Posts: 729
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: It depends…

  First off, This Steve ( yes, my name is Steve, also) does NOT "knock" "other finishes".    IF one asks about the different kinds of "poly" and HOW to use them, I try to answer those questions, based on over 25 years of HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCE.   Unlike some, I also try NOT to "attack" other posters here.   IF one has a "preference" for a Brand Name of finish, that is THEIR choice.  Poly is just ONE of many "finishes" out there today.   By the way, what "finish" did you use on that "soap box"?

smarter than a doorknob, meaner than concrete

Senior Contributor
Posts: 185
Registered: ‎12-12-2009

Re: It depends…

I'm going to take it as I'm a "poly defender", But if you'll notice I never said "poly is great, all other finishes are worthless".  I was trying to to defend people who may be starting out and shouldn't be bashed everytime the word poly comes out.  And yes, I have noticed that every time poly comes out it turns into the Kudos for you show between a few people with no regard for the person who did the original postings skill level or budget.  I think you will find in my postings that before this time I've simply replied to anyone wanting to use poly that if that's what you have it will work.  



I also never said that poly is all I use, I just said that I use it and it works for me, I've tried a little bit of everything over the years and so far I've had at least acceptable results with a large range of finishes.  I guess I just haven't learned to take my work to the next level because obviously if I don't follow the ways of Steve word for word I know nothing about finishing wood. 




Veteran Contributor
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: It depends…

I have never seen an instance of someone being bashed for using poly.  Usually what happens is the person is asked why they chose poly, and then a suggestion that there may be a better alternative, as well as supporting FACTUAL evidence why another choice may be better.  I will never bash someone for using only poly, but I will acknowledge its shortcomings.  Bob Flexner's book on finishing is great.  It tells you the strengths and shortcomings of all the choices out there.  Most of what Steve says here can also be found repeated in the book.  All thats trying to be done here is to point out the strengths and shortcomings of certain finishes in certain applications, and I can guarantee that no offense is intended to anyone.  However there people who take offense to these suggestions, and there are also people here who like to "stir the Pot"  whenever poly comes up going out of their way to dispute the facts that Steve and others lay out there for us, just to try and get a rise out of people on here.  Its time to end the childish bickering and return to what this forum is for, the sharing of woodworking knowledge and experience.  if you are happy with the results you get from only poly, then by all means keep using it.  But you are only cheating yourself out of the opportunity to do someting better.  90% of my work is for paying customers, and if its worth anything I have never used poly on anything that someone has paid me for.  When someone is paying me for something, I leave nothing to chance as far as inferior materials go.  As soon as you have a callback on something, there goes your profit.  And one of the first impressions I get from people is how much they love the finish on a piece I have made.  So lets stop the arguing and agree we are all here to help, not bash each other for our choices.  A lot of this poly argument is comparable to the arguments on dust collection.  Everyone thinks what they have and use is great, but dont take the opportunity to do things better, and take offense when someone suggests there is a better way to do things.  All the info shared on here is for people to make their own informed decisions.  You can lead a horse to know the rest...




Community Manager
Posts: 6,366
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: It depends…



We're once again to the point where an otherwise good question became a riot of disagreement and open antagonism, with folks chucking dinner plates at one another.


How did this happen?   Hmmm....  Examine where and how it derailed.


I'm closing this thread.


Matt Seiler
Forum Moderator