oil and wipe on poly
I am making two waterfall end tables made out of walnut for our family room.  I love the look of oiled walnut, but for family room end tables, I will need something more durable.  For durability, my go-to finish is GF wipe on poly.  Will a coat or two of tung oil or similar, followed by a couple of thin coats of GF wipe on poly - get me the look I am after as well as the durability I need?  Anything else I should be considering?  As always, advice is very much appreciated.  Thank you...FPT
  Re: oil and wipe on poly by fptahoe (I am making two wate...)
Some years ago one of the magazine finishing guys (Dresner, I think) did an article explaining that using an oil based varnish gives most woods the same look as those treated with an oil (such as BLO or tung oil) and then top coated with varnish. To my eyes he's correct.  I'm not quite sure which of the GF finishes you refer to, but one like ARS will give walnut that nice dark look without that step of using tung oil (try it and see for yourself on a piece of scrap).  But for durability I certainly wouldn't depend on 2 coats of a wiping varnish. It's commonly said that 3 coats of wiping varnish equals 1 coat of brushed varnish. So even if that's not exact it's not bad to assume it's roughly correct. To me, it seems that ARS might be a little thinner than the home brew I normally use (50/50 varnish and MS) so my suggestion would be to go with 6-8 coats of whatever it is you want to use. Again, that's for the durability aspect.
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  Re: oil and wipe on poly by fptahoe (I am making two wate...)
Whether using pure Tung oil or oil varnish blend might complicate your final finish. Avoid potential gummy mess! Just use your favorite wipe on General finish. Looking at GF product chart especially these wipe or brush on products Arm-R-Seal, Gel Top Coat, & Wood Bowl Finish would only use wood stain under these products never oil product.

Rule of thumb for homemade wiping varnish/poly normally 50% resin to thinner and two coats equal one coat of film finish! For commercial products have to read label or MSDS/SDS for that product and insure amount of thinner 60% or less. More thinner in a wiping varnish will require more coats to get you where you want to be.
  Re: RE: oil and wipe on poly by Wildwood (Whether using pure T...)
GF's Arm-R-Seal looks great on walnut and is very durable.  GF's Gel Topcoat, however, has terrible durability against even a wet water glass.  

  Re: oil and wipe on poly by fptahoe (I am making two wate...)
Yes, I will go with my stand-by - GF Arm-R-Seal.  I did talk to a guy where I buy wood who does the following: Puts a "healthy" first coat of ARS, waits a few minutes and than wipes it off.  He follows this with two more coats of ARS, and again, wipes it off.  He says this gives the nice look of oil, and the protection of ARS.  I am going to try it on a sample piece.  If I don't like it (or no difference), I will go with at least three coats of wiping on ARS.  Thanks as always...FPT.

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