after lots of considerations and tests, i decided to use diluted white acrylic (10 water to one acrylic but your mileage may vary as acrylics are very different one from the other). I brushed it on and wiped it off. the result at first looked like nothing happened but as it dried out it became nicely white.
this is how it looks compared to a piece of the same material:
and a closeup :
the process is very fool proof and easy. just beware of drips… in retrospect i should have drilled the holes after putting on the finish. its very hard not to have drips when you have a hole…
after the acrylic dried i sanded it down a bit with 320 grit and started the tedious process of finishing.
i used waterborne poly (Resene – a local firm) as i wanted to keep the white colour. i was pleasantly surprised – putting it on left no brush marks, it dried very quickly and left very professional looking finish. I could probably put all 4 layers in one day but it got very dry and hot and it was not the perfect weather for waterborne poly.
after finishing everything it was time for the final assembly.
i have created proper spacers for the beam so it can go in with friction. marked the middle and marked the middle on all horizontals
also made spacers so the verticals will be positioned in the middle of the verticals. this is how it looks just before the screwing:
I have pre-drilled counterbores for the screws. these are 3” roofing screws. i like them very much – they are self drilling and have very coarse thread so hold very well to endgrain. they also have very wide hex head so no need for washers.
here are the supports fully assembled:
I have used wooden hex nuts from some bits ane pieces of exotic timber i had – something from the philippines i think. finished them with tung oil.
last part will be just pictures of the assembled base
-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...