Hello Frets.net,I'm new here and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's contributed, I've found some very invaluable information on this site that has helped me tremendously along the way.
With that being said, I'd like to get people's opinion: Which finish is more durable, TruOil (Birchwood Casey) or Wipe-On Poly (e.g. Minwax)? Every tech sheet I've read says that TruOil is not really durable at all, and is more on the oil category such as lemon and linseed. Whereas, wipe-on poly is known for durability. However, people on some forums have claimed that they won't use anything else besides TruOil due to it's protection and feel.
Some I'm stumped, but looking for a more durable finish against dings, bumps, as well as humidity. Can you help? Thanks!
Hello everyone and thanks again for all the replies. I posted this link in an earlier post showing the process in which I used Z-Poxy and the Minwax wipe-on poly to some good success: Refinishing Thread: Curly Koa Ukulele (Z-Poxy/Minwax Wipe-On Poly). Based on my experience, the resulting finish has a very durable feel to it. The reason I'm considering TruOil is because of the application process. As mentioned before as well, I don't have the means to a spray booth setup, so I'm restricted to either a brush or wipe-on application method. The problem with the wipe-on poly is that you have a very short working time. Once you wipe it on, you don't have much ability to fix or improve the wipe streaks. Any subsequent wipes produce a type of haze or cloudiness as the poly has already began it's drying/curing process once its applied.
In contrast to the experience I've described above, if you view this video of an application method of TruOil, you'll see that there is a very extended working time: Dave Bagwill demonstrates Tru-Oil Application. You'll notice that after he applies the TruOil, he goes over it several times with a clean paper towel to correct/improve any wiping streaks.
With both of these contrasts of application working time explained, I was made aware by another on a different forum that the "very durable feel" of the Z-Poxy/Minwax wipe-on poly combination that I am experiencing is probably mostly coming from the base/foundation layer of Z-Poxy and not the wipe-on poly itself.
Now I have the following questions and would greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts:
If this notion of "durability" truly does come from the Z-Poxy base and not the poly, then I think I'd like to attempt the TruOil method - but this is what I don't have enough knowledge or experience to decide. I'll leave with some pictures I found that has some really nice pictures of TruOil that has been brought up to a high-gloss, so I guess it really is possible. These are not my photos and can be found on this thread: How do you get a high-gloss from Tru-oil finish?
Peter, I think you misunderstand me but I also think we have drifted far from the intent of this thread and should allow it to return to is's regularly scheduled programming.
My apologies to you, JoeGuam, for my part in what turned into a hijacking of your thread. Thank you for your tolerance.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to do. I've though for some time that I should try Tru Oil for myself but I keep putting it off because it always seems that I have a batch of shellac that needs to be used up. I've worked with Poly in various forms and application methods quite a bit. Personally, I like the gloss but I struggle with keeping it as thin as like my final finish to be, particularly when I've applied it by hand rather than spraying.
I have done some experimenting with doing French Polish using lacquers other than Shellac with mixed results. Some of the tests worked fairly well but I had some issues with getting a clean final coat that I haven't been able to resolve. Inquires continue. ( For those of you who know, Yes, I've been reading Pratchett's "Guard" books again! )