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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Need to fix a puddle that's in the middle of the table top. I applied the oil based poly last night (about 12 hours ago). At this moment, the puddle area is wet/tacky and the rest of the table is not tacky.

I've read various ways to fix this... One is to use mineral spirits and try to wipe it away, but I think it's dried too much for that at this point and will just smear and make a gummy mess.

I think using a piece of glass/wood block to chisel it away is the preferred method... Figured I'd wait until it hardens until it's not tacky anymore, and then try to chisel it away with the glass.

Any thoughts or different ideas?

 

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If it were me I would let the puddle dry completely. Then I would put masking tape around the puddle and laminate a piece of sandpaper to a block of wood and sand it until the tape comes off. Then apply some more varnish to the general area and let that dry. Then do like a between the coats sand of the area with the block of wood. If that wasn't enough do it again until the finish was level. If you start going at it with a chisel or razor blade chances are you will dig into the wood with the chisel and tear out a hole in the finish. That is just as difficult to fix as the puddle. It's just easier to use patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it were me I would let the puddle dry completely. Then I would put masking tape around the puddle and laminate a piece of sandpaper to a block of wood and sand it until the tape comes off. Then apply some more varnish to the general area and let that dry. Then do like a between the coats sand of the area with the block of wood. If that wasn't enough do it again until the finish was level. If you start going at it with a chisel or razor blade chances are you will dig into the wood with the chisel and tear out a hole in the finish. That is just as difficult to fix as the puddle. It's just easier to use patience.
I do have concerns that the glass will gouge the surrounding wood as I scrape away like in the video, considering I never did that before. It is still drying so probably something I can try tomorrow.

I do like the tape and sanding idea. Seems like I'd have more control.
 

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I do have concerns that the glass will gouge the surrounding wood as I scrape away like in the video, considering I never did that before. It is still drying so probably something I can try tomorrow.

I do like the tape and sanding idea. Seems like I'd have more control.
Better wait a week. A puddle may be solid on the surface but gummy underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Better wait a week. A puddle may be solid on the surface but gummy underneath.
I was able to sand a little bit, but underneath it's still gummy. A couple days ago I put a box fan in the room to get air moving. It's been almost 100% humidity and probably 65 and 80 degrees in the garage since application. Poly is not tacky anywhere and has dried everywhere, except the puddle is gummy.... Hopefully it keeps drying...
 

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I was able to sand a little bit, but underneath it's still gummy. A couple days ago I put a box fan in the room to get air moving. It's been almost 100% humidity and probably 65 and 80 degrees in the garage since application. Poly is not tacky anywhere and has dried everywhere, except the puddle is gummy.... Hopefully it keeps drying...
Yea, that being gummy underneath you can pull out a chunk of finish if you are not careful. Then you end up putting another puddle on the spot to fix it. An oil based finish will dry at it's own pace, anything you do to accelerate it will only make it dry on the surface and will still be gummy underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Shave it off with a chisel, let it dry thoroughly and sand flush. Any chisel will work bevel down, a crank neck is ideal.
Reminds me this is a handy little thing for something like this.

View attachment 442845
Yea, that being gummy underneath you can pull out a chunk of finish if you are not careful. Then you end up putting another puddle on the spot to fix it. An oil based finish will dry at it's own pace, anything you do to accelerate it will only make it dry on the surface and will still be gummy underneath.

Appreciate your help. I used a combo of both sanding and using glass as a chisel and got it fairly smooth. Probably as good as it's going to get.

I've sanded it smooth and also went over the rest of the table with 400 grit to prep for the next coat. And wiped it clean.

New problem now.... The former 'puddle' is now cloudy.... Cloudier than the rest of the table. It's not just scratches in the poly, infact the poly is pretty smooth and not scratched, it's certainly cloudy.

I would call the former puddle still very slightly gummy but not at all tacky. I'm waiting until tomorrow to add another coat.

Will this go away as it cures overnight? What should I do to this area if the cloudiness doesn't go away? This is my first coat, so sanding this area down wouldn't be a big problem.
 
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