What do we do with this WOOD?! #2: Part II - the slab gets cut and prepped ...

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Blog entry by Eric M. Saperstein posted 09-05-2011 06:35 PM 3928 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Stage 1 - the aquisision of wood ... Part 2 of What do we do with this WOOD?! series Part 3: A Teaser - The Finished Table! »

OK … so just a quick update as things are insane lately and we’re prepping for a show this weekend, etc …

The usual PR and Propaganda upfront here’s our latest newsletter it explains the upcoming show if you’re in the NJ area this weekend “The Blending of Art & Wine” and other go’ings on in life …

As far as this bubinga slab – well while I was off in Punta Cana my father, partner, and our CNC guy decided that it would be best to make it into two tables a 96” and a 40” ... lots of reasons whatever it would have made for a nice TV show clip to have cameras there when they were figuring it out and when the news got dropped on me when I got back into the country!

Anyway – so the 8ft table is being prepped for the show, the smaller one we do not have time. It will be 8’ by up to 40” wide with a black marbleized concrete base. The base molds are in progress being made hope to cast tonight or first thing tomorrow – otherwise we have no chance of making the show with this piece … ugh … crazy lately … just insane …

The finish prep was done with the Gem Industries orbital sander – then into scraping it all down by hand to finalize the surface.

We then put two coats of MASS Epoxy low viscosity finish over it – sanded that down basically flat … and now we’re building up Waterlox original. Yes – tung oil over epoxy … why?—- There is some sponge in this and the epoxy instantly cures that issue. You can take an otherwise what may be useless slab and convert it back to functional value with the epoxy. It’s also good for locking in splintery areas and weird sections of live edges.

Waterlox will cure over the epoxy (SAND IT PROPERLY …... so it adheres … obviously …) ... The look of Waterlox just can’t be beat so we have to go that direction.

We’ll post photos of the base in progress and the finished piece ASAP. The concrete is all new to me – that would be my buddy who moved back into the area from high school (Michael Pietras) doing that crazy stunt. IDK – still out of my area and I’m used to period pieces. This bubinga project is freaking me out a bit but WTF that’s the nature of artwork sometimes!

The smaller piece will be a coffee table – in time, not this week obviously!

That’s where we are for now – perhaps if you’re around come out to Hopewell Valley Vineyards this weekend and see the piece in person. Assuming we get the thing done! ... ugh … and back to the shop on labor day I go!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

6 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3237 days

#1 posted 09-05-2011 06:51 PM

Beautiful slab, I’d love to see it in person.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2827 days

#2 posted 09-05-2011 07:36 PM

I am with hal


View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1892 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 09-06-2011 05:33 AM

It’s interesting that you mentioned sanding. I was hired to edge glue a gorgeous piece of bubinga a while back, and sand the glue joint flush. I noticed that the sandpaper on my random orbit sander was wearing down, but not polishing the lumber. I finally had to plane the joint flush, and scrape the whole glue up. What kind of paper are you using, diamond grit?????

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3248 days

#4 posted 09-06-2011 06:15 AM

In the end – scraping is the key to bubinga looking good …

However – we’re LOVING our Gem Industries 11” Orbital Polisher – I’m confused to no end of the micron deal with the grit but lets see.

We had the whole surface CNC planed. Then we We went in a little rough with some 5 / 6” orbitals and then If I got it right we started w/ the 180 micron disc on the Gem sander, the higher the number the harsher the grit. It took it down quiet nicely and then we went i think to 100 and then scraped it. No swirelee’s to speak of!

I think I’m going to order another whole machine w/ the hard pad setup to be more aggressive on tables like this. Plus we’re doing concrete work now and we’ll need a more powerful larger buffer for that w/ the hard pad.

I’ll keep pushing this sander it REALLY makes a difference in the time it takes to handle these type of projects. Keep a sander pad cleaner handy. Periodically clean it off – only took one pad to do the whole table they last quite a while.

Even on bubinga it works – on normal domestic hardwoods like oak or walnut or cherry – it’s an amazing machine!

Check out his machine, it’s amazingly well built and not out of scope on price!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3248 days

#5 posted 01-05-2012 12:26 AM

I’ve had a die made by one of our suppliers now so we can get 11” discs for the Gem Sander down to 40, 60, and 80 grit – working on getting them to provide it in the zirconia on velcro – we’ll see if we can work that out. In the meantime we now have the aggressive grits in aluminum oxide on the way to us.

In my recent experiments I now have a prototype hard pad for the Gem sander – worked amazing with 80 grit on the bubinga slab cutoff. Very happy – no issues and given the amount of surface area on the pad it easily took down one whole side so far of the 36” slab.

I also tried it on white oak and some mahogany – worked great. I have a pile of white oak slabs that will be sanded and prepped as soon as my supply of paper arrives. A stack of mulberry flitches coming, as well as a find of osage orange we’re having milled.

Lots of sanding coming – but still scraping in the end makes the whole finish look amazing!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3688 days

#6 posted 07-10-2013 01:59 AM

Would love to see this and its little brother when completed : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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