How to Apply the Last Coat of Poly for a Dining Table Top?

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wrote:

I would not use 600 grit at the point - it's too coarse for the work at hand and will leave scratches too deep. At this point 1200 should be all that is necessary. 600 is a tooth providing grit and should not be used in the process of bringing up finishes.
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I was in Paxton Lumber yesterday (local hardwood dealer) and I overheard the sales rep on the phone talking to a noob. He told him that poly should never be used on furniture, only on floors...
I thought that was a strange thing to tell a customer...
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Hmmm... I prefer floor-grade poly on my furniture, too. I figure, anything designed to be walked on can stand some abuse.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

Try Gymseal once, and you'll ditch poly forever.
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exotic woods. W W
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wrote in message

No, the one in Cincinnati Ohio. Great place for good wood.
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I had tiny bubbles in my dried poly. I looked through a jewelers magnifying loupe. Yup, bubbles. Thought it might be sand or dirt, or dust. They were half in and half out, but I could neither brush them out or sand them out. I am sure that there are scientific words, and a possible explanation and solution. I don't have them. I could not block sand the bubble in half, without destroying the surrounding area. And subsequent coats would have same anyways. It would have left concave half pitts if sanding was possible. so there they are. Too deep to ignore, and not raised enough to even half fix!! Don't know what I did wrong or not right. it was inside of drawers, and the right finish, so what are you gonna do.
I personally think the only solution is not to get them in the first place. I used a new purdy brush, probably coated the brush with solvent and ficked off. May have forgot, not sure. Don't think I thinned first or any coat (3) because the can does not mention it. It was spar, not hard type cause I had it already.
I can only guess that a little thinner may have been the solution. And maybe not in the order of 10% which may be too much. Could be as low as 1%. I think experimentation is in order. I think this applies to all coats, and don't know if more thinner on the first coat as primer is needed, whether or not the can says so. NB i did poly outdoors once in high temp and very high humidity, and the water got right into the finish and it went white, like milk paint. Next tiem, snaded down, not to wood, and it was gone, gone. I think you could tell you had sanded it all out. Yes it was that dramatic.
For arguments sake, has anybody done a descent job of poly with w/ a brush, or foam without bubbles. Simple ya, na is sufficient. If speciically so, was it thinner, and how much?
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wrote:

Yes, oil based poly, thinned quite a bit (maybe 20%) and a foam brush. Finished with 0000 steel wool and a little wax. Actually, it was Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.
No bubble problems visible to the naked eye.
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I spread poly straight up with foam pads. The thing with poly is to spread it, not paint it. Work poly at all and you introduce air bubbles. I pull it as evenly as I possibly can across the piece and then I flatten it with 1200 or so and buff back to the shine I want.
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Knock the last coat down with 1000 or 1200 grit paper. Don't be afraid to wet sand. Use a sanding block and take it down until you have an evenly scuffed surface - no shiny spots. The shiny spots will be low points. Once you have the surface flat (in both senses of the word), use automotive rubbing compound and buff it back up to the desired level of shine. If you use a medium cut compound you should bring the 1200 grit scratches up with little effort. For a deep, clear, bright shine follow this up with a fine cut buffing compound.
You can get these rubbing/buffing compounds at any automotive paint supplier or at many automotive parts stores.
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