Poly / sanding / steel wool

As you may recall, I've been working on a little coffee table outta reclaimed cherry. Construction is complete and I've elected to finish it with oil-based satin poly. I've used 400 wet/dry between the first and second coat and am thinking of switching to 0000 steel wood for the next three coats. Opinions?
TIA
Larry
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On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 2:25:55 PM UTC-8, Gramp's shop wrote:

Wiping poly rubs out nicely for a few coats. Spray or brush poly will be too heavy for steel wool after one or two coats. Not sure what you are after here but 3 coats or so and you have plastic not wood.
I use wipe on poly all the time for table tops but maybe 3 or 4 coats at most. As soon as you have noticable build you need to stop applying. It still rubs out and waxes well when thin enough but I have had really sad results when you get too much poly, it is not like lacquer or other softer varnishes. To thick and you really are in a different game.
Also, my typical approach is only sand the first coat (or second coat if first is super thin), just to flatten the wood fibers. Then 2 more coats with no sand between. Then rub out and wax (at the same time) with steel wool or scrub pads. Perfect for lacquer and works well with thin poly.
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:25:54 -0800 (PST), "Gramp's shop"

cherry. Construction is complete and I've elected to finish it with oil-based satin poly. I've used 400 wet/dry between the first and second coat and am thinking of switching to 0000 steel wood for the next three coats. Opinions?

I'd put on two more coats. Then I would wait a minimum of two weeks for it to cure. Use 400 wet, then pumice, then rottenstone, then wax. You get a beautiful sheen, very smooth, very professional. It does not look at all like the plastic poly finish if you do nothing.
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2012 14:25:54 -0800 (PST), "Gramp's shop"

cherry. Construction is complete and I've elected to finish it with oil-based satin poly. I've used 400 wet/dry between the first and second coat and am thinking of switching to 0000 steel wood for the next three coats. Opinions? Wetordry denibs it while 0000 will lower the gloss more quickly. Either or both, your preference in the final finish should guide your choice.
-- While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness. -- Gilda Radner
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wrote:

Wet-dry paper would probably give a better tooth than steel wool, which burnishes more than it abrades. Try ragging on the last 2 or 3 coats, same as you would Watco, full strength or thinned 50%, whichever handles more easily. Lightly scuff between coats with 320 or 400.
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On 11/13/2012 4:25 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

cherry. Construction is complete and I've elected to finish it with oil-based satin poly. I've used 400 wet/dry between the first and second coat and am thinking of switching to 0000 steel wood for the next three coats. Opinions?

If you use a oil based gel varnish, I really like Old Masters, you will get an oil based satin finish and you will not have to sand between any coats. Wipe it on wipe it off immediately with a clean lent free cloth, wipe again with another lent free cloth 5 minutes later. Repeat 4 hours later as many times as you wish.
Oh, and the finish will look like a pro sprayed it on. It is a no brainer.
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Thanks, Leon. Will try this on the next project. I've now got three coats of poly on the coffee table and SWMBO is thrilled with the results. On to the matching TV stand. Pix to come.

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