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I'm experimenting on an old Marlin Model 60 stock and an old shotgun stock before working on the pretty lever action, and I've decided to try the wipe on poly because of the protection it offers. The first coats looked great and felt a lot like a varnish I'm used to using. However, around coat six or eight it gets harder to work with, and I'm seeing some streaking. The last two seemed to dry very quickly?

How many coats do we need? Have I put on too thick of a coat? How much do I need to buff it between coats? Any advice appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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I think you are applying the Wipe-on poly the wrong way. Here is how I have seen it done. After the wood is prepped and ready for finish, the Wipe-on is applied, a liberal coat as thick as will stay on without runs. Dry for 24 hours, use #0000 steel wool and rub every trace of Wipe-on off but take no wood. repeat this with another coat...let dry 24....and steel wool it off again. Repeat until all the wood grain is completely filled. It may take several cycles of apply and remove.

When that's done, apply a small amount (5 to 10 drops) to one side of the stock and start rubbing a small area like one side of the butt stock with you hand...rubbing briskly...the surface will begin to get harder to rub and will begin to get warm.....don't stop....keep rubbing until you feel it get easier again. Now stop and move to another area of the stock and repeat the process. Repeat the process until the stock has been completely covered. Let dry for 24 hours. Your done. The finish is in the wood ..not on it.

The more of those thin hand rubbed coats that are applied the more gloss and shine. Additional coats are for appearance, little or no more protection is gained. Scratches? Steel wool or fine sandpaper the scratch or ding out and rub on a coat or two of the Wipe-on, hand rub it until it matches the other finish and it's good as new. I hope that works for you.

Jeff
 

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Hey Jeff,

That is exactly the way I do it. The Wipe-on can be made to look like a good oil finish or even as shiney as a laquer finish. Great stuff.
 

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Let me add a couple of points from my wood-working days.

1 - Always use gloss varnish - no mixing required. A more satin effect can be obtained later with a bit of #0000 steel wool.

2 - Never use straight varnish. Dilute about 15% with the recommended thinner. This prevents bubbles on the surface.

3 - Do the final sanding and surface prep immediately prior to finish application. Raw, exposed wood will oxidize and "case harden" in a few hours and limit penetration of the finish.
 
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