The base is going to be made out of 3/4’’ plywood I chose oak plywood for two reasons, the birch ply at my local borg the faces are not veneered the same (one side is light, with little grain pattern the other side shows a lot of grain pattern). The oak however is consistent on both sides, and I like consistency. Secondly, I already had the oak plywood so I didn’t have to buy anything extra which is always a good reason to use it.
After cutting the plywood to size I covered the glue areas with blue tape so I can varnish the inside faces of the plywood.
After about 5 or 6 coats (honestly I lost count) of wipe on polyurethane I was able to remove the blue tape then glue up the base.
In the picture above the bottom right corner looks like there is a gap in the joint, it’s just poor shadowing there was some small chip out on the rabbet which catches the lighting to look like a gap. Since this area will be covered by the legs I wasn’t too worried about repairing the chip out.
I forget how many coats of wipe on poly I did, I just kept adding coats until I liked the results which to me is really what it’s about.
I really like wipe on poly mixture (50% poly, 50% mineral spirits) it takes longer to build up enough strong coats but for a new woodworker like myself it’s almost full proof. I don’t get any runs or nibs or bumps when using wipe on poly. I generally do when using shellac, even when brushing on flat panels (I got a few when doing my tool cabinet). I understand this is a technique issue and I need more practice, but I want this piece of furniture to look nice so I’m going with the safer method.
The other thing I really like is covering the glue areas with blue tape and varnishing before glue up. It is so easy to varnish the flat plywood panels it makes it worth the extra time you spend preparing the areas with the glue.
-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html