Polyurethane Vs Lacquer

I just completed building a chessboard and I'm deciding on the finish. At first I thought I would go with water based poly so as to not darken the maple (it's maple and wenge). But I was using lacquer on the pieces I made and they do look nice. It's a high gloss Minwax lacquer. The poly is the Minwax polycrylic.
Any thoughts on the pros and cons of each, or a better solution?
-Jim
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wrote:

first I thought I would go with water based poly so as to not darken the maple (it's maple and wenge). But I was using lacquer on the pieces I made and they do look nice. It's a high gloss Minwax lacquer. The poly is the Minwax polycrylic.

If you're partial to bluer overtones, go with waterborne finish.
If you're partial to golder overtones, go with oil-based finish.
An oil-based finish will probably give you a better contrast between woods due to the slight darkening effect, which will be a bit more pronounced on the darker wood than the maple.
(I'd use Waterlox, but y'all knew that already. ;)
-- If you're trying to take a roomful of people by surprise, it's a lot easier to hit your targets if you don't yell going through the door. -- Lois McMaster Bujold
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On Monday, December 19, 2011 10:31:39 AM UTC-5, Larry Jaques wrote:

Larry,
Thank you. So I gather you don't like the lacquer idea. Which Waterlox product would you suggest?
http://www.woodcraft.com/Search2/Search.aspx?query=waterlox&brand=Waterlox
-Jim
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wrote:

first I thought I would go with water based poly so as to not darken the maple (it's maple and wenge). But I was using lacquer on the pieces I made and they do look nice. It's a high gloss Minwax lacquer. The poly is the Minwax polycrylic.

I've just never been much of a fan of Minwhacked stuff.

The original stuff, but in Satin, unless you -must- have a really high gloss. Once it's cured, I then use 0000 steel wool with Johnson's paste wax to degloss it further. http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004209/8538/Waterlox-Original-Sealer-Finish-Quart.aspx This could be used as-is high gloss or steelwooled/waxed for satin.
Be sure to squirt some Bloxygen, propane, or argon into the can before resealing it. I had half a quart gel on me when I forgot once.
-- If you're trying to take a roomful of people by surprise, it's a lot easier to hit your targets if you don't yell going through the door. -- Lois McMaster Bujold
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Poly is a little tougher but lacquer is much nicer to rub out to a finish and repairable. I do use poly for table tops but I think a chess board is like a fine piece of furniture. I would use lacquer or shellac.
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Lacquer is the more durable of the two, but that shouldn't be an issue if the chess pieces have the obligatory felt pads on the bottom. Shellac is impossible to beat for looks, *especially* if French polished.
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"jtpr" wrote:

-------------------------- Shellac?
Lew
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