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Woodworking/Protective clear coat

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Question
I am redoing an old school teachers desk for use in my craft room. The desk top needs to stand the test of abuse it with endure as I'm sure things will be dropped/spilled on it so I need it to be an easy clean up. My plan is to adhere an old world map to the desk top and put a clear protective finish on it. I was leaning towards a pour on epoxy but I don't want something that scratches easily either. What clear coat would you suggest for this? Thanks in advance!

Answer
An epoxy will be the toughest finish you can apply, will not scratch easily, and is pretty much impervious to anything...including ever refinishing the desk. Once applied, it cannot be removed, ever...it is possible to scratch or gouge it, but not easily, and it can be repaired and/or recoated...if you want toughness, it is the toughest, and will flow over the map and leave a smooth clear non yellowing finish. Having said that, doing a large piece with an epoxy finish can be a little tricky if you have never attempted this before..here's a link to the System 3 website, and there is a video in the page that describes the process of Mirror Coat. Hope that helps a little - post back if need be- Regards- Greg

http://www.systemthree.com/projects-bartop-coating.asp

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Greg Scholl

Expertise

Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.

Experience

Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

Organizations
none at this time.

Publications
Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Education/Credentials
Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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