get the hang of it. No clue whether it will adhere to the previous coat, but I've used it over shellac and over polyurethane with no problem.
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wrote:

Is that the same sort of thing as Envirotex?
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On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 16:24:25 GMT, "U-CDK_CHARLES\\Charles" <"Charles

Yep. Envirotex Lite (I've never seen Envirotex normal?), Aristocrat, Famowood Glaze-Cote (which is a thinner formula than any other I've seen, makes a slightly thinner coating, of course you could wait for it to 'set up' to the thickness that the other two have). It's strong, but flexible enough that it won't crack from most wood shifting.
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