Removing factory finish

We have three "factory" cherry tables with the "factory" finish. We also used to have two cats that would love to chase each other around the living room jumping from table to table. Well, the cats are gone, but they left behind scratches on the tables. I have always hated the factory finish, more like a paint than a finish. You can hardly see the grain.
I took one table and sanded down the top. My plan was to try and match the finish with the rest of the table. Part way through, my wife said she loved the way the table looked with the grain showing (shock, shock... that's the way I like it also), and wanted to know if I could do this to the whole table, then the other two tables.
Getting the orginal finish was a real pain. I tried acatone, achole, and Mineral spirits. Only the acatone would make the finish gummy.
Does anyone have any suggestions on removing the finish without a lot of sanding? There's a lot of detail to the legs and aprons, and it would take for ever to sand them.
Thanks.
Dave
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ah...paint stripper???
dave
Dave Solly wrote:

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Well, it really isn't paint. I was just trying to describe the way the finish covers the grain, but, maybe paint stripper will work anyway. I guess it's worth a try.

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I KNOW you said it isn't paint, Dave. "paint stripper" is a generic term for what'll eat many finishes off. :)
dave
Dave Solly wrote:

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sounds like a good time to learn how to sharpen and use scrapers.     Bridger
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Did you try lacquer thinner? Many factory finishes are lacquers.
Barry
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I would bet you could take that a step further and say MOST factory finishes are lacquers. :)
in message wrote:

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Goto your local Barnes and Noble and look in a book by a fella named Bob Flexner called Understanding wood finishes. Chapter 18, strippers (it's not about the type of strippers that would upset the wife). Excellent chapter. You could read it there and not spend a dime.

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| | You could read it there and not spend a dime.
But it's a great book and well worth the dime. After having asked several finishing related questions here, and after having bought a couple of other books on wood finishing, I bought Flexner's book and have found it far superior to anything I've previously read.
Contrary to the trend, I enjoy finishing and I wish I could do it better.
--Jay
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:36:51 -0700, "Jay Windley"

Flexner's book is one of those where I originally borrowed it from the library, only to buy a copy to keep on hand for later questions.
It's THAT good. <G>
Barry
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