I've posted this on a couple of other sites and so far no joy .....
These two chests were both made the same year - 91ish to 92ish - out of the same tree. I used a water based PU on the top one as it was all the rage in the WW mags at the time. Big mistake.
The lower one was finished with a mystery treatment. That means I can't remember what I used.
You can see the difference. After 15ish years it is still nice a rich in color albiet not exactly like off the sawmill but quite acceptable. Any ideas on how I figure out what i used are very welcome.
Could you have used orange shellac? It has that warm glow to it. You can test by rubbing a little alcohol in an inconspicuous place. If you rub lacquer thinner on it, and the finish melts away, it was probably either an oil-based poly/varnish or lacquer.
I may have used a shellac, but I don't think it was "orange" shellac unless you can buy an orange shellac that doesn't say it on the can. I would have remebered if I had used anything that had the word orange on it and I'm sure i wouldn't have chose that for fear of changing the color.
I'm fairly ignorant in the finishing department unfortunately. Is it possible it's a marine varnish? How bout linseed oil? I experimented with both of those for a brief time back then on some pieces.
I used Defthane on alot of the stuff and there is a high probability this is it.
I wanted to get some ideas before I threw that out there though.
Anyway, thanks for the ideas.
I have another question. I bookmarked this page a while back and haven't had the time to order a sample. Anyone know anything about it? They are claiming to have come up with a clear UV protector that works. Why do they call it clear and then call it a stain in the same sentence I wonder?
Sounds promising but I am not going to get my hopes up. Most all stains are designed for woods with some sort of brown and not for ERC which has reds, purples, and pinks.