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Q:I varnished a table with a satin-finish polyurethane product. After it dried, some areas were glossy while other areas were nearly matte flat. What caused this to happen, and can I repair it?
A:Satin polyurethane is essentially the same type of product as the gloss variety, but it contains a flatting paste in the material to create the lower sheen. Because clear urethane products have very low
viscosity, some of the flatting paste tends to settle to the bottom of the can. For this reason, it is important to
stir the product frequently as you work to ensure greater uniformity of sheen. If the finishing product was applied
without being adequately stirred, the resulting sheen will likely be inconsistent as you described. To fix this, allow
the clear coat to dry completely. Lightly sand the work surface to dull the existing finish and promote better
adhesion of the following coat. Then, apply a thin, final thin coat of the satin product. Be sure to stir frequently
when applying to ensure the final finish is consistently satin throughout. (information courtesy Sherwin-Williams)
Q:I’d like to purchase an HDMI cable for my new HDTV, but the 6-foot cables at the electronics store are $50 each. I’ve found some cheaper cables online for only about $10. Is there any advantage to paying
for the more expensive cable?
A:An HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cable is a type of digital connection that can transmit high-definition video and high-resolution audio over a single cable, rather than using a bundle of analog
and component-video cables. Regardless of what the salesman at the electronics store may tell you, there is no
significant difference between the $10 cable and the $50 version. The digital information transmitted by both
cables is exactly the same, and no HDMI cable will make the picture any better or worse than another HDMI cable.