Maple Train Table - Finishing

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Project by Chestnut Hill Woodworks posted 08-01-2012 05:22 PM 1477 views 3 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my very first finishing project. We bought a maple train table for our son’s birthday and I decided to save some money and finish it myself. I read as much as I could and went with Marc’s approach to dealing with blotch prone wood…I put a coat of shellac on first and then used General Finishes gel stain. I learned a lot during this project and I am not sure if I would go with that approach in the future. I felt it did a solid job eliminating the blotch, but the color was significantly lighter than intended because of the shellac. I might give this approach one more try and cut the shellac down ( I was using the de-waxed bullseye shellac that I was told was a 1 lb. cut), but would also like to experiment with other methods to see how things turn out. Also looking forward to growing my finishing skills.

Process I used: sand – shellac – sand – first coat stain – sand – second coat stain – sand – topcoat – sand – topcoat – sand – topcoat

2 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3439 days

#1 posted 08-01-2012 06:05 PM

I like to use an aline dye on maple. Trifern has a great blog post about the process he uses to dye his maple hollow forms. After dying and sanding, I use several coats of thinned tung oil wet sanded to 800 grit or finer. Then I add exterior spar varnish to the thinned tung oil and rub in several coats with my fingertips and 0000 steel wool. (stainless if you can find it) The dye accents the grain in the maple and the oil finish makes the grain POP!

-- Hal, Tennessee

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2667 days

#2 posted 08-01-2012 06:23 PM

If it has been de-waxed then it would not have a 1lb cut of wax :) The Bullseye sealer is the de-waxed shellac.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

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