Charlie I pretty much found the same thing. What I now use is Minwax Antique Oil about 3 coats. I put on the first coat and after it has soaked for about 10 minutes wipe off the excess. Let dry 24 hrs and put on a second coat doing just like the first. Then a third coat the same way. I buff after a couple of weeks curing. The other finish I like to use and have used it on 3 sets of salad bowls is General Finishes Seal-A-Cell followed by a top coat of Arm-R-Seal. It has held up real well on a cereal bowl I have used now for almost 2 yrs almost everyday. I have tried about everything in 3 yrs. and this is what I found that worked best for me. I e-mailed Ernie Conover and he told me he uses strictly Antique Oil. I use either antique oil or General Finishes on all my big turnings vases, bowls, etc. I use rattle can spray lacquer on most small turnings lidded boxes, ornaments, bells, etc. and that is about all I keep in the shop for finishes. Hope this helps.
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