more important to have good performance durability or looks

i like to apply a finish that will not require much care and the poly stuff does that well and it is easy to apply
so why does anyone use finishes that require regular maintenance and careful usage
mostly talking about tables and chairs that get regular wear and tear but anything that might get hot or cold or wet stuff on the surface
the poly stuff looks good to me and unless it was a ornamental lacquer piece i do not see a big difference in the looks
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On Tue, 11 Jul 2017 14:47:38 -0700, Electric Comet

Some people don't like plastic furniture. Go figure. Do you paint cherry, red, too?
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you'll never get the depth of laquer with poly
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Why I use shellac: - Don't have to clean the brush after use. (Do have to clean the brush before use, though.) - Polyurethane reeks. - The wood is ready for the second coat just about the time I get done applying the second one. - The wood will feel so naturally warm and soft when coated with shellac and rubbed with wax and steel wool. - No "someone's been finishing" smell after just a few minutes. - The finish really serves to enhance the wood--not create an impenetrable barrier. - The smell is quite a bit better, not that it smells good by any means. - Easy to thin with denatured alcohol. Apparently 99% Isopropyl will work too, but I usually only have 70% in easy reach.
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On 7/11/2017 5:47 PM, Electric Comet wrote:

To me it matters what I'm making and what it will be used for. Low-wear pieces in an early style will not be 'right' in poly so they usually get oil and shellac and wax. It would be like somebody saying that they are building an exact copy of a 1921 auto and then installing a new turbocharged 4-cylinder because it is both easier and more efficient. Yes, it would be, but it would not be true to the original intent.
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On 7/12/2017 11:08 AM, John McGaw wrote:

Poly alone has a place but not for fine furniture. Kids bookcase, toys, etc.
A few years back someone posted a method to use poly and make it look like a quality finish. I've done it and it works well.
Apply a thinned coat Apply two mre full strength sanding between Wait four weeks for it to cure Wet sand with 320 grit Rub with pumice Rub with rottenstone Wax
Some info here: http://antiquerestorers.com/Articles/SAL/rub.htm
http://forums.finewoodworking.com/fine-woodworking-knots/finishing/correct-use-rottenstone-or-pumice
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On 7/12/2017 3:21 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Or use a gel poly varnish. A great "adult" finish.
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This method sound interesting. Would you happen to have any photos of a piece finished in this method?
I'm not partial to poly. I've used it a fair amount, especially on desks that get a lot of use. I currently have a few polyed pieces and, over time, they don't look as good anymore. Poly is also rather annoying to get right. I've fought many times with dust and bubbles.
The 'thinned' coat in your method has me thinking. I may have to try this, at least on a test piece, to see how it comes out in comparison to the other things I have polyed. Thanks for the tip.
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On Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:21:48 -0400

like that idea
not sure about the four week wait and that sounds like it is based on local climate or something but not always required but seems too long for poly or at least the poly i use
i guess wax gives a three dimensional look and feel and is probably the key giving poly a different look
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On 7/17/2017 12:43 PM, Electric Comet wrote:

http://www.poloplaz.com/dry-vs-cure/ Drying occurs when solvents evaporate from the surface of the film, leaving it tack free. There are four important elements of proper drying: temperature, humidity, film thickness and airflow. Temperature affects viscosity, which contributes to film thickness. Humidity affects the evaporation rate of the solvents. The amount of airflow determines how much oxygen will crosslink with the finish to initiate curing. High temperatures, low humidity, thin film thickness and adequate airflow will all expedite dry time and cure time. If these elements are not maintained properly, the finish could dry too quickly. Curing occurs when residual solvents leave the film and it begins crosslinking with oxygen in the air to develop strength, toughness, abrasion resistance and chemical resistance. Although most finishes reach 90% cure in seven days, full cure takes up to thirty days.
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On Monday, July 17, 2017 at 2:10:16 PM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

NAILED it. The guys at the local industrial Sherwin Williams I go to would probably offer you a job!
Robert
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On Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:10:11 -0400

that is interesting
will have to pay more attention to that
if i could no longer smell the finish then i presumed it was fully cured
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On Wed, 12 Jul 2017 11:08:08 -0400

guess it depends on who you are trying to please
guy had a stutz bearcat replica
he loved that car and it is a distinctive look and guess what percentage of drivers could tell that it was original or replica or even cared
he enjoyed driving and that mattered
simply put it boils down to who will actually be able to tell the difference on the coating
not many people care and the number is going more toward zero than upward
but if you like the traditional coating and know the difference that is what you go with
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On Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 5:47:42 PM UTC-4, Electric Comet wrote:

Great Question.
To me, a lot of the quality of "do I want to have to do this again" depends upon the amount of prep to get to that point and the look that I'm trying to achieve on that particular piece.
Poly, to have it stick well and look good (Adhesion, dust free, etc.) can generally require quite a bit of work, and then, if you REALLY like a Poly, then you may REALLY like a poly high gloss, too... in which case it requires a frequent touch up.
My answer to your question is durability. But, I choose my coats for RELATIVE durability:
If it's a bar top, epoxy; Floor, I go with poly or lacquer if it's a 'dressed down' or a traditional home. Most of my typical, 'not much water contact' furniture, I do in Watco or Formsby Tung Oil Finish-- yes, I said the finish. It's a little harder, and buffs beautifully. Low sheen for me on these pieces.
Wall paneling (or trim, or natural wainscot) can't look any better, in my opinion, than sealed with with a shellac coat-- amber if a traditional look is desired or it's an old home. Conversely, a clear with light aniline dye tint if not.
I don't have to say this, but obviously Mineral Oil on high-traffic, food contact pieces... again simply for the ease and frequency of recoats as much as for the edible/potable nature of the coat.
All of the finishes I mentioned, with the exception of the epoxy bar top, are MUCH easier to prep and to reapply, with varying levels of necessity depending on the workpiece, than a Poly.
RELATIVE durability is my reply.
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On Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 4:47:42 PM UTC-5, Electric Comet wrote:

I've used 1/3 semi-gloss poly, 1/3 tung oil, and 1/3 BLO with good results. It offers good protection without the plastic look. But these days I most definitely prefer shellac and wax, even if it means upkeep. It's a beautiful, deep finish.
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