Ok, so I know that finishing is an art all in itself. Finishing takes a lot of time and patience for beginners, but it seems that once you get it, you got it! I am struggling pretty badly with a Cherry Top entryway table that I am making my wife.
The table started one Saturday as a ‘nothing special’ just needing a place to put a lamp type of project. My wife bought some curvy legs (the type with balls at the bottom of the feet) at Lowes one day because they were on clearance for a couple bucks. Since this was a ‘nothing special’ table, she didn’t want to go overboard with the cost. The most cost-effective wood that I could find for the aprons at the time was Poplar from Lowes. I ended up mortise and tenon-ing the aprons into the legs at all four corners. To reinforce the corners (showing my rookie call here), I purchased some metal corner brackets that are 45 from apron to apron and held to the legs with a hanger bolt. Looking back I really shouldn’t have done this. The legs are strong enough with the mortise and tenons.
Received a Rockler sales ad in the mail and noticed that they had Cherry 3/4 inch stock on sale for crazy cheap (cheaper than I could get a piece of veneered ply for). The stock that I picked out was actually thicker than 3/4. The table is ‘dainty’ and didn’t need a thick top, so this material was perfect for me. I edge joined and also used biscuits to join the three pieces together to make a top approximately 51” long by 18” wide. Originally, I was going to put a ‘frame’ around the entire tabletop with mitered 45’s at each corner so that there wasn’t any end-grain showing. Then, my wife wanted me to cut/route curves into the corners and curves that ended into points in the midpoint of each side…except for the back…it would be straight all the way across. Due to my lack of skill and experience, that was ditched soon after buying the wood for the top.
Here’s the problem now. I have HOURS invested in scraping, sanding and routing the top that the entire table is now important to me. It’s far from perfect, but my first real hardwood furniture piece that I have done from start to finish, and it is no longer a ‘nothing special’ piece to me. So, I want this to be a heirloom piece. As you can tell, I now have 3 different types of wood…which I assume will produce 3 different stain patters, grain patterns, etc. Without stain on it, the way it is in the pictures, all of the pieces look similar. To the untrained eye, it would appear that the table was made from one type of species. Note: In these pictures, the decorative edging has not been routed yet, but it’s complete now. I also chose to use tabletop fasteners to hold the top on…the metal figure 8 style. I have 4 total…2 on each of the short aprons to allow for wood movement across the grain (front to back).
After all that boring stuff, my question is…What finish can I use to make the table appear to be from the same wood? I really wasn’t going to color the table, but use something like “General Finishes Original Seal-A-Cell” topped with their wipe on poly. My wife said she is going to paint the legs and aprons and leave the tabletop stained UNLESS I can make it all look good stained…thanks Pinterest!
Please help me in this desperate woodworkers time…lol. I really want to keep the table all natural (without paint), but I need your help in order to do so. Please give me any ideas/finishing tips that you may have in your arsenal of info. I have watched about every free video there is on applying stain/sealer/poly from Mark (TWW), Steve (WWMM), and Allan (AsktheWoodman.TV), so no need in going over the entire process…I think I am ready for the process…just not the best selection for the job!
Thanks in advance, and I hope you guys/gals can help me out!
-- "Don't ask me how I know that"-CN