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toughest clear finish for soft wood

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  • toughest clear finish for soft wood

    I have just built a bookcase using white pine which is a very soft wood. The case is going to get some rough useage by a youngster. There will be a potential for some nicks and dings. What is the toughest and most durable finish I can use (varnish, poly, shelac, etc) that is also relatively easy to apply? My goal is to reduce the amont of potential damage created by heavy usage. Thanks, Wayne

  • #2
    Well my thoughts on that would be a Poly and do several coats sanding lightly between coats. A top coat is not going to prevent dings it is not armor and the use of soft woods just adds to this but for scratches and things like that poly is the way to go. If you use wipe on poly that will take more coats because it is thinned to help spread. My suggestion is to get a good brush and use brush on poly. If you are good at spraying and have the equipment the spraying is the best way to apply. Good luck.
    John T.

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    • #3
      Wayne, won't make much difference what you apply to the bookcase because it will still be pine underneath the finish and will dent very easily. I agree with JT, poly would be my choice. Mick.
      Mick, - Delta P-20

      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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      • #4
        Wayne,heres what I do when using a softwood for a potentially rough used piece of furniture. Sand it as you would to finish it,then 'rough" it up using nails,screws,any little hammer dings,maybe the edge of coins,or heads of bolts,screws and even by jabbing it with a phillips screwdriver. Then,sand it lightly again,and apply your stain,or brush on poly as you normally would.The dings from normal useage cant be prevented by a coat of finish,but they can blend in to an already dinged piece pretty well. We've done a couple horse saddle stands,and this is what we chose, and had may compliments on them. My 4-H group of kids generally dont have a lot of money to work with,and on larger things I cant supply the wood for,I explain to them why one wood is better suited for somthing,but they usually come with pine,so we make the best of it.Ive even had one of my 4H woodworking kids make a tater bin using this method,and recently I did a trash can cabinet for someone not willing to put out for a hardwood,so I had to use pine and plywood,and she was thrilled with the results. Good luck, Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          The distressing idea is great. The only kid proof clear finish is 1/2" Lexan
          -Andy

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          • #6
            Distressing white pine

            You can also use a short length of #10AWG or #12AWG solid copper wire to simulate worm holes. Just put a couple slight bends in the wire, lay the wire on the wood, and tap the impression in the wood with a light weight hammer. You can also use an awl to poke a few random vertical holes. I did that to an old end table top after sanding off what remained of the original veneer and then stained it chestnut. Looked pretty good after three coats of sanded poly.
            If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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            • #7
              This post has been deleted because some have no sense of humor.
              Last edited by jttheclockman; 12-26-2005, 05:17 PM.
              John T.

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              • #8
                jt

                jt,sometimes some people have to make the best with what they can afford,or what they have available.Its fine to throw your table off the back of a truck if that what makes you happy,but if thats the only piece of furniture you could afford,or your proud of your hard work on it,no matter what wood used,what good would throwing it of the back of a truck and whining like a baby because you cant afford hardwood really do? And,how does suggesting Wayne throw the bookcase off a truck help in ANY way to answer the questions he has,or to help out any other onlookers who look to this site for help on a regular basis?Some things should be kept to oneself. Go have a furniture throwing party,and relieve your aggressions, and have a Merry Christmas. Dale
                Dale w/ yella saws

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                • #9
                  Hey Dale lighten up it was a joke!!!! I know some people can't afford hard woods. Hey some people take expensive hardwood furniture and distress it. It is a look. I do not like the look but I did not tell everyone not to do it. Boy someone stole your Christmas spirit. You can also take a piece of pine furniture and let the kids add their own nicks and scraps and thus have more meaning than doing it yourself. It is like an old desk and the memories of the piece as opposed to hiding it. Just my opinion here so take it easy.
                  Last edited by jttheclockman; 12-25-2005, 09:49 PM.
                  John T.

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                  • #10
                    I agree with Dale about J.T.'s disgusting remarks.
                    Fred
                    Last edited by oaklysawyer; 12-26-2005, 01:06 AM.

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                    • #11
                      You have got to be kidding me!!!
                      John T.

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                      • #12
                        my point was,what useful info did anyone get out of your posting?
                        Dale w/ yella saws

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                        • #13
                          Well my point is look at the first reply. I will delete the truck post just for you because you seem to be very intense.
                          Last edited by jttheclockman; 12-26-2005, 05:16 PM.
                          John T.

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                          • #14
                            I thought the distressing idea really does have merit. I suggested a half inch of Lexan in jest, but it is grounded in the reality that you cannot protect natural finish white pine from showing wear. The corner of a hard cover book will ding it. If money is the driving factor for using white pine, an alternative might be yellow pine. One yard near me has a lot of construction grade white fir that is surprisingly hard and they don't mind if you pick through a pile for good looking pieces as long as you restack it.
                            -Andy

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                            • #15
                              Truck post

                              JT....you deleted your post before I had a chance to read it!!! If you made light of my distressing the table top I can assure you I would not have been offended as I appreciate a good sense of humor. I am not particularly fond of the distressed look either but my girlfriend wanted to keep the table and I was too cheap and lacked the talent to replace the veneer!!! LOL!!!
                              If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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