Waterlox: how many rag-wiped coats on oak kitchen chairs?

I'm nearing completion of the process of applying multiple rag-wiped coats of Waterlox to the "unfinished furniture" white oak kitchen chairs. The fifth coat is undergoing its "all afternoon and overnight drying" now.
I previously finished the matching table with six rag-applied coats of Waterlox Original Medium Sheen (lightly sanded with 400 grit paper between each coat) followed by a light deglossing with a white "Scotch-type" pad and it looks *fabulous*. It appears to be wearing well after 9 months of almost-daily use. My heartfelt thanks to all the folks here who offered their guidance when I enquired last fall about using Waterlox!
Certainly the outcome of the table finishing offers a guideline as to the number of coats the chairs should get (if only to have the color imparted by the Waterlox be consistent), but I'm curious what the net-wisdom might be regarding the number of coats desired for the proper protection of daily-use chairs (or the various parts of chairs) in general and rag-wiped coats of Waterlox in particular.
Opinions and advice welcome! :-)
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 22:52:27 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@his.com (Ladd) calmly ranted:

It's really great stuff, isn't it?

Once every bit has an even gloss all the way around, I put on one more coat, let it dry for a few days, degloss with 0000 steel wool, and put a coat or 2 of Johnson's paste wax on. I haven't done any chairs, so if wax is too slippery on them, remove it and use lemon oil to fill in the minute scratches from the steel wool. Reapply monthly or quarterly as necessary.
I can't believe the difference between the crappy, scratchy 0000 steel wool I used to buy and the nice, fine Liberon 0000 wool. I used the Liberon and Johnson's on the mantle refinish and it really looks good. The two wools are miles apart and Liberon was worth every cent extra.
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... but I'm curious what the net-wisdom might be regarding the number of coats desired for the proper protection of daily-use chairs (or the various parts of chairs) in general and rag-wiped coats of Waterlox in particular. <snip> I'll second the advice of Larry - a couple or three coats of Waterlox is fine. One of the nice things about Waterlox is that if it does get damaged, it's fairly easy to repair. Just scuff it up with some sandpaper and re-apply.

I've heard this enough that I'm going to have to try it. However, can you be more specific in how it's better? Does it cut quicker? Does it last longer? Does it result in more even scratch patterns? Etc....
~Jeff in Memphis
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I could see how three coats of brush-applied Waterlox would provide good protection, but three coats of rag-wiped seems a bit thin.
But that's why I asked here to see what folks thought! ;-)
Thanks for the advice.
Ladd
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snipped-for-privacy@his.com (Ladd) wrote in wrote:

That's not to say that more coats is bad. It may be possible to simply rub out smaller scratches if you have a thicker build. But, depending on how much abuse they get, you could probably go a couple years with three coats before having to do anything. And then all you'd have to do is scuff sand and wipe on a coat or two.
~Jeff in Memphis
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On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 13:25:57 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@his.com (Ladd) calmly ranted:

For kitchen chair and daily hard use, I might go 4 coats. But adding a coat or two at 6 months (or a year) down the road is a piece of cake. Just dewax/degrease first.
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Works for me, as more coats seems to not be the consensus.
Snce I'm already at five coats, I think I'll pull the chairs up to the kitchen and see how they look with the table which got six.
They have lots of nooks and crannies to work on (wheat-back 9-spindle, with various turnings on the legs and braces), so I don't wish to do more work than necessary! :-)
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snipped-for-privacy@his.com (Ladd) wrote in wrote:

There's a lot to be said for being able to tell the wife "They're done, honey!"
Patriarch
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On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 00:52:26 GMT, patriarch

More finishes have been ruined by impatient wives...
They rush you to bring it in the house wet, then complain of the smell and proceed to wax it before it dries, gumming up the finish altogether. I've heard these cries from you _married_ guys for decades now. </neener>
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On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 18:59:55 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@his.com (Ladd) calmly ranted:

I used Watco on my parents' dining set and 8 chairs. Once I got it all stripped, it took a month to refinish it. I much prefer the smell of Waterlox, and it builds quicker, but the feel of a Watcoed piece still impresses me. It feels like wood. Waterlox is ever so slightly removed from that.
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I agree that Watco has more of the "finish absorbed into the wood" look than Waterlox. But, as you note, Waterlox is pretty close to being the next best thing, if that's the look one wants (which I did).
It was my understanding from researching this last year that Waterlox offered more protection from spills (water, milk, coffe, tea, etc.) than did Watco, making it more preferable (to me) for kitchen table use.
Smile Note: I still clench a bit when I set my drinking glass down directly on the table top, not on a place mat or coaster, because nice furniture finished nicely genetically feels like it's not supposed to be able to take that treatment. But the Waterlox finish seems pretty impervious.
I could see dining room table use not being as destructive, which would alter the risk/reward ratio.
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On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 10:28:36 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@his.com (Ladd) calmly ranted:

Yeah, people can KEEP their "finishing schedules" with stains, toners, and poly. I'd happily put Waterlox on a $10,000 table.

True.
I believe that's the tung oil portion of the finish. Great!

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On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 17:14:39 -0700, Larry Jaques

I'd like to point out that:
Hand scrape Apply Waterlox Original using favorite method Scuff sand with favorite method (repeat as required) Rub down with 0000 steel wool Apply wax
Is still a finishing schedule. <G>

Obviously.
Barry
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ranted:

It's better made, finer, and lasts a lot longer. It leaves much nicer, more even scratches, and it has a very fine layer of oil where the cheapo stuff is either gobbed or rusted. Oh, the Liberon is also a continuous strand of wool, not pads. Tear off a piece. (That always sounds good.)
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On Mon, 06 Sep 2004 14:00:14 -0700, Larry Jaques

Hmmm - I've never had bad 0000. Plenty of cheap stuff in the coarser grades, but 0000 is a pretty specialist market anyway. I use either Liberon or some Norwegian stuff they make by shearing trolls.

I hope not ! One of the benefits of decent steel wool is that it's supposedly oil-free.

Should steel wool be torn or cut ? I've heard that you shouldn't tear it, but never heard a reason why.
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On Mon, 06 Sep 2004 23:26:15 +0100, Andy Dingley

You evidently don't have some of the crap that hits the USA market. There is some truly bad sh*t even in 0000, some looking like swarf straight off the floor of lazy machinist's shop. (Well, maybe not -that- bad. ;)

<g>
A guess on my part. It smells faintly of machine oil.

It probably "sheds" less if cut. Up until now, I've had pads.
Ah, from the Liberon box "Virtually oil free" and "To avoid cuts, steel wool should always be cut with scissors, not torn with your hands." I sit corrected on the oil part.
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<snip of question about Liberon #0000 steel wool>:

Thanks for the feedback. I'll give it a shot.
~Jeff in Memphis
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Yes, it is.
The two stores local to me (defined as within an hour's drive) that used to carry it don't anymore. I ended up getting it online from Woodcraft.
IT goes on easily, soaks into the wood yet still builds a very thin film. Definitely more film than a straight oil finish yet doesn't even remotely give the impression of the "plastic" covering that some polys turn out.
Not bad in the "toxic fumes" department either. More than the water-based finishes I've seen, but less than most of the others.
It seems to be pretty much impervious to just about everything you're going to find in or around a kitchen. And scratches, which there has been one, comes right out with a few wipes of fresh finish.
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I must have missed the thread. Where do you get the Liberon? Never heard of it. SH
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