Varnish or poly?

What is a quick test to tell if a finish is poly or varnish? Thank you.Tinker
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Gerald Lamb asks:

Poly is a varnish. But if it's hard as the devil to sand, then you've probably got polyurethane varnish, instead of a plain, ol' resin varnish.
Charlie Self "Health food makes me sick." Calvin Trillin
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

Ya know guys, I got very "tired" of reading this banter...<ducking>
I use Flecto-Varithane's "Natural Oil" which is sorta in both camps I guess. It's the darn best stuff I've ever found for Golden Oak and refinish. If the finish gets damaged, it's so simple to repair. A bit of light sanding, and a wipe or two of the oil and it's done.
I've used this stuff by polishing the wood first with 600, then stain...then polish again *very lightly* just to get any roughness out. Then a coat of the oil, on the heavy side with a brush and when oil soaks in I wipe it and let harden for a day or so. Polish with 600 again, tack, and WIPE on a thin coat with paper towels. Let harden and polish again with 600 and tack, then another think coat with paper towel...and when you get to that 4-5 coat, it gets this depth and after that, it's personal taste...if you want to go further. At the end, I hit it with 600 lightly and wax.
This stuff looks to me sorta like old varnish, but is a poly too.
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Thanks,

Ham

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Varnish is poly and poly is varnish and varnish doesn't have a solvent. So if alcohol or lacquer thinner doesn't soften it chances are it is either a varnish or some sort of catalyzed finish.
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Mike G.
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Mike G wrote:

You are half wrong:
"Poly is varnish" is correct - polyurethane is one of many different types of varnish.
"Varnish is poly" is wrong. see above.
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wrote:

polyurethane wood finishes are a *subset* of varnishes.... as is the stuff that builds up in the float bowl of a carburetor.....
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yes; same as "all Chevys are cars, but not all cars are Chevys"...
You go, Chris! :)
dave
Chris Merrill wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...

My Chevy is a Truck, not some damn wimpy car.(leaving a wide exception for muscle cars, both past and present)
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KS writes:

OK. How about all squares are rectangles. Not all rectangles are squares. Shouldn't be any emotion invested in that.
Charlie Self "Health food makes me sick." Calvin Trillin
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme says...

There ya go!
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in message

Hey, I know a guy that's pretty much a square but far from being rectangular, he's more pear shaped ;)
Dave Hall
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you got me! I'll rephrase it: "all Chevys are VEHICLES, but not all VEHICLES are Chevys".
BTW, I'm an F-150 guy. Does that mean we need to arm wrestle??
dave
KS wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...

Nah, my previous truck was a F-150. I've never been too much into the Ford vs. Chevy thing. Both have their good and bad points. Now if you would of said that your a Ford Escort kinda guy, well... :-)
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I was a mechanic for 16 years. No self respecting mechanic would own an Escort, or a Pinto, or a Vega. I DID have 2 Chevys. Never again! :)
dave
KS wrote:

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says...

automotive field. I've jokingly said the same thing about my Ford, but realistically cannot say never. I just wish that the engineers that design these things would have to actually work on what they design at least once. Some of the crap they come up with is just ridiculous.
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KS wrote:

They're all WUSSY.
My truck is a Peterbilt.
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Aha! you're an _old_ trucker, aren't you??
"Old truckers never die, they just get a new ..."
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Chevy Chase ain't. . .
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Gerald, I thought poly IS a varnish...
dave
Gerald Lamb wrote:

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Thanks for the responce.My understanding was that varathane and urethane were synthetic resins distant relatives to polyester resins and epoxy and that oil varnish was a organic resin based on plant oils.What I was wondering was if there was a simple test like there is with many other finishes that you could use to tell there apart without destroying the finish? Thanks again.Tinker

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