||01-03-2014 08:16 AM
Giving this thread closure ... Here is the technique I ended up using with great results.
Starting at 3PM, on a dry table outside, we did a very light sand with 180 grit paper. Then, wearing appropriate gloves, we scrubbed the old surface in one direction with a scrubby pad and liberal amounts of acetone. This stripped the dust and surface oils. The crud was clearly visible on the scrubby pad. A quick vigorous rub down with a clean rag followed.
A new coat of Minwax Spar Varnish followed (clear semi-gloss) applied with a brush. (see pic below) After 10 minutes of settling time, twin halogen work lights were positioned shining heat onto the surface for 45 minutes until the varnish started to go off (no longer sticky to the touch).
Moved the table tops inside, where they dried for regular use by 7AM the next day. Sheen was bright, no problems with "fish eye" holes in the surface. The reflection in the picture is from trees nearby.