Sam Maloof Poly/Oil Hardness

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"damian penney" wrote in message

I've used it (either oil/poly, or the Sam Maloof canned) extensively on tables (end/hall) that don't get much activity, which have all held up fine for a number of years. I have also used it on two coffee tables, both of which have been used extensively and the finish is holding up well after three or four years use.
In addition, I recently applied a Sam Maloof finish to a hope chest that sits at the end of a bed, gets occasional use as bench, with shopping bags, suitcases, etc., injudiciously applied ... while it is still too early to tell, so far so good.
When I build a piece with this finish for a client, I usually give them a bottle of the oil/poly/wax mixture and tell them to apply it whenever they feel the finish needs to be "refreshed", about every year or so.
Being that simple to maintain, my feeling is that you'll be fine.
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Now that's what I like to hear. Think I'll skip that poly coat after all and leave it as is. How many coats of the oil/poly do you typically use (and thanks to everyone for all the feedback, much appreciated)
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"damian penney" wrote in message

I generally stop at five coats .... takes five days in good weather. A PITA, but worth it for the final results.
Here's five coats of Sam Maloof oil/poly finish, and two coats of Sam Maloof's oil/poly/wax on a cherry/walnut hope chest done last December ... picture doesn't do the finish justice:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/HC24.jpg
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Looks great, and it really is difficult getting pictures that do these finishes justice. Okay, another couple of poly/oil and then a couple of oil/wax it is.
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The Maloof finish isn't marred by abuse. It's patinated.
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"damian penney" wrote in message

No comparison, IME ... it is a rather soft finish, even with many built up layers, and not all that durable.

I also love it, and it is generally my first choice on things of which I am most proud. Those pieces that deserve the kind of care that it will take in the future to keep the luster and finish up to par.
It is that kind of finish, relatively soft, not very durable, but one worthy of a great deal of respect to my estimation, and not something I would want to put a layer of straight poly on, although poly is one of the ingredients of the finish.
That said, I've often wondered what doing that would result in (maybe even shellac instead of poly), but thus far have resisted the temptation for the above reasons, so let us know how it turns out if you do decide to go that route. ;)
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Curses :) I was hoping not to be a guinea pig...Time to do some tests... Is there anything else anyone could recommend to promote durability while retaining the good looks and silky smooth feel?
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Here are some pics of the project so far
http://www.penney.org/benchgallery3/index.htm (if anything doesn't work on this page please let me know)
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Sure - I'd probably vote for some type of varnish or polyurethane that's well-rubbed with 0000 steel wool. Or wet-sanded with 600 grit wet-dry paper. The project looks great so far! Andy
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