Finish before or after assembly?

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Forum topic by Babieca posted 04-14-2014 01:46 AM 588 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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120 posts in 927 days

04-14-2014 01:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing mortise and tenon oak shaker

I’m working on a shaker inspired coffee table (and end tables) and am a little stumped about how to proceed.

I plan to finish it with a light stain and several coats of wipe on poly. I’m not sure if it would be better to glue it up and then stain and poly the whole thing or to do the individual pieces and then put it together with he finish on it.

If I do the finish before putting it together, what is the best way to protect the mortises and tenons? Just masking tape? Do I need to mask the shoulders and the area around the mortise?

I’m a little worried that if I finish after it’s glued up, I’ll have a hard time getting in the nooks and crannies.

It’s red oak from the big blue box.

2 replies so far

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1869 days

#1 posted 04-14-2014 01:34 PM

This question seems to have already been answered before:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Earlextech's profile


1159 posts in 2113 days

#2 posted 04-14-2014 02:20 PM

Finish first, blue tape to cover glue joints.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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