Storm Brewing at FWW

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A few years ago, Cris Becksvoort did a peice on his favorite finish, tried-and-true brand varnish oil. The latest issue of FWW rated the same as easily the WORST of all wipe on finishes tested. Suprisingly, Minwax wipe on poly was judged the best....
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Given the criteria, of course. By different criteria, other results.
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I just read that piece an hour ago. Personally, I've not used a Minwhacks product that I like, but then again I haven't used EVERY one of them...just their stains and poly. Their poly doesn't seem to be all that tough, and the stains take waay too long to dry and stink worse than other stains. I'm curious to see what Wreckers have to say about the results of that article.
Is it possible the author got a bad batch of T&T?
Dave
brian_j snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Sounds more like they got the results samples reversed.
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More likely, Minwax paid more.

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Like I said, it sounds like they got the results samples reversed. LOL..
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David wrote:

Don't see/smell much difference in Minwax oil stains vs others...all oil takes long enough that overnite is usual, so never noticed any significant time issue, either. Have used the Antique Oil for 30 yrs or more w/ excellent satisfaction. Never use poly's of any variety so no data there...
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Was pleased to see the results of the FWW test. Just got my issue today.
I have been using/recommending this Minwax product to friends & relatives for several years. I have never heard any regrets/disappointments.
My only gripe with the article is the price they quote. Around here, it's more like $5.99 (US)/pint, not per quart. Just bought 2 quarts yesterday at that price.
I have not tried any of the other products tested since I was pretty satisfied with what I was getting.
Lou

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On 18 Jun 2005 13:10:36 -0700, the opaque brian_j snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake:

If it weren't for Waterlox coming in at the #2 spot, I'd have totally discounted the entire test. <g>
Wipe-on poly is the least obnoxious of the poly finishes since it takes a lot of coats to get it thick enough to resemble Saran Wrap. It's an oil-based varnish with less poly. But MinWhacked? Amazing!
I wish he had provided pictures of the actual unfinished and finished squares which would have shown that while Waterlox is one of the darker finishes, it leaves white wood very white because it doesn't go on thick. The difference in darkening (looking through 2" of finish vs. 3 or 4 thin, hand-rubbed coats) is WAAAY different.
And anyone who has ever put on 4 (or 6 or a dozen) coats of Watco Natural knows that it is by NO means a flat finish. I degloss to a satin finish using 0000 steel wool and lemon oil.
Drying finish on glass is not the same as drying via absorption by the wood it finishes. Some of the 3-hour results should have been dry in under half an hour, though not enough to keep adding coats.
Some of those were wipe-on/sit/wipe-off finishes while others were wipe-on-and-let-dry, but he stated only that he wiped the finishes on and off.
The waterstain test wasn't exactly scientific. What bothers me about it is that the poly finishes (which, being half plastic, are all the most waterproof) came out differently. General's double whammy got a Fair, Watco got a Poor, Woodcraft came out Good, & both MinWhacked's wipe-on and brushable got Excellent. WTF,O?
Sorry, Mr. Minick. I don't agree the results you got and I wish your editors had made you standardize the tests prior to them publishing your article.
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I 'd bet they were fat paid to say so. It is something I suspect about magazines and big time movie critics.
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Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
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Chris Minick and Chris Becksvoort are two woodworkers with very different styles. Without claiming or suspecting anything less than ethical, honest behavior, I would expect that they would come to differing conclusions on finishes, joinery, methods and procedures, even marketing and employees.
There's room for both types. And more.
If Minwax makes such unmitigated crap, how does it continue to sell and prosper in the marketplace?
Patriarch
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 01:05:30 -0500, Patriarch

And that's just two people.
In the last year or so, there have been other FWW articles on how to rub out a varnish finish. One writer referred Pratt & Lambert phenolic varnishes, the other used Minwax Polyurethane.
On more occasions than I can count, I have used a product disparaged here or by someone I knew, followed a well-known writer's step-by-step procedures, and gotten excellent results. Obviously, this dosen't make sense if you're not after the finished look the author is demonstrating. <G>
I've seen nicely done finishes with MinWax, and I've seen glopped on Waterlox, along with plenty of the opposite.
My personal beef with some of the cheaper home center brands of finishing products is consistency from can to can.
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I don't like Miniwax stains, but NOT for the RESULTS; my issues are with the godawful stench and the lengthy time it takes for the stain to dry enough to apply the topcoats.
Dave
Ba r r y wrote:

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I keep wondering that same thing about a lot of products. Typically the product that gets the most advertising gets the most sales "regardless" of quality. Take Wagner products for example.
There are millions more first time buyers than repeat buyers of Minwax products. Their products are mostly sold at DIY stores like the borgs. More often you find the better products at stores that cater to wood workers.
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 01:05:30 -0500, the opaque Patriarch

True.
You're kidding, right? Millions of pet rocks were sold, Chevy still sells a few cars, Mickey D's is still afloat, and Thompson's Water Seal continues to sell. Tickle Me Elmo caused mass hysteria/riots and people still vote for Repugnicans and Damocrits, despite many of them ending up in prison or court. Shrub won a second term with which to thoroughly trash this otherwise wonderful country of ours. <sigh>
It's a combination of a massive marketing campaign along with the massive gullibility of a public who doesn't research their purchases. <mega sigh>
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for one massive 2nd. One of my massive principles, en-mass, is never support the massive giants, including massive BORGS, as much as is massively possible of course... it all means massive wealth from massive amounts of shoddy products from massive factory production. Who cares if you know you can buy a massively superior product from a small company that massively cares?
I need to learn more about what is out there in the obscure, word-of-mouth market.
Minwax spar varnish massively SUCKS! Takes a century to dry on weak, then it sands right off with no effort.
So does Verithane spray diamond hard finish, peels right off of wood treated with BLO like it was soft plastic. What do they care as long as they hog up the market with as much adverts as possible?
Have a massive day, I hope I do. Just bought tickets to see Robert Plant. Massive!
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I've used Winwax for years no complaints....But to answer the question, one word PETROCKS! People will buy anything! They just couldn't improve on their product line......................

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I think the literati here all know the score. If they don't like the results of a test, then it is obvious that those who performed the test are idiots at the least, and most probably paid liars on the payroll of some shadowy anti woodworking organization funded by big business.
I am sure that all have posted here know the dangers of using a product so pedestrian that it is readily available across the US. Much better to use some lesser known (just well known enough to be recognized by the others "in the know") finish that you have to order or is sold only at a couple of upscale places.
I have found that the differences in finish, especially failures in finish are more likely due to applicator inexperience or careless stupidity than the failure of the finish itself.
Only after having a full time painter/finisher on my payroll for several years did I understand how many circumstances come into play to put a good finish down. As with tools, the finish products >when used properly< will far outperform the applicator.
Robert
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Absolutely correct. However a product that requires lots of steps and takes longer to apply and cure as opposed to one that is a simple 2 or 3 step process and applies and cures in a short period of time with the same end results tends to be inferior by comparison. Time is money.
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Amen. And Leon's comment goes to the tendency of a fellow named Murphy to be your partner, whether you want him to be or not.
Patriarch
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