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General Finishes Enduro Var water based urethane questions

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Forum topic by Matt Przybylski posted 03-03-2013 07:03 PM 6746 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1844 days


03-03-2013 07:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: general finishes earlex shop cabinets finishing enduro var

Hey everyone, I’m in the planning stages for shop cabinetry/rolling cabinets/overall shop furniture and am thinking through the finishing process. Rockler is having a 25% off on finishes sale on March 16 and I’ve considered using the GF EV after some reading on the topic but have a few questions.

1) should I use this? I’ve read good things but I’m inexperienced and don’t know what is best.

2) if I use it, should I lay down something under it first? Zinsser seal coat perhaps?

3) what would be my sanding regimen? The cabinetry will probably be made mostly of 3/4” HD ply as that’s most affordable to me (or menards hardwood ply) with possibly some poplar or maple facing (haven’t decided yet). What do I sand wood/ply to before undercoat? Then between coats and how many coats should I apply?

4) ill be applying the finishes by spraying with my Earlex 5500. What size tip should I use? I’m thinking 1.5?

5) I’ve read on here to use nothing less than semi gloss for shop stuff as it attracts less dust. Yay, nay? Should I go up to gloss? Main concern here is durability and less dust.

6) anything else I should watch out for, gotchas, or consider?

Appreciate any input offered.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com


14 replies so far

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1643 posts in 1739 days


#1 posted 03-04-2013 12:25 PM

Matt,

The 3;2;1 Formula as discribed by Scott (lysdexic) in the following ‘link’ works well to seal and finish projects like those you have mentioned.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/27576

Best Regards.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#2 posted 03-04-2013 12:41 PM

I wouldn’t sand ply that much, especially the HD stuff. Just a light brushing with 15 or 180 grit, clean off and go. I’ve never used GF EV, but have read nothing but good things about it…before buying another tip set, I’d try spraying it with the one you have and then decide. IME, the gloss has nothing to do with whether the finish attracts dust, though a certain gloss may make dust more visible; but to be honest I’d choose gloss based on other factors. As for sanding between coats, that’s always a good idea with polyurethane formula finishes….but don’t get carried away, just a scuff sanding, clean off the dust, and go to the next coat.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View tmonahan's profile

tmonahan

2 posts in 1376 days


#3 posted 03-04-2013 02:25 PM

The Enduro Var is a tough enough finish for the project at hand. DO NOT use Shellac under Enduro Var. You will have poor adhesion between the two. Enduro Var is best used by itself. Three to four coats with 2-4 hours between coats. It cures through oxidation just like a traditional oil based varnish. I used an Earlex 5500 with a 1.5mm tip to spray the product with great results.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#4 posted 03-04-2013 02:33 PM

A few random thoughts…

- Don’t sand plywood too much, but I’d probably go over it with 180 to make the finish more uniform, especially if you will color it. But at that point, I’d washcoat it with dewaxed shellac first.

- Sand the finish, not the wood. Smoothness results from sanding after the first layer of finish…and subsequent layers. Even so, I usually sand the wood at 120 (if I’m not using a scraper) and stop in the 220 area on the first layer of finish (typically the shellac for me). After that, I typically use 3M pads on additional coats to remove dust nits.

- I prefer oil and wax for work surfaces. Cabinets could certainly be clear coated.

- The GF Endurovar is a great finish. The 1.5 tip should be fine. I like the semi-gloss, which actually finishes more satiny than you might expect. There is no need to sand between coats with the Endurovar. It does not require a mechanical bond like oil-based poly. Just lightly sand (I use the 3M pads) to remove any dust nits. Even so, the stuff dries so quickly that dust isn’t likely to be a problem. I typically use the dewaxed shellac (Zinsser Sealcoat) to seal off the work before the Endurovar. I’ve never had adhesion problems and Endurovar has been my goto finish over the last three years.

- It’s shop furniture…and while that doesn’t require a lot of obsessiveness, it’s a good time to experiment. However, even at 25% off, the Endurovar is expensive, usually around $80 a gallon a regular price, if memory serves. It makes regular poly more appealing at half the price.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1844 days


#5 posted 03-04-2013 03:37 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone.

@Fred Hargis: you mentioned you’d choose gloss based on other factors. Do you mind sharing what those factors are? I’m really undecided about going gloss vs semi at this point.

@tmonahan: this is pretty much what I wanted to hear. Although as CS said below you I have not read that using seal coat under EV will cause any issues. In fact I sprayed bulls eye under the GF Enduro white poly (my only project here, the cake pop stands) and had no issue.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View tmonahan's profile

tmonahan

2 posts in 1376 days


#6 posted 03-04-2013 03:39 PM

The only issue we see is with Enduro-Var and Shellac. Sealcoat with all the other products is fine.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1844 days


#7 posted 03-04-2013 03:41 PM

Ah, ok, although isn’t seal coat shellac? I could be totally wrong about that because I’m clueless when it comes to finishing :)

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#8 posted 03-04-2013 03:43 PM

@Matt – When in doubt, I’d normally pick gloss since I know that I can then rub it out to any sheen I want. However, when finishing kitchen cabinets where I know I’ll use a ton of the semi-gloss, that’s what I buy. Perhaps this is what Fred is talking about? Gloss is more versatile in that regard.

The Sealcoat is a 2# cut of dewaxed shellac. There is some debate on a waxed shellac causing issues with a poly over-coat, but I’ve never heard anybody having issues with Sealcoat with any top-finish, much less Endurovar. But I think people should be careful with assuming compatiblity issues…I had an issue with cracking of the Endurovar on another project I was working on recently where I also used Sealcoat for a sealer. But that was caused by the wet wood that was supplied to me.

BTW, I agree with Fred…the sheen will not have anything to do with attracting dust.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#9 posted 03-04-2013 04:22 PM

Incidentally, tmonahan is probably talking about GFs product instructions, which says that because the Endurovar is “self-sealing” that they do not recommend putting it over shellac. But if you research this more fully, you will see that nobody really has issues with this over dewaxed shellac. Whereas I agree that Endurovar does NOT require shellac, shellac is a heckuva lot cheaper…and hence the reason why I use it.

Companies say weird things on their cans for lots of reasons (liability and otherwise)...people should take labels with a grain of salt and do their own research and testing, IMHO.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3949 posts in 1960 days


#10 posted 03-04-2013 04:39 PM

I’d choose gloss because I like it better (simple enough, huh?). But in my post what i said was ” but to be honest I’d choose gloss based on other factors”, a not very clearly worded way of saying choose the level of gloss (semi, satin, whatever) based on how it looks to you, not some notion of whether it will attract less dust. Sorry about the wording. BTW, I don’t think you’‘ll see adhesion problems between Enduro Var and dewaxed shellac. Shellac will stick to peanut butter. It’s sometimes referred to as a”universal go between” relative to finishes.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1844 days


#11 posted 03-04-2013 05:23 PM

Got it, thanks.

I guess my last question is about shelf life of these products. Is there a date code to look for? And how long of a shelf life does EV have? Does that change after being opened?

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#12 posted 03-04-2013 05:31 PM

Shelf life of anything dissipates after it is opened, though people sometimes put CO2 in the can to combat this.

You should get a year or two with an opened can, but the stuff doesn’t typically hang around that long in my shop. The most recent issue of either Wood magazine or Woodsmith, IIRC, had an article on the expiration of finishing products, which is worth a read.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

528 posts in 1844 days


#13 posted 03-04-2013 05:32 PM

I get both mags and I don’t recall an article on this. If you get a chance at some point to find the issue I’d greatly appreciate it.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2625 days


#14 posted 03-04-2013 05:43 PM

Hmm…lol, must have been Fine Woodworking then.

Edit: Confirmed…it was Jeff Jewitt’s article in this month’s Fine Woodworking. He says water-borne will last 1 to 2 years if properly stored and to discard anything over 2 years old.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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