How to finish finishing a walnut slab table top?

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Forum topic by Lumber2Sawdust posted 03-20-2012 02:28 AM 3987 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2859 days

03-20-2012 02:28 AM

I’ve been working on a walnut slab for a coffee table top. I have finished it with Danish Oil, wet sanding it up to 1000 grit. The surface is feeling really nice, and looks great. At this point the only thing I have remaining is that the 1000 grit sandpaper still leaves scratches which show.

I have pretty much reached the level of smoothness and sheen that I want, but want to get the remaining scratches out. If I wax the surface, will that cover the scratches and smooth it out?

Thanks for your suggestions. I’m close to being complete, I’m excited to get it done!

6 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2844 days

#1 posted 03-20-2012 04:10 AM

That’s pretty ambitious, L2S. And you must have very good eyes.

Try it! Wax is easily reversible. I don’t think you’ll need to reverse anything though. You’re there.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2281 days

#2 posted 03-20-2012 04:43 AM

I’d be interested to know the steps you took with that table. I’m planing on doing one real soon. I have the wood slabs.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Loren's profile


10373 posts in 3642 days

#3 posted 03-20-2012 05:02 AM

You may be seeing some scratches from coarser grits you
used. 1000 grit doesn’t leave very visible scratches on wood,
but grit from coarser grades of paper may still be on the wood
getting caught under your sandpaper and making coarser

I’d go to scraping with razor blades on the problem areas
and sanding though finer grits with careful attention to
the use of compressed air, vacuum and tack cloth to
remove grit and debris when going to a finer grit.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2859 days

#4 posted 03-20-2012 01:55 PM

Thanks for the responses guys.

I am not discounting the possibility of leftover grit from previous grits on the slab when I’m sanding. Maybe scratches is too harsh of a word at this point but there are visible dull areas whereas some other areas seem to have a nicer sheen. I know I removed the previous grit’s scratches because I sanded them at a 30-40 degree angle to make sure I was getting everything sanded out. The last sanding (at 1000 grit) was with the grain.

I think I’ll try the wax and see if that gives me the final look that I want.

Russell, I wrote a blog post about this project. It deals with getting the slab flattened. I have every intention of following up with some more details about the process – re-flattening it, finishing, and of course some pics of the finished project. Keep an eye out for some more posts there. My wife and I met with the guy last night that is building the base for the coffee table. It is a forged steel base, with sort of a wrought iron look. It should be done in the next week, so I’ll have finished pics to add to the blog then.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#5 posted 03-20-2012 02:06 PM

If the wax doesn’t work, you might try automotive polishing compound. If the imperfections are just on the surface, that will get them out.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3559 days

#6 posted 03-20-2012 02:14 PM

You may consider the grey Fibratex Pad

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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