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Water Borne Shoot Out :D

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**** I pulled the below from another thread. I wanted to add to the review but it no longer made sense to put it where it was and as i try out different WB finishes I'm going to keep updating this *****

From what I've seen below i don't know that there is a point to put shellac under it. Though i don't know why it over dewaxed shellac would matter but I'm not a finish expert. Also from what I've seen 1 coat of 2lb cut shellac isn't enough to seal the wood so the WB polys were raising the gran and soaking into the wood <shrug>.

Going to start with the conclusion because that's all that any one cares about. The Minwax Oil Modified poly (MWOMP) seems very comparable to Endurovar in application and appearance. BOOO HISS yeah a $10 can appears to be as good as a $32 can. All i can speak for is appearance after 1 coat. I'll continue to the recommended 3 coats and update probably Sunday.

The surprises, High Performanc by GF. It left a waxy smooth finish that was unlike the other 4 polys. It might be able to be seen in some of the picture but i didn't notice until i ran my hands across it.

The worst finish by far is Varathane, no surprises there. That being said I use it and still like it for being a cheap WB poly to spray. I can spray it flat and get a dang fine finish.

Image1: Shows the finish in the can, finish is wet on the board in front.

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Image 2: 4 Finishes on Birtch sans Shellac, 2 pieces of cherry with MWOMP & Endurovar (EV) The cans are in order.

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Image 3: Same as previous with shellac undercoat. Different angle to exaggerate finishes with a more raking light.

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Image 4: Different light angle of Picture 2.

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Image 5: Shallow angle of finishes with shellac undercoat. Note last 2 finish patches.

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Image 6: Cherry sticks MWOMP left EV right

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End notes. The Varathane was by far the thickest and it's the finish I've sprayed the most. I've probably put down a gallon and a half of it this year alone. If the other finishes are better and handle an HVLP better they will spray perfectly. I put a picture below of a sprayed finish using varathane on White Poplar (i think). I put 2 I tried to get the best light for showing flaws and this is the best i could do.

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So i dove into this a bit more. I had a few more of the game boards to make and these boards are awesome test platforms for finishes. They are nice and flat and i can churn them out pretty quick. The finish i have sprayed the most on them is Varathane satin WB poly. In general i like this finish but it has shown me it's downsides.

This go around i was comparing the Minwax OMP, General Finishes High performance, and General Finishes Enduro Var. In my last post i came to the conclusion that the MWOMP was comparable to the expensive Endurovar. High performance ended up just kinda hanging out being a good finish and Varathane being a bit thicker.

PLOT TWIST! Not really surprising but the MWOMP sprays like a turd. It got a lot of air bubbles in the surface and didn't flow out nearly as well as all other finishes. I don't understand how it brushed so well but sprayed so poorly. On the other hand High performance and Endurovar sprayed like a dream.

Useage: The General Finishes products seemed to lay down as good of a coat but used less material from the can. I sprayed 3 strong coats on 1 board with the Endurovar and used half as much poly as i did when i would spray varathane. High Performance was the same thing. The can of high Performance is only a pint, i used about half of it and sprayed 3 heavy coats on 2 sides of 3 boards and used less than half of the pint. If it was varathane I'd have ended up using half of a quart.

Yes there is a sheen difference and my comparison isn't including that difference. My complains on the MWOMP might not exist on the different sheen but i doubt it. What ever is causing the poor spraying performance would probably be there on satin as it was on gloss.

Products in their cans and work space. It was around 85 and 30% RH.

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Both of the boards that compared Endurovar and MWOMP are Apple from my neighbor's apple tree that blew down in a storm a year ago and i slabbed up in to mini slabs.

MWOMP, You can kind of see some surface defects here. The pictures are downgraded in resolution for hosting and some information is lost.

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MWOMP cropped and adjusted to highlight the flaws. They look like dust nubs but aren't they are little air bubbles in the finish. I had the same technique gun everything for all finishes so they should have all sprayed the same.

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Endurovar

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Endurovar

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Finished side by side. Can't see much here, can't even see the sheen difference. Main thing this shows is they both warm the wood slightly and similarly. If you mixed these two up i wouldn't be able to see the difference based off color. I would only be able to pick the finish based off of the defects and sheen difference. If they were the same sheen the defects would be a strong distinguishing factor.

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Here are some shots of the High Performance. Again it was a great finish. It warmed the oak quite well and performed great.

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I think this experience may have convinced me to do a direct comparison between Varathane and General Finishes. I want to see side by side in the same conditions if it's worth it to continue with Varathane or switch. The useage alone would make the cost a wash and if i get better spray performance the decision might be obvious.

Another post note is shelf life. The shelf life on the General Finish products is exceptional. The High performance can I've had sitting around for a good 3 years and my can of endurovar was originally opened 3-4 months ago and is as good now as it was when freshly cracked.

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Nice information.

The times I have used shellac under a water borne finish I wasn't using it as a sealer, it was to make the grain stand out more then you get with just the water borne finish alone.  A few months back I took the opportunity on a chest of drawers that I made for the shop to do a side by side of GF High Performance and GF Endure Var.  With them both on the same piece you can see that the Enduro has more of an amber appearance to it, not a lot but some.

Edit: my chest of drawers was baltic birch ply so the amber affect my have shown up more because it was a lighter wood.

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19 minutes ago, Chet said:

Nice information.

The times I have used shellac under a water borne finish I wasn't using it as a sealer, it was to make the grain stand out more then you get with just the water borne finish alone.  A few months back I took the opportunity on a chest of drawers that I made for the shop to do a side by side of GF High Performance and GF Endure Var.  With them both on the same piece you can see that the Enduro has more of an amber appearance to it, not a lot but some.

Edit: my chest of drawers was baltic birch ply so the amber affect my have shown up more because it was a lighter wood.

The piece of birch in the first post was defiantly darker than BB ply usually is. So it didn't show the effects of the shellac as much. I also don't seem to get as much amber from Seal Coat as you would from an oil poly but that is to be expected. The shellac undercoat as a sealer was noted more as a trial than it's intent. On the 2nd post i neglected to mention that i sprayed 2 coats of shellac and then sanded back smooth before I sprayed the WB poly. Spraying the poly lead to a bit thicker film and prevented any sort of raised grain. It also gave good color and definition to the wood but didn't overly yellow the oak.

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Id love to find a cheaper alternative to endurovar. Im too lazy, but i should look into pro line finishes through a few local suppliers. Almost universally every shop sprays catalyzed varnishes. Im spraying in a garage with the door open, so the worst i want to deal with is a waterbourne. That said, i use about 8-10 gallons of finish a year. 

 

I have a fuji 4 stage, and i know im not the most careful and best sprayer around, but endurovar gives me pretty great results as long as the weather cooperates. It doesnt level well when its under 50°. It will cure to the texture of an orange peel. I prefer the look of an oil finish over endurovar, but it is a pretty close comparison. With the ease and speed of spraying EV, i cant think of many projects i would go back to wiping an oil finish on. Really, the only thing i would change is the $90-100 per gallon price tag. 

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21 minutes ago, Pwk5017 said:

Id love to find a cheaper alternative to endurovar. Im too lazy, but i should look into pro line finishes through a few local suppliers. Almost universally every shop sprays catalyzed varnishes. Im spraying in a garage with the door open, so the worst i want to deal with is a waterbourne. That said, i use about 8-10 gallons of finish a year. 

 

I have a fuji 4 stage, and i know im not the most careful and best sprayer around, but endurovar gives me pretty great results as long as the weather cooperates. It doesnt level well when its under 50°. It will cure to the texture of an orange peel. I prefer the look of an oil finish over endurovar, but it is a pretty close comparison. With the ease and speed of spraying EV, i cant think of many projects i would go back to wiping an oil finish on. Really, the only thing i would change is the $90-100 per gallon price tag. 

If the warming can be achieved through shellac Varathane is a less costly way to get a good WB finish. I'm going to do another batch of boards here soonish I'll do a side by side of EV, HP and Varathane WB. I think my coverage might be a bit flawed thinking back I find it hard to believe that it took twice as much to get coverage. A gallon of varathane is $45.

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Thanks for the tests, Nut.  Based partly on your results I'm experimenting with the "High Performance" now.  I want to preserve color, if possible, but I also want to bring out the figure.

Wdwerker uses and advocates H.R. Campbell waterborne finishes, but I only find one obscure supplier in our region, and I need to brush (not set up for spray.)  The Campbell products that Wdwerker uses are "pre-catalyzed" (and hence have a short shelf life) which I think facilitates cross-linking and thus the durability of the film.  I'm curious to know how the High Performance compares to the Campbell products (particularly brush compatible) in durability.

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ML Campbell. Agualente . It's mostly a pro finish and is $60 + a gallon. The General Finishes brushable products are pretty good but not as tough. 

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The main reason to use shellac is to warm the wood to simulate an oil-based finish. It will also pop the grain and gives incredible clarity. I like to use dewaxed super blonde on lighter woods and towards garnet on cherry and walnut. Another benefit of dewaxed shellac is it's a great barrier coat - for example between oil-based stain and water-based topcoat. It sprays like a dream, dries fast, and sands to dust. 

Here is an example of ARS on one board and SB shellac + waterborne on the other. I can't tell which is which in this picture. 

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Example of using garnet shellac under waterborne to warm up walnut and cherry (sorry blurry pic).

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The General Finishes products are great but I'm a fan of Old Master's products at a lower cost and in my tests found they perform just as well. I've sprayed their water-based poly for years and they recently have an improved version called Master's Armor which I just used this weekend. This stuff lays down nicely and is the fastest drying finish I've used. 

https://myoldmasters.com/product/masters-armor/

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I think there was some missed information. I was comparing two oil modified WB polys Endurovar and Minwax OMP. Under these poly's that have a compound in there that causes a warming effect. The difference between using a blonde dewaxed shellac and not using shellac for the sole purpose of warming the wood and popping the grain wasn't noticeable with these specific products. Under a typical water based poly shellac defiantly has an impact but that wasn't the scope of this comparison as that is well known information. I dind't want to type up a whole thing that was being covered in another thread so i linked it at the beginning. I included the other products to act as a control for their spray quality and sheen level as well as to see if the oil modifiers achieved a similar look as shellac under regular WB poly.

The beginning comments are in reference to a post by AceHoleInOne how GF originally didn't recommend applying Endurovar over Shellac.

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On 10/29/2018 at 5:15 AM, wdwerker said:

ML Campbell. Agualente . It's mostly a pro finish and is $60 + a gallon. The General Finishes brushable products are pretty good but not as tough. 

So, there's a regional supplier, who will provide the product "for about $50/gallon".  But what are the chances that it is brushable?

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I have done a little brushing with a foam brush and the ML Campbell Agualente but it is not suitable to do a whole project. Spray is the only way to use it.

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9 hours ago, wdwerker said:

I have done a little brushing with a foam brush and the ML Campbell Agualente but it is not suitable to do a whole project. Spray is the only way to use it.

Thanks, Steve.

An M.L. Campbell tech confirms that while they have "heard of" shops brushing it, it is really formulated for spraying.  [PS they said if I do brush, not to overwork it because it dries quickly.]

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On 11/1/2018 at 2:10 PM, AceHoleInOne said:

You can alway use GF's oil based seal a cell to warm things up under the GF's HP.

 

-Ace-

Interesting option; hadn't much paid attention to it.

The heartwood, in my application is purple, while the sapwood is pretty white.  I wouldn't mind enhancing the figure of the sapwood but haven't quite reconciled the amber tint with the purple heartwood.  Since it is oil based I wonder if the WB finishes can go over it.

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5 hours ago, Pondhockey said:

Interesting option; hadn't much paid attention to it.

The heartwood, in my application is purple, while the sapwood is pretty white.  I wouldn't mind enhancing the figure of the sapwood but haven't quite reconciled the amber tint with the purple heartwood.  Since it is oil based I wonder if the WB finishes can go over it.

Of course you can put the oil under the WB topcoat. Just make sure the seal-a-cell has dried. I do it all the time. 

 

-Ace-

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