LumberJocks

Walnut Table Top Question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by richardwootton posted 01-18-2013 09:17 AM 1409 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


01-18-2013 09:17 AM

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here at Lumber Jocks, but I’ve been reading the forums for a while. Here are the beginnings of my new table. This is a photo of the table top I glued up on Monday. I thought the figured walnut was really pretty and worth sharing. The white strip is just a 1/2” piece of poplar (because I didn’t have any Maple) that I thought added a nice visual design element. Let me know what you guys think.

However, someone on another forum suggested that the dark walnut sanding dust might contaminate the poplar. Does any one have any experience with a similar situation? Or do you have any suggestions on how to prevent any contamination? Any info is really appreciated.

Thanks,

Richard

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training


22 replies so far

View Kelby's profile

Kelby

133 posts in 1078 days


#1 posted 01-18-2013 09:41 AM

The problem happens when the lighter wood is porous, in which case the sanding dust from the darker wood gets into the pores of the lighter wood and thus “contaminates” it.

I don’t use poplar, so I can’t say whether it is porous enough to cause problems. Usually, people use maple as a light contrasting wood with walnut, and maple is not porous so it does not create a problem.

If you are concerned, there are a few options.

One is to cut out the poplar and replace it with maple. :)

Two is to put a coat of shellac on the poplar while it is “uncontaminated”, and that should provide pretty good protection against the walnut sanding dust.

Three—- and this is what I would do—is sand the top until you are happy with it, then use a card scraper to scrape the poplar and surrounding area until it’s as fresh and clean as you want it. Then apply the finish.

-- Kelby

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1517 days


#2 posted 01-18-2013 04:40 PM

Poplar can be annoyingly soft, Richard. I think finishing is going to be frustrating not only for the contamination potential noted above, but also because it just doesn’t work up like walnut.

I don’t think it’s unworkable, I’d just like you to be prepared for what may be less than optimal results. In either case, there’s a whole lot of learning going on here, and that’s what it’s all about in my book.

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"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15702 posts in 2885 days


#3 posted 01-18-2013 04:50 PM

I sort of agree with Lee. Work with it and learn from it.

I don’t think contamination will be a huge problem with those two wood types. One think I have found that works pretty well is to apply a shop vac nozzle to the lighter wood after sanding. That will pull most of the darker dust right out.

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

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1825 days


#4 posted 01-18-2013 04:52 PM

I think Kelby nailed it. If this were porous like white oak, you’d have an issue with sanding dust getting in the pores. Otherwise, you might be safe. I did this recently with ebony inlays in QSWO and you have to be careful to work the ebony mostly BEFORE it is inlayed for this reason.

Poplar, though softer, works a lot like maple from that standpoint…and we’ve all done a bunch of walnut/maple pieces without much issue.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#5 posted 01-18-2013 04:53 PM

Thanks for the input guys. I’ve got to go back to our local hardwoods store this weekend and get the maple for the aprons so I might just go ahead and get a little extra in case the poplar doesn’t end up working out.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#6 posted 01-18-2013 05:52 PM

I talked to my lumber guy and he has some curly and quilted soft Maple. I’m guessing that’ll be a better option. I wish I’d have thought of this before I did my glue up. Live and learn!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#7 posted 01-19-2013 08:38 PM

I picked up some nice curly maple today for the aprons so if the Poplar does become contaminated too badly then I’ll just cut it out and replace it with the maple.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View USMCSergeant's profile

USMCSergeant

28 posts in 622 days


#8 posted 01-22-2013 06:12 AM

I hope you post a pic of the results. The movement in the walnut is beautiful!

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1053 posts in 686 days


#9 posted 01-22-2013 01:53 PM

Hey Richard, I was hoping to see an update too. Post pics when available.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1201 posts in 963 days


#10 posted 01-22-2013 02:14 PM

I agree with the point about it being soft. If a few dents in the poplar strip down the road will bother you in the future I’d replace it with maple now. If not then forge ahead.

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#11 posted 01-22-2013 07:15 PM

Well I decided to go ahead and rip the poplar strip out and use some beautiful curly maple instead. I got sidetracked rough cutting my aprons, squaring my legs, and stabilizing/filling a couple of knots in the Walnut with a 2-part epoxy that I didn’t get around to regluing the top! I’ll post a picture or two of the maple a little later on though.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#12 posted 01-22-2013 09:45 PM

Here’s a picture of one of the Curly Maple boards I bought. I can’t wait to see this finished.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#13 posted 01-22-2013 09:45 PM

Unfortunately the figure doesn’t show up quite as well in the photo as it does in person.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 953 days


#14 posted 01-22-2013 10:07 PM

Curly maple… gotta love that stuff!

-- John, BC, Canada

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1277 posts in 622 days


#15 posted 01-22-2013 11:11 PM

I know it! This is the first time I have ever worked with it, but I sure am glad I found some one who carries a lot of nice clear curly.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase