Table top: Need a hard finish other than lacquer

I put 2 coats of Minwax poly on a sample board. After 4 days I can scratch it with my fingernail.
Yesterday I applied two coats of Bonakemi Mega floor finish to a sample board and I can scratch that with my fingernail also.
Am I not waiting long enough to test the finish? Both of them will sand and polish ok.
If I want to use poly, should I use Behlen's Rock Hard for a harder finishing or will every finish still be a bit soft the first week or so?
The finish is going to be for an everyday desk top for my study.
dave
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On 28 Oct 2003, Bay Area Dave spake unto rec.woodworking:

Maybe you should just trim your fingernails.
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wrote:

Dave:
I use pre-cat lacquer for situations such as you describe. It needs to be sprayed.
It meets all the KCMA standards for abrasion and denting.
If you are used to spraying lacquer this won't be a big jump.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Tom,
ever heard about making an HVLP compressor from a vacuum cleaner motor? there are detailed instructions in a finishing book I just read... They don't specify how many psi it develops. they give a Grainger part number for the motor. I'd want something equivalent (or better)to a 3 stage.
dave
Tom Watson wrote:

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Not fully cured would be my guess, reactive finishes cure from the outside inward. In a way, more well cured thin coats can be quicker than fewer thick coats. In anycase be patient.
Isn't it Behnlens that makes a bar top finish? I haven't tried it but I'm planning to for an upcoming project.
David
says...

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not sure, David, but they list one for tabletops, so maybe that's it?...
...I just downloaded a pdf of the Behlen catalog. It IS the Rockhard Tabletop Varnish I believe. $44 per gal!
dave
Bannerstone wrote:

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wrote:

where'd ya download that pdf from? I too am building a table and would be interested to check this out.
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http://www.usg.com/Expert_Advice/const_handbook.asp?vChapter=Chapter_4&menu
not sure if this will wrap. do a copy/paste if it wraps...
dave
Lazarus Long wrote:

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Dave,
cool site, but that's for USG and their drywall products. I meant where'd you get the PDF for the Behlen catalog.
wrote:

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oops! I got several pdf's yesterday! just a sec...I'll find it...
http://www.liberonsupply.com/Catalog.html
then click the link "Catalog" in red, under LIBERON/star Wood Finish Supply
dave
dave
Lazarus Long wrote:

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Bay Area Dave wrote:

I'd be interested to hear as well. About 6 months ago I asked this question in reference to a kitchen table that will get heavy abuse with my 5 kids. I need something that will hold up!
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I just did the fingernail test on the floor that I refinished a few months ago. (the Bonakemi Mega water based floor finish) It's pretty darn hard, although it will scratch if you try hard enough. But it did pass the fingernail test. Maybe I should just use the stuff and wait at least a week before using the desk after the finish is applied...
dave
Creamy Goodness wrote:

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I used "ZIP-GUARD" POLYURETHANE on my all purpose coffee table, and it's hard as anything....still looks great after years and years
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It takes about 30 days for poly to cure to 90+%. The first few days it will be soft and after about 7 days it will be nearly as hard as at 30 days. It is tougher than lacquer which means it is also softer as opposed to the brittleness of lacquer. It also resists chemicals and water better than lacquer. If you want a really good topcoat, try a conversion varnish or a two part poly. They are extremely hard and resistant to most chemicals and water/moisture with the poly being the better topcoat. The only one better would be polyester, but that is a two or three part that mixes right before or at the gun. It is best left to professional sprayers with special equipment.
However, if you have an HVLP or other sprayer, a conversion varnish or catalyzed poly is not out of reach. In fact, a lot of high end furniture, especially tables are being sprayed with the catalyzed poly. Also, it is the topcoat used on cars.
BTW, I have sprayed the precat lacquer but not the conversion varnish or the two part poly; but I am looking for the opportunity to do so.
Check out http://www.pencilpages.com/articles/simmons.htm for hardness ratings of finishes.
Preston

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Preston, thanks so much for that link. Perhaps I SHOULD go with my original plan which is to use the floor finishing products (water based urethane - Bonakemi Mega Gloss). It seems like the one product that I can apply before springing for a HVLP. I KNOW I need to get one, but I can't really see myself spraying lacquer in the winter inside my garage. I had plannned on doing some lac in the future, but in the backyard in a partial enclosure, away from sources of ignition.
I didn't see plain ole polyurethane on the list. What is the equivalent?
dave
Preston Andreas wrote:

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Try Varathane, it's made for hardwood floors but works great on table tops. I use the water base. It goes on kinda milky white but clears as it dries. It's tough.
--
Mike S.
snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net
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Mike, if I had to brush it on, does it flow out pretty well or is it a PITA to apply with a brush? The Bonakemi is water based and I find that you've got almost no time to correct lap marks--you gotta work FAST!
dave
Mike S. wrote:

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wrote:
<snip>

I have had great success with Hydrocote WB Polyurethane. My computer desk is 3 years old, and looks like I just brought it up out of the shop, even under the keyboard. I usually spray, but have brushed it in a pinch with no problems. I am currently using Hydrocote Resisthane on some kitchen cabinets, and so far it looks good, and seems durable (passes the fingernail test). It doesn't brush as well as the poly, but sprays great with a conventional high pressure gun. One day I'll break down and get a conversion gun. I get the finishes from Highland Hardware. http://www.tools-for-woodworking.com/subcatmfgprod.asp?0 '9&1(1&2=-1&6=1
Regards, Paul.
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