Probably wet; however, waterlox says it will lose some gloss overtime as it 100% cures. Atleast, that is what my cans have said.
It is a weird product though. Cliff, I dont know how you are doing it, but when I use it i flood the crap out of the surface on the first and second coats. Third coat is a typical brush on quantity. Fourth is when I sand, fifth is super thin wiped on. MAKE SURE YOU LET IT CURE BEFORE SANDING. This has to be the slowest drying finish on the market. Also, dont sand and immediately apply the final coat. Sand, wait a few hours/a day and then apply the coat. Sanding it can open up uncured portions of the finish and it will wrinkle on you. You have been through hell on this one, I feel your pain. Rarely does a counter/island project go 100% smoothly. Last night I jacked up a 3x7 walnut island when it went into the drum sander without proper support and had the rear drum gouge it for 5-6". Really makes you want to give up on woodworking when projects go tragically wrong like some things in this journal.
There is always a use for maple in my shop. It is my 'primary' secondary wood. Web frames, internal structure, back slats, etc. That price is not quite half what I pay and I would grab some while the gettin's good.
Hickory works a lot like pecan; close cousins but, different woods. Very hard and tough on your cutters. The results can be pleasing but, easier woos to work would be my suggestion. Please do give us your general location so we can help you find a source for material.
Cool. This is the one I was using. http://extension.missouri.edu/scripts/explore/G05506.asp
haha! I'm in the buttcrack of Kentucky. South Central area, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Nashville and more than that to Lexington or Louisville. The Nashville drive wouldn't be too bad except I doubt my truck could make the trip.