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Seeking opinions for natural edged table

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Forum topic by TrBlu posted 04-18-2012 11:06 AM 1214 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TrBlu

379 posts in 2088 days


04-18-2012 11:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut

I have some walnut that I plan to make a small, natural-edged table for my den. Like many walnut planks, this piece has a few knots it it. These knots have cracked, revealing an opening, which in many cases goes all the way through the plank.

I am seeking opinions from more experienced woodworkers (and anyone else who wishes to join in).

The way I see it, I have three options for dealing with these knots, when making this table. I am not sold on one over any other, which is why I am asking for opinions.

If you were making a walnut, natural-edged table for your house, which of the following would you chose?

1. Leave the knots as they are, with the cracks showing through on the finished table.
2. Fill in the knots with resin or epoxy. If you chose this one, do you color the epoxy or leave clear?
3. Route out a dutchman and fill with a contrasting wood. I have some nice curly maple that I have considered for this option.

Thank you all for sharing your opinions and suggestions. I am probably a month away from starting building this project, so I look forward to seeing your suggestions.

Tim

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim


10 replies so far

View bytebullet's profile

bytebullet

32 posts in 1768 days


#1 posted 04-18-2012 11:24 AM

I personally would go with option 2 and leave the epoxy clear. I have seen a number of very nice tables in my time with knots, cracks and holes filled with clear epoxy. When done right from a short distance away, it is even hard to tell that it has been filled and it almost just looks like the orginal piece.
Then if you sit at the table and put a glass down on it or something you realise that the entire table has been filled. Plus the table is very easy to clean and wipe down and does not fill up with dust.

I have not done this myself, I just prefer the look. I have a dining table at home that has some fairly large blemishes filled with coloured epoxy and I prefer the look of the clear (even when the colour matching is pretty good), particularly if it is a nice piece of timber.

Having said that, I think if you do not like the look of the piece as it is now, then perhaps fill it with the contrasting wood you mention in option 3.

-- Rod, London UK

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TrBlu

379 posts in 2088 days


#2 posted 04-18-2012 11:32 AM

Maybe it would help if I better described the table. The table will be similar to a hall table or display table. The finished table will be approximately 30” tall, 40” long, and 14” deep.

I like something about each of the three options. However, once I chose one, it naturally excludes the possibility of one or both of the others.

Thanks Rod, for leading the way. Any other opinions?

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Pete Mohr's profile

Pete Mohr

75 posts in 2550 days


#3 posted 04-18-2012 11:54 AM

Have you seen InLace?
http://www.inlaceonline.com/

-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

View Don W's profile

Don W

17960 posts in 2029 days


#4 posted 04-18-2012 12:16 PM

I have done each of your choices. It really depends on a few factors, such as how big the crack is, what the table will be used for, etc.

If I fill the knots, I always use black. It looks natural at a casual glance.
I like contrasting wood. Just remember that it becomes the focal point.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1813 days


#5 posted 04-18-2012 01:33 PM

-- Bondo Gaposis

View derosa's profile

derosa

1568 posts in 2298 days


#6 posted 04-18-2012 02:22 PM

I would go with clear epoxy to fill it unless doing something like the inlace, maybe some of the natural stone fillers that wood turners use. I’ll probably be facing a similar issue in the future with some wood I have drying and I’ll base my decision of the size of the gaps, if they’re big enough to allow many to be filled with stone powder it’ll get that, if they are all smaller they will get clear, and anything that is just a line will get black dyed to keep it invisible.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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grizzman

7796 posts in 2765 days


#7 posted 04-18-2012 03:03 PM

i have filled cracks like these with epoxy that i colored black and it has turned out very well, Ive also seen others put turquoise rocks that had been ground into finer pieces and that looks very nice, of coarse you would have to buy some somewhere, unless you have some :)...as to these certain pieces, i don’t think i would favor a Dutchman, but that’s me…or as i have done with many pieces, i left it just as it was , as i felt it was the natural look of the wood, it wont compromise the structural integrity so that is not a problem….it sounds like you have some great ideas on how to go about this, and we’ve thrown in a few more….im looking forward to seeing what you end up doing…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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TrBlu

379 posts in 2088 days


#8 posted 04-18-2012 03:30 PM

Grizz,

This is the plank I picked up at your place. So you know the places I am talking about. You’re right. Structurally it will make no difference.

I do have some turquoise, but probably not enough to fill all of the spaces. That is a thought, if it works out where one or two of these places is in a prominent “show-off” area. Another woodturners’ trick is using coffee grounds in epoxy to fill voids. That can sometimes have a more natural look than dying the epoxy.

I agree with the comments so far that the dutchman option is probably the least favorable.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2312 days


#9 posted 04-18-2012 03:47 PM

Dutchmen are used to bridge a crack that looks like it wants to open larger. Hence the “double dovetail” look. So it wouldn’t be appropriate here at all.

I have colored epoxy with lampblack which is easy in small amounts. I wonder about using dye powder—has anyone tried that?

I can never get sawdust to be dark enough for my taste.

I like the coffee grounds idea. Is that used or new? I guess “grounds” suggests used, but thought I’d ask.

I think there are places to leave knothole type voids open but not on a table.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in 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"

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TrBlu

379 posts in 2088 days


#10 posted 04-18-2012 04:03 PM

Lee,

That is new coffee grounds. I buy the cheepest coffee available then leave the lid open, so the oils in the coffee evaporate some. I have also place coffee in a cake pan in the oven at low heat for 20-30 minutes to make sure it is dry.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

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