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End grain on circular table top edge

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Forum topic by Noel posted 12-05-2018 11:45 PM 290 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Noel

29 posts in 9 days


12-05-2018 11:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question end grain circle

Hey folks, new guy here and hoping to tap into some of the infinite wisdom of the group. I’m working on a claro walnut side table with a circular top. I cut out the circle with a spiral upcut router bit and circle jig, and rounded over the top and bottom edges – all good.

When I went to sand the table edge, I noticed that where the end grain fell on steep parts of the circle curve, the surface was very rough – like tearout? It took a lot of sanding just to get it “acceptable” and I’m a little worried about how it will look when I begin to build a finish. I would like to know what caused this and how to avoid it in the future and what, if anything, else I can do to ensure the edge looks good when I go to finish it.

BTW, I don’t have a photobucket account or I’d include a picture of the table top

Thanks in advance!

-- Just make the cut


10 replies so far

View jmos's profile

jmos

902 posts in 2571 days


#1 posted 12-06-2018 02:13 AM

My guess would be that the wood didn’t like being cut “up hill.” Take a look at the table and think about how you routed the circle; are the problem areas the areas you routed the end grain against the grain?

Ideally, when your cutting a concave curve, you would cut in from both ends, stopping at the bottom, so you are downhill in both directions. (Or form the top down each side on a convex curve.)

You may want to try taking a very light skim cut all around with your router and a sharp bit, it may help smooth out the rough spots.

I’m just speculating here, but maybe instead you could try doing the skim cut in segments, where you’re running downhill each time. So, basically cut 1/4 of the table at a time, from a long grain area to the middle of the end grain area. Again, haven’t tried it, but it’s a similar idea to using a spokeshave from each end of a curve.

-- John

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Noel

29 posts in 9 days


#2 posted 12-06-2018 01:22 PM

I think you’re right, John. When I did the cut, I went all the way around in one pass, all in the same direction. I should have tried to go downhill in end grain areas. I am going to apply a little BLO or similar to the affected areas to get a sense for how it looks before I decide whether to skim the edge again. It’s only an 18” table and the wood is a gift from my daughter – I’m terrified of ruining it after getting this far in the project. Thanks a bunch for the input. When I can, I’ll post a photo.

-- Just make the cut

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HokieKen

7127 posts in 1340 days


#3 posted 12-06-2018 01:29 PM

Noel, no photobucket account needed. Just upload pics directly using the img button.

This is a problem I have often when turning Walnut bowls. The endgrain always requires attention. I think a light skim cut in 2 directions is a good bet in your case. I’ve also had luck with soaking the endgrain areas with BLO just before making finishing cuts. It seems to make the fibers more ameniable to being severed rather than tearing out. Also, make sure the bit you’re using is clean and sharp.

Best of luck!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Noel

29 posts in 9 days


#4 posted 12-06-2018 01:40 PM

I think you’re right, John. When I did the cut, I went all the way around in one pass, all in the same direction. I should have tried to go downhill in end grain areas. I am going to apply a little BLO or similar to the affected areas to get a sense for how it looks before I decide whether to skim the edge again. It’s only an 18” table and the wood is a gift from my daughter – I’m terrified of ruining it after getting this far in the project. Thanks a bunch for the input. When I can, I’ll post a photo.

-- Just make the cut

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Noel

29 posts in 9 days


#5 posted 12-06-2018 01:44 PM

Kenny, so the walnut is the culprit? Good idea on the BLO and the bit was a brand new Freud. Thanks for the pic tip – I’m still learning. Here’s the table top.

Most importantly, my daughter is at VA Tech – go Hokies!!!!

-- Just make the cut

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HokieKen

7127 posts in 1340 days


#6 posted 12-06-2018 01:50 PM

Nice Noel. I like the inclusion of sapwood with Walnut. However, the sapwood is softer and more prone to tearout too. I’d almost be willing to bet the worst of your issues are in the sapwood areas? Advice previously given is still the best I have. If a skim cut fails to leave an acceptable surface, you might try some sanding sealer (personally, I just use a couple coats of shellac) then settle in with sandpaper and elbow grease.

Your daughter is a smart gal! ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

597 posts in 942 days


#7 posted 12-06-2018 02:07 PM

I think Ken and John have already given you excellent advice, but I’d throw in one last recommendation if taking another light pass is out of the question: maybe work on the end-grain with a card scraper? You can find scrapers with a radius like this: https://www.amazon.com/Crown-376-Cabinet-Scraper-Gooseneck/dp/B001C06BLE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544105225&sr=8-2&keywords=scraping+card

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

7127 posts in 1340 days


#8 posted 12-06-2018 02:17 PM

Excellent idea ^

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Noel's profile

Noel

29 posts in 9 days


#9 posted 12-06-2018 02:19 PM

Yeah, that is a good idea, Dustin, and the card scrapers won’t break the bank. I appreciate all of the comments and helpful suggestions – glad I found this group!

-- Just make the cut

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10913 posts in 3235 days


#10 posted 12-09-2018 01:17 AM



Noel, no photobucket account needed. Just upload pics directly using the img button.

This is a problem I have often when turning Walnut bowls. The endgrain always requires attention. I think a light skim cut in 2 directions is a good bet in your case. I ve also had luck with soaking the endgrain areas with BLO just before making finishing cuts. It seems to make the fibers more ameniable to being severed rather than tearing out. Also, make sure the bit you re using is clean and sharp.

Best of luck!

- HokieKen

I’d agree with this one!

Rick S.

-- I Chose "The Road Less Travelled" Now I'm Totally Lost! (Ontario, CANADA)

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