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Thread: Chemical and Heat Resistance Results: Part II

  1. #1
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    Chemical and Heat Resistance Results: Part II

    Following on from the prior post, I tested the resistance of EM-8000CV + 4% Crosslinker as well as GF's Enduro Clear Poly. First the hot water, bourbon and Windex tests. EM-8000CV + CL is on the left, Enduro Clear Poly on the right.



    In this photo taken 30 minutes after the start you can see how the bourbon (on the lower left) and Windex wet out onto the EM-8000CV+CL specimen, just as it did w/o CL, while they stay beaded up on the Enduro Clear Poly (and EnduroVar in the prior test). After 1 hour they looked like this:



    After wiping them dry:







    These two specimens were like opposites. Everything wet the wood through the EM-8000CV + 4% CL and the hot water and bourbon left white rings on it. With the Enduro Clear Poly, only the Windex wet through to the wood. The hot water left a faint dull ring which you can't see in the photo, while the bourbon had no affect.

    Moving on to the 350F hot cup test:



    After cooling to room temperature you can see a faint picking on the Enduro Clear Poly specimen. You also can better see the ghost ring from the hot water test at the top of the photo:



    And you see more picking on the EM-8000CV + 4% CL, as well as a very pronounced white ring from the hot water test.



    These results left me very disappointed. I used to use EnduroVar and Enduro Clear Poly for most projects, but recently switched to EM-8000CV for a tabletop because I thought it would have higher durability. These results do not suport that conclusion; in fact, it's not nearly as good as either of the other two products. It was better after adding the Crosslinker, but still not as good as the other two. Shame on me for not testing it first. And I guess I won't be surprised if I get a call.

    In summary no waterborne finish I have tested is as durable to some chemicals and heat as Arm-R-Seal. Some aren't even very resistant to hot water. But before you think ARS is bulletproof, I once had to repair a piece done with ARS the owner had left a leaky can of Scrubbing Bubbles on, which chewed right through to bare wood after a few days.

    Of the waterborne finishes I have tested EnduroVar has the best overall performance in terms of resistance to water, chemicals, and heat.

    John

  2. #2
    Wow, those are dissapointing results. Now it seems that the only reason to keep using the EM8000cv is because of the ease of application, and the good leveling ability.

    I do find (anecdotally) that the cv seems to resist abrasion more than Enduro Clear Poly and 6000. JT, are you considering an abrasion test next???

    Also, I have to ask how long did you let the various finishes cure? I'm finding the 120 hours recommended for the CV not right. I find it reaches hardness at about a month.

    Last, I have found that the Target products have a pot life that degrades a little too 'gracefully' for my taste. With Waterlox, it's good one minute, and then gels up and is unusable the next. It's black and white and I've come to appreciate how easy it is to assess its usability. For the Target products, I've left product in a partially filled pps cup for a week, a month, and 6 months. The oldest material LOOKS perfectly usable, but takes longer to dry and does not level as well. So my next question to you is how fresh all of the finish samples were when applied?

    I very much appreciate the time you took to do and post this (in addition to all your finishing advice over the years). Thanks pp

  3. #3
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    Good questions, Prashun. I should have given that data in the post. All specimens were sanded to 150 grit prior to finishing. All the WB specimens had 3 coats of finish (over the Sealcoat, if used); the ARS one had 4 in order to get the same approximate coating thickness. All specimens were allowed to cure for a minimum of 8 days (192 hours), but none had more than 10 days before testing. I can't say I've ever seen a WB product get much harder after 7 days but I haven't used EM-8000CV before. In any case, I allowed the WB products to cure well beyond the manufacture's recommended full cure time (120 hours at 70F for EM-8000CV). If you are familiar with ARS, then you know it takes longer than 10 days to fully cure, yet I tested it after only 8 - 10 days. Shows how good it really is.

    To make the EM-8000CV + CL I followed the directions and slowly added the crosslinker while stirring the finish. After stirring for another 2 minutes I waited an hour before using it. I applied each coat after approximately 2 hours, scuff sanding in between coats with 325 grit. I used a foam brush to apply the finish and kept the finish container closed between coats.

    I agree; big disappointment. EM-8000CV sprays so easily and lays out so nice and flat. EnduroVar is not nearly as user friendly for me, but I'm going back to it as my go-to finish when durability counts and I want to use a spray finish. But I am feeling better about having used Clear Poly on my kitchen cabinets. It sprays like a dream, too.

    I can do some hardness and abrasion tests on EM-8000CV after a month or so. In my prior testing, nothing beat Enduro Clear Poly so it will be interesting to see how it compares. My guess just feeling them is that CP will do better.

    Oh, I just saw that EnduroVar has been changed. It's now called EnduroVar II, and has been reformulated with a different oil. In case you didn't know, EnduroVar is a hybrid oil/water emulsion in the same way EM-2000wvx is. Apparently, GF changed the formula to make it greener. It's reported to have less amber color than the original I used.

    As an aside, a friend of mine just used some Osmo Poly-ox on a walnut slab table. I asked him to see how it stood up to water. He put a glass of ice water on it with some water around the bottom. He reported zero affect after 24 hours. I asked him to try bourbon but haven't heard back yet. Curious, I just order some Osmo Poly-ox for myself and will test it once received. The photo he sent me sure looked nice on black walnut and it's stupid simple to use.

    John

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    You might want to share that with Jeff Weiss at Target to see what his thoughts are.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Thanks for posting all this, John. Very informative. I’m interested in the Osmo durability as well. Kind of hard to believe it would be anywhere near as durable as a varnish (whether oil or water-based), but if it is, then could be a go-to finish given the ease of application.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  6. #6
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    Have you tested SW Kem-Aqua Plus? I know you were not happy using it... it's still my favorite (non post-cat) KCMA certified finish.
    Scott

    Finishing is an 'Art & a Science'. Actually, it is a process. You must understand the properties and tendencies of the finish you are using. You must know the proper steps and techniques, then you must execute them properly.

  7. #7
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    Thank you John for this. In the lab this would have been one of those "Oops, we need to re-think our hypothesis" moments. (Oops is not actually the phrase usually uttered at those moments). Appreciate your work on this!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Thank you John for this. In the lab this would have been one of those "Oops, we need to re-think our hypothesis" moments. (Oops is not actually the phrase usually uttered at those moments). Appreciate your work on this!
    Thank you for all of the work you have done on this. As you may know I am new to wood working and finishing is the most perplexing part of all it seems. There are so many options! Its very confusing. Thank you again.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the experiment, John. I'm very curious about the Enduro Var II. It's on the GF website and Rockler website but I haven't seen in the Rockler store yet. I'm bummed that it appears to be less ambering than original Enduro Var, but it seems they fixed the (supposed) adhesion issues. So Enduro Var II could be put over an oil-based sealer which may make up for less ambering.

    Curious to hear if/when anyone tries the new formula. Most curious to know just how different the ambering effect is.

  10. #10
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    John, thank you for sharing this knowledge with us. It is very much appreciated, especially since the choices sometimes seem overwhelming. Having put the time into the ww project, i would hate to mess up the final finishing process. Best, Patrick

  11. #11
    It was my instinct that the CV8000 with cross linker is not as bad as was revealed in John's tests. I tried my own test. I believe he was more thorough than I, so take this with a grain of salt. I had a block of white oak that was finished about 60 days ago with EM8000CV + 5ish% crosslinker. I manhandled this test piece and was pleased with how it held up to general handling. (That orangey spotty area at the bottom was an initial coat of Sealcoat applied on the unsanded surface).

    Today I put about 2ml Windex and 2ml Bulleit bourbon for about 30 minutes.


    Initial Application: The Windex immediately caused a white spot.

    cv8000-1.jpg

    After 30 minutes, the bourbon had also created a white spot.

    cv8000-2.jpg


    But after a few minutes, the bourbon spot is not quite as visible as at first. I tried taking pictures around the edges. The finish did not appear to soften and the sheen was not affected significantly.
    I can still see the faintest of rings around the bourbon spot, but I wouldn't call it a fail. I mean, this is 30 minutes of ethanol exposure. That's a hard ask. Most alcohol spills would get cleaned up in a minute or two. Windex contains ammonia. That's also asking a lot of a finish. (edit: 30 minutes later, the windex spot is not visible except in bright light, which reveals modest white spot. Critically, neither sheen is compromised; in raking light you cannot see where the offending spots were.) I would not call this a major fail.

    I respect that the oil based finishes are wonderful; my Waterlox bar top is 10 years strong. I have a Waterlox SHOWER bench that looks fantastic 5 years after daily, drenching exposure to soap and water. However, this is not to say waterbased finishes won't perform as well in practice on a kitchen table or island top (2 heavy use applications). It does require you address spills and be smart about your cleaner, but John's results (to me) shouldn't cause a rush to judgment away, or cause a belief that any of the other finishes will be magic bullets.

    Proper application, curing, and modest care can keep your finish looking good. The ease and comfort of spraying some of these still tips the scales in their favor vis a vis oil based for me in some applications.
    cv8000-3.jpg
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 03-27-2021 at 2:41 PM.

  12. #12
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    Prashun, you should do it again with an hour of exposure to keep it consistent with what I did. That way, if it comes out good we'll know it was due either to the 1% higher CL level or the longer cure time. Target Coatings' reported test results are 4 hours of exposure followed by a four hour recovery period. Their results show EM-8000CV to be terrific, but they didn't use any of the common chemicals I did. I thought I was being kind to limit the test exposure to one hour, but people do leave stuff on their furniture despite best intentions. My friend's wife left a leaky teapot on his beautiful mahogany table finished with EnduroVar for many hours, maybe overnight. The white ring is still there two years later. I had a client leave a leaky potted plant on a top I finished with GF's Urethane Topcoat for weeks. It destroyed the finish under the pot.

    As much as I have avoided it, I may have to try GF's Conversion Varnish or a 2K poly to get durability as good as oil based varnish. I hate call backs.

    John

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Holmes View Post
    Have you tested SW Kem-Aqua Plus? I know you were not happy using it... it's still my favorite (non post-cat) KCMA certified finish.
    Hi Scott. No, I haven't tested Kem Aqua Plus. I'm not sure I even have any anymore. If I do, it's several years old and might not be fair to try it. But you could easily do the same testing I did and let us know how it turns out. I actually liked spraying KA Plus after I added some of GF's Extender to it. Before that, however, you are right, it wouldn't flow out and looked terrible. After adding some Extender it looked great.

    John

  14. #14
    I did it again last night. I tested the same amounts of Windex and Bourbon on the same spots and added a wet glass of water as well, pooling the water underneath. I left these on overnight (12 hours). By the morning, the alcohol and windex had evaporated. There are witness lines around each spot but the finish was not compromised otherwise in terms of texture or sheen. I struggled to take pictures that show the offenses.

    Here is the after picture. I notice some white where the Windex was. At normal viewing angles without harsh light, it is very hard to see the witness lines from the Windex and liquor. The water left no trace.

    cv8000-e.jpg

    Sorry, I had an issue with picture rotation on the below three images. In the first you can see the witness lines around the bourbon spot.

    cv8000-h.jpg

    The shop light has obscured the "Windex" label on this second pic, but that's what this one shows. The witness lines around the edge of this spot are also visible, but less so than the bourbon. I suspect that's more due to to the staining from the color of the liquids than a chemical degradation. Witness lines is a bad name for it, because the finish has not been eaten through there; you cannot feel the edges.



    cv8000-i.jpg

    There was no evidence of compromise from the water.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 03-28-2021 at 6:49 PM.

  15. #15
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    Prashun, will the residue from the evaporated borbon wipe off with a damp rag? Same question for the Windex. 'Just curious...
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