Help with reclaimed lumber jointing and finishing

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Forum topic by fkudlack posted 02-15-2013 09:21 AM 1051 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1922 days

02-15-2013 09:21 AM

Hey All,

My father is a contractor so I have alway been around wood, mostly framing. Now that i’m out of the house and starting my own family I have gravitated to the finer side of woodworking. As I have built stuff for my home, friends and neighbors are now asking them if I could build them some things and pay for it. Which is great but as a slight perfectionist I get nervous now building things for other people. I feel pretty confident in my craftsmanship but I don’t feel that my finishing is as good as it could be. I am currently making a table top out of 2” thick reclaimed pine joists for my neighbor and am unsure how to finish it. I wanted to darken it slightly so I was thinking of hitting it with some BLO. Then I’m not sure what top coat to apply, I am very close to a woodcraft location and I was looking at using something from General Finishes. I am stuck between their enduro pre-cat Ure, arm r seal, polyacrylic, and enduro-var. Everywhere I read something people give so many options its hard to come to a conclusion. I like the idea of waterbased product for the smell reduction and easier cleanup. Also I recieved the rockler hvlp sprayer for chirstmas and I will be using that. I know its a low enty level but I have gotten better result with that than I have with a brush. Back to the point, are any of those finishes automaticaly out because I am spraying? The wood surface is rough with nail hole, the original mill saw marks, and 150yrs of age so I think a brush would be torn apart brushing a finish on that type of surface any way. Does alot of finishes pretty much get you to the same result and its just a matter of preffernce or are a lot of them really better for certain application?
I live in south eastern PA and reclaimed barn wood and old factory tear down is easly available and I am using that alot and want to be able to get a professional finish that will stand up to eveyday use as a table. Also this raises another question I have, most of the reclaimed wood needs to have a lot of material removed to be edge glued and flattened(especially siding and roof boards). I want to limit that becuse you loose so much of the patina and the age. Can I joint, cut, and smooth enough to get reasonably flat surface and edges and use just battens to join the boards? Preparing the wood that way wouldn’t leave me the ability to glue them. Well I could but I think it would be a disaster. Is that an exceptable way to assemble something that is being paid for? I also thought going the batten root in addiion to keeping the boards looking more original it would be easier on the seasonal movement of the wood.

Thanks -Frank

1 reply so far

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17380 posts in 3001 days

#1 posted 02-15-2013 01:33 PM

First off – welcome to the gang.

There’s a lot of qustions in your post that i certainly dont have the authority to answer but ill help out as much as i can. BLO on pine might get a little blotchy on you. A conditioner / pore filler of some sort should be used. Charles Neil’s blotch control product is well mentioned around here and dewaxed shellac is also another option, you can use poly over both. Finishing is a fickle beast, youve got to do what works for you because everyone has opinions and theres a ton of chemistry behind it. Test it all out on scraps.

Before i went with battens on a “for pay” project i would certainly speak with the customer about it so that their expectations can be met in exchange for their dollar.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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