I’m near completion a sofa table but haven’t figured out my finishing strategy and am hoping for some advice. The base is cherry and the top is quartersawn sycamore, which has fabulous grain but is giving me severe tear-out issues. My garage sale #4 smoother isn’t doing the job, nor the Veritas bevel up smoother. I haven’t experimented with higher pitch blades, but was thinking this is the time to attack. Do the hand toolers have any suggestions on increasing the primary blade angle v. honing a back bevel?
For the finish- I’d like to pop the grain but am ambivalent about committing to a dye. It’s hard to shell out $20 just to get a sample board! Wondering if an oil-based finish will be sufficient. I’ve liked Vermont Natural Coatings’ PolyWhey as a topcoat for other projects but question its durability against scratches, hot drinks, alcohol, etc. I don’t have a sprayer nor plan to invest for this project. Also contemplating Waterlox, but can’t stand the VOCs. Any suggestions?