Slab finishing advice? (pics)

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 11-19-2013 07:29 PM 1865 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eddie's profile


212 posts in 1920 days

11-19-2013 07:29 PM

Hey guys,

I am nearing the end of my slab coffee table (poplar).
I think I have decided to use a danish oil followed by a wipe-on poly.

I wanted to ask if those of you with danish oil experience could way in on color.

In the picture I used mineral spirits to clean up the saw dust.
The figure really started to show up.

Would you consider using a Natural, Light Walnut, or other colored danish oil?

Which would you expect to show off the grain and figure the most?

7 replies so far

View MaroonGoon's profile


281 posts in 1928 days

#1 posted 11-19-2013 07:34 PM

Wow that poplar has some beautiful figure. Great find.

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4910 posts in 3930 days

#2 posted 11-19-2013 07:55 PM

Given the color that the wood shows naturally, I’d stay with the natural Watco. Be SURE to allow the oil to cure for a minimum of 72 hours after the final coat(s) or the top coat will have adhesion probs.
If you use an oil based wipe on it will tend to yellow in time. If that is a prob for you, consider a water based final finish.
BTW, that’s the best lookin’ piece of poplar I’ve seen. Be sure to post final pics.


View chrisstef's profile


17312 posts in 2976 days

#3 posted 11-19-2013 08:03 PM

That chunk of poplar is amazing. Ill echo what Bill has to say. I wouldn’t alter the color in any way personally.

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

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8513 posts in 1952 days

#4 posted 11-19-2013 08:08 PM

Danish is my preferred stain/coloring agents. And I agree with what Bill said. Natural danish oil. Flood it. Wait 30 min wipe off. Wait 72 hours, then start building up the poly.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Eddie's profile


212 posts in 1920 days

#5 posted 11-19-2013 08:51 PM

Thank guys!

I bought this from a guy off craigslist ($45!) who cut the slab with a homemade chainsaw mill. It was really rough and took a long time to flatten and smooth (i did it all with my old hand planes).
I used my ROS at the very end because the grain direction was making it really tough to plane without tearout.
You could only see a small amount of the quilted figure when I bought it, so when I started planing and then using the mineral spirits, I have been pleasently surprised!

I will follow your advice on the Natural danish oil. After 72 hours do you recommend going right to the poly or additional coats of the danish oil?
Do you think the danish oil will firm up the poplar?

View Don W's profile

Don W

18686 posts in 2537 days

#6 posted 11-20-2013 03:05 AM

I’ve cut a quite a bit of poplar, I’ve never had a piece like that. I don’t mind normal poplar natural, but that piece will really pop.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2331 days

#7 posted 11-20-2013 01:44 PM

I think the light-dark figure is so pronounced that it looks a bit garish. Better to use a kinda mahogany dye stain to pull things together and give it some richness, followed by a water white clear coat in a medium sheen.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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