My Poly Freaken Pealed Off!!

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A little more on the definition of a varnish including those in the form of shellac's and lacquers.
This was taken from Columbia University Electronic Encyclopedia Sixth edition.
varnish, homogeneous solution of gum or of natural or synthetic resins in oil (oil varnish) or in a volatile solvent (spirit varnish), which dries on exposure to air, forming a thin, hard, usually glossy film. It is used for the protection or decoration of surfaces and may be transparent, translucent, or tinted. For oil varnishes a hard gum or resin, often a fossilized plant exudation such as kauri or copal, is dissolved in oil (commonly linseed oil or tung oil) and is diluted with a volatile solvent such as turpentine. Spirit varnishes are commonly made of soft resins or gums, such as shellac, dammer, mastic, or sandarac, dissolved in a volatile solvent, e.g., alcohol, benzene, acetone, or turpentine. Enamel is varnish with added pigments. Lacquer may be a cellulose derivative dissolved in a volatile solvent, or it may be a natural varnish made in the East from the sap of trees. Among the varnishes named either for their constituents or for the proposed use are japanner's gold size, cabinet, carriage, bookbinder's, patent-leather, insulating, photographic, shellac, and copal picture varnish. Varnish has been known from antiquity; the Egyptians coated mummy cases with a pastelike form made of soft resins dissolved in oil and applied when warm. Another early use was for coating oil paintings. Stradivarius and other violinmakers used a slow-drying linseed oil varnish on their instruments.
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and those possible reasons are?
dave
Mike G wrote:

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Dave,
Mike is mad at me and just want to taunt me with is extensive knowledge on refinishing. Granted, he has more experience than me, and probably knows more than me about woodworking and finishing, as do most people on this NG, but I think he is a little nutty. :)
Do most people hate finishing? I love woodworking, but HATE finishing more and more with every project. Does it get easier? Will I grow to love it?

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Just a 'little' nutty?
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Hopefully, he'll get over it and start giving some WW advice. I'm watching my p's and q's to avoid as many rancorous replies as I can! :)
dave
stoutman wrote:

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stoutman wrote:

Love it? Probably not. You'll grow to stop dreading it so much once you finally discover shellac though. Screw it up, no problem, just do it over again.
It's not a durable as poly, but it doesn't have any of poly's down sides either. It doesn't take forever and a day to dry, it doesn't attract dust, it doesn't demand sanding between coats just to get the next layer to stick, it doesn't give everything a dipped in plastic look, and it doesn't require extremely noxious chemicals to strip off if something goes wrong.
Shellac is awesome. Poly sucks. I have finally seen the light. :)
I agree with the others, BTW, that you didn't wait long enough for the stain to dry. I'd have waited a couple days at least. Oil and water don't mix after all.
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Use Waterlox and it becomes far less onerous and the finished results are most attractive. Waterlox is akin to the "Danish" oils, but in my mind, have significantly more resins so it builds a finish that can be rubbed out. I apply Waterlox with a rag, so no need for expensive brushes or the hapless chore of cleaning brushes.
Waterlox is not sold in a few states because of VOC requirements - including the two states I have lived in, Mass and NJ. However, it's easy to smuggle it in.
As a side note, but an important one, what's with trying to make Mike G become a bad guy? He is a longtime CONTRIBUTOR and has shared his knowledge with this group and to anyone looking for some help. If you want someone to drive away, do it to those whose contributions are mainly pseudo-folksy.
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I echo what CCbob says . Find a finishing product you like and learn to use it . Develop a procedure you go through each time you are ready to do finishing , that way you minimize surprises and come out with a satisfactory result 9 times out of ten.
Then after a while when you get reasonably proficient you will get to the point where you can't wait to finish the item to see what it is going to look like, and what's more you will know beforehand how good it's going to look ....mjh
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I can think of one big reason Ok two The dye wasn't long enough to sit and dry. (at least 4 hours would help) An you didn't mention sanding between Poly coats. 24 hours is a long time in the poly realm to recoat and not sand. 4-6 hours might be ok but not 24, especially since at 50:50 the drying/curing time for poly goes down considerably (experience talking here).
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Young Carpenter

"Violin playing and Woodworking are similar, it takes plenty of money,
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I sanded it between coats with 320 grit lightly. This is the third time I have tried to finish this piece. The first time I used wipe-on poly all over the table. On the top I had 4-5 coats. I rubbed out the top with 4F pumice and cut through. I had to resand and restain the top. But I didn't wipe the poly on again (never again on a top!). I foam brushed it on and used a higher ratio of poly to mineral spirits.
I think next time I am gonna try Deft brush on lacquer. The guy at woodcraft raves about it. Anyone have any with this stuff?

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dye
-----lots of snippage above----------- FWIW, when I use the water based dyes I always wait overnight for it to dry then hit the high spots very lightly with a 3M 220 sanding sponge to get rid of those wood wiskers. Then I lay on a light coat of 1 lb shellac, let that dry and sand lightly with the sponge. Then I apply thinned poly(with HVLP) sanding lightly between coats. IIWY I would toss that can of poly and get another brand or a fresh can of the same.
Larry
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Thanks for the advice. I just wish I had a HVLP equipment. I gotta elbow grease all my finishes on. :(
Will the shellac hold the poly to the surface of the better?
The poly is new. I got a small can just for this project.(minwax).
I think my poly days are over for now. I'm gonna try something different next time. I have no spray equipment though. Maybe brush on lacquer next time.

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I shared somewhat the same frustrations in not having an HVLP. I couldn't see spending a grand, "just to do finishing". Finally I realized there's no decent alternative, so I bit the bullet and got an Accuspray HVLP. Using it is remarkably satisfying, if somewhat expensive. Think long and hard about "making do" without one.
dave
stoutman wrote:

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I am chiming in here way late and the advise given is good. BUT... you mentioned that you hate finishing and you also mentioned that you used Miniwax.... I have been doing this for 20+ years and hate Minwax products... I do not hate finishing....
May I suggest General Finishes, Bartleys and or Zar? You will probably not find them in the typical home center or hardware store. Check out the woodworking stored like Wood Craft.
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I used Deft many years ago and hated it due to the fumes. I applied it outside and still got zonked by it. I used it on an unfinished stereo cabinet and stuck my head into the interior while brushing it on. It clears the sinuses and rots the brain. It's a concoction of lacquer and other junk to allow it to be brushed on. "Nasty" doesn't do it justice. Wear a respirator if you choose to use it.
dave
stoutman wrote:

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Ah as soon as you mentioned about rotting the brain ,that accounts for it........mjh
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I hate foam brushes an poly. 4-5 coats of wipe on won't do if you want to hi polish That's like putting 2 coats of regular no thin on. I found that 33% mineral spirits is much better than 50/50 and yes the last project I did was with Deft Brush on lacquer. For the most part it applies much like poly and lacquer thinner helps with any mistakes beautifully, I used stain under neath and didn't find any leak through. It dried quickly in 60-70 degree weather. Of course keeping a wet edge is even more important than for poly but more for the smoothness of brushing than anything. A little streak here and there won't hurt if it is only an undercoat, and the next coat is put on within 24 hours. Make sure you spend a little extra for good soft synthetic brush, I think the one I used was for enamels or something. Oh yes and it does smell and it takes a while for the stuff to fully cure so the smell lingers for about a week after that you have to put your nose buy the project to smell it.
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Young Carpenter

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Young Carpenter writes:

I hate foam brushes. I have never gotten a good result with any finish with one.
Charlie Self "Everything has its limit - iron ore cannot be educated into gold." Mark Twain
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Hey we agree on something:)
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"WOW what a thread for such a little question!!!!
Mike G is right about the sand paper, I have never noticed any real problems Myself with it, but it is a possible. Now on your finish, when you mixed the poly with the thinner did you spill any thinner on the wood? did you by some chance wash your hands with soap before you applied the finish? When did you last wax you cast-iron? Did any contact glues, like sticker or label glue get on the surface of the table before applying finish? Any of these and a few dozen other items getting on the bare wood could cause the finish not to stick. Did you sand it to fine to allow the finish to grip the wood. Was the wood cold when you applied the finish? All of these are long shots but might lead you to an answer on the problem. Lemon or Citrus oil used to be death to Deft poly finish even after it had cured for a year or two, not so much of a problem now but think back and see if you can find the problem and good luck with the refinish.
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