scraping between finish coats

I'm putting the finish on some Maple tables and tried something new that is working well. The tables were stained with water-based stain then I started putting the Varnish on. I thinned the Varnish 2:1 with Mineral Spirits and wiped on with rag. After the third coat dried, instead of using steel wool, I decided to scrape the imperfections and dust nibs off.
I used a single edge razor blade in a holder to scrape the surface by holding it about 20deg from vertical and dragging across the piece. This worked surprising well and didn't go through and scratch the wood or the stain. Some thicker areas and drips on the underside came right off with no problem. I did get a few spots that looked grey (mostly on the end grain) probably because the finish hadn't competey cured but the next coat cleaned that up. I am letting each coat dry for 24 hours before apply the next coat. I will probably end up with eight coats on the tops and five on the legs and aprons. I decided to try this since the last project like this I went through the finish and ruined the stain when using steel wool between coats since the stain barely penetrates the Maple, if at all.
Anyone else try this method between coats?
How long should I let the final coat cure before I try buffing it with 0000 steel wool?
Any recommendations for buffing the final coat once cured?
I also considered using wet-dry paper and Mineral Spirits between coats but decided against it.
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Yes, but I use a cabinet (card) scraper. IMO it is the most effective way to remove the high spots without effecting the flat areas. Some times I'll follow with a very light tough with sand paper

I try to wait a week.
-Steve
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way to effect flat areas, since you can scrape off the drips without affecting the surrounding area. <g>
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Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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I've used a cabinet scraper on poly with good results. My daughter needed a portable easel to take to class with her and she gave me the dimensions. I made it out of 1/2" birch ply and used poly for it's durability. After the first coat I could see some rather coarse planer marks, waves really, across the surface. Not wanting to sand it I figured I'd try the scraper. It worked great. After 5 coats, with light scraping between each, I had a perfectly flat surface. Wet sanding (with water and a sanding block) thru 600 grit, then some paste wax left the surface as smooth as glass. Be sure to get a fresh fine burr on your scraper for best results. Art

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