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Poly choice and why

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Forum topic by tri4funnow posted 12-04-2013 04:13 AM 1757 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tri4funnow

12 posts in 1096 days


12-04-2013 04:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question bubinga purpleheart wenge mahogany padauk maple walnut zebrawood biscuit joiner miter saw router clamp sander tablesaw

So I’m new to wood working and tackled a big second project…dinning room table. Things came out pretty good and got it in the house the day before thanksgiving…however I haven’t finished it yet. It was a bit of an undertaking for a newbie woodworker. I’m going to make some benches to go with it next.

Help area #1
I am pretty sure I want to use poly but I don’t know which one or the recommended methods of application and sanding. I would like to know your recipe and why you do it that way. The table will be our daily use table. We hope to have a kid or two soon.

Help area #2
In a few areas I didn’t do the best job of closing the small gaps between the woods when I glued them together. I’m looking for recommendations on how to fill in these small gaps ( at the greatest 1mm) and why you prefer your method.

Woods: 8/4 – hard maple, bubinga, Purple Heart, jatoba, leopard wood, African mahogany, American walnut, iroko, zebra wood, padauk, wenge

~500 biscuits (these guys are a life saver)

Sanded to 1000 grit

Total weight ~300kg
My wife’s desire for this table came from Ariele Lasko’s designs http://brooklyntowest.blogspot.com

-- Holy crap I need a lot of help, but I am loving the journey!


25 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1822 days


#1 posted 12-04-2013 02:02 PM

Fill the gaps with epoxy. Finish with waterborne poly floor finish – Bona Mega.

-- 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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NoLongerHere

893 posts in 2136 days


#2 posted 12-04-2013 02:27 PM

Welcome to LJ.

I am not the best at finishing but I’m getting better. I read a post the other day about Waterlox brand OB varnish.
I’ve used OB Minwax varnish in the past but, I swear the formula has changed and now I hate it.

I prefer the oil base because I like the amber color and thickness of the finish compared to water base.

It seems like the best way to finish your lovely work will be to spray it with a good HVLP sprayer. If you brush it on, it’s gonna show brush marks and different shades of sheen. You won’t be happy with it.

As far as the cracks go, I don’t know what to recommend without seeing it. There is a good chance more will open up with this crazy pattern. You could fill it with matching wood epoxy putty but you’d have to blue tape it over lighter colors or it will show. Another idea is to fill with color sticks between coats of varnish.

Cool table! .... Be sure to keep us up to date with a picture of it finished.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3928 posts in 1954 days


#3 posted 12-04-2013 03:14 PM

Man, for a second project you really nailed it! Well done! I dislike anything “poly” except floors. The polyurethane resin’s greatest attribute is scratch resistance, making it ideal for floors. But to my eyes it has a plastic appearance on wood, and the urethanes do cause some adhesion problems. I would use a good non-poly varnish. Someone else mentioned Waterlox, and it would be an excellent choice. So would Sherwin Williams Fast Dry Oil Varnish, or if you can find it Pratt and Lambert #38 varnish. You mentioned being a “new” to woodworking; and I would guess you’re also new to this kind of finishing, so try your skills on some scrap before you tackle the table.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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woodkandy

53 posts in 1339 days


#4 posted 12-04-2013 04:21 PM

I have to agree that you Totally nailed this! Super job. Prepare yourself for tons of compliments from house guests.

-- Kandy, Alberta, Canada

View tri4funnow's profile

tri4funnow

12 posts in 1096 days


#5 posted 12-05-2013 03:06 AM

What are the benefits of oil based finishes over poly?

Here are images of the gaps I need to fill:

-- Holy crap I need a lot of help, but I am loving the journey!

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tri4funnow

12 posts in 1096 days


#6 posted 12-05-2013 03:14 AM

I can get the Pratt and Lambert #38 in town. Is it clear?

-- Holy crap I need a lot of help, but I am loving the journey!

View Bobsboxes's profile

Bobsboxes

1107 posts in 2124 days


#7 posted 12-05-2013 03:20 AM

Great project, I would fill gaps with epoxy. If you are finishing this inside the house, use water based poly. It tends to be thin so use she several coats. It dries quick and less toxic. Good luck. I did a set of kitchen cupboards several years ago with water base and they still look super. Any damage, just sand lightly and recoat.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View tri4funnow's profile

tri4funnow

12 posts in 1096 days


#8 posted 12-05-2013 03:24 AM

I’ll be finishing it in a garage. May try to make a “clean area” to help limit dust

-- Holy crap I need a lot of help, but I am loving the journey!

View wisardd1's profile

wisardd1

29 posts in 2396 days


#9 posted 12-11-2013 04:41 AM

I would use colored wax finishing pencils after finishing.. I wouldn’t tinker too much with it. If you use epoxy have some acetone on hand for clean up. If it were mine and considering you sanded to 1000, I would carefully fill with poly then use deft natural as the finish coat.

-- Hopefully, these gifts shall last much longer than I

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wisardd1

29 posts in 2396 days


#10 posted 12-11-2013 05:10 AM

You might try wood slivers first

-- Hopefully, these gifts shall last much longer than I

View tri4funnow's profile

tri4funnow

12 posts in 1096 days


#11 posted 12-11-2013 06:19 AM

Ok, based on some feedback here and via some other wood workers, I may have shifted my thoughts…

Many have suggested making a wood filler via sawdust and diluted wood glue until I get a thick wood heavy past. This allows for color/wood matching to fill the small gaps.

On finishing, several people suggest a single coat of shellac to fix the grain/fibers followed by waterlox, Pratt and Lambert #38, or similar and then rubbing out the final.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Also, is the smooth (1000 grit) surface a problem for this type of finish…several people have told me I have overdone it…is that just because it was a lot of work or have a jacked it up and need to go back over it with 320 grit to create some surface structure?

Thank you. This community has been extremely helpful.

James

-- Holy crap I need a lot of help, but I am loving the journey!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1822 days


#12 posted 12-11-2013 04:54 PM

LJs is replete with advice that ranges from experienced knowledge to the incomprehensibly absurd, as this discussion proves, so do what ever makes you happy.

-- 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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mahdee

3548 posts in 1228 days


#13 posted 12-11-2013 05:48 PM

Nothing wrong with the 1000 grit sanding; it should make your poly application faster and that is important because you want continuous application from end to end with overlaps. Poly can be very tricky if you want a nice finish on that table. Allow a few days, or better yet few weeks to sand in between coats. If there are visible brush marks, last coat can be sanded from 400 to 2000 depending on how much gloss you want on it. Use water with a few drops of dish soap in it while wet sanding the last coat. Good luck and a beautiful job on the table.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View wisardd1's profile

wisardd1

29 posts in 2396 days


#14 posted 12-16-2013 09:09 PM

I suggest mixing your filler with wharever finish you are going to use. Makes a perfect blend

-- Hopefully, these gifts shall last much longer than I

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2430 days


#15 posted 12-16-2013 10:51 PM

Wood slivers for filler, same species, same grain orientation. Glue and sawdust as a filler goes dark. I don’t think any finish would stick to polished wood, this is what you’d get sanding down to p1000. p180/220 is sufficient. Be aware that if you rub out the finish on that table (i.e. to achieve a super high gloss finish), any bumps between joints are going to scream out at you. Also, if someone is wrapping Christmas presents and hanging the roll of tape off the table, it will pull the poly off.

If it was my job, and I was about to finish it, I would sand to p180, tack cloth the dust with ms, apply oil based matt poly by brush straight out of the can, go over it with foam roller to reduce brush marks. Light sand to p220 to de-nib when dry, tack cloth, apply another coat, repeat. Leave third coat to dry give a light sand with p600 wet or dry paper and another quick rub with 0000 wire wool to give a satin sheen. Don’t bother with wax.

Clint, I admire your honesty.

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