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Forum topic by birgertime posted 07-04-2014 04:02 PM 719 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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birgertime

6 posts in 167 days


07-04-2014 04:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table walnut novice slab finishing question modern

I bought what looks to me like a very nice black walnut slab and am going to finish it and use it as a table/desk and would appreciate any advice. I had it shipped to me and it arrived partially finished (the good side with one coat of danish oil & poly).

I am planning on filling in some of the holes with a wood filler, then staining the underside using some minwax wood finish, attaching the legs and then putting a few coats of wipe on poly on the top to finish it off…

I would prefer to not put a piece of wood in-between the legs and the slab, but am open to it if it will lower the chances of it splitting. Where should I place the legs to keep it from splitting? Which screws should I go with?

Does filling in some of the holes on the underside make a difference or is it a waste of time?

Any other advice would be much appreciated!

-- Dave, Nashville, TN


18 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11467 posts in 1433 days


#1 posted 07-05-2014 12:28 AM

Dave, I would not screw those legs into that slab for fear of stripping the screw holes out in that fairly soft (potentially punky) walnut. Rather, I would glue some l shaped plywood blocks about 3/4” thick to the slab and then screw to the ply blocks.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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patron

13156 posts in 2084 days


#2 posted 07-05-2014 12:35 AM

whatever you do as a finnish

do both sides and edges the same
so it will move evenly
not ‘curl’ from un-even
moisture to either side

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Monte Pittman

15448 posts in 1081 days


#3 posted 07-05-2014 12:44 AM

+1 to both previous posts.

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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lunn

207 posts in 1052 days


#4 posted 07-05-2014 01:06 PM

Counter sink a key wide enough for the legs to screw to across the slab. That way you will have stable wood to screw the legs to and prevent any cracking. Also do narrower one in the middle. They won’t be seen. I’m working a cherry slab with no cracks but i’ll be keying it just in case.

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

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TheWoodenOyster

1024 posts in 678 days


#5 posted 07-05-2014 01:11 PM

Guys above are correct. Don’t worry about filling holes in the bottom. Also, if you are real concerned about splitting, just predrill your screw holes with the appropriate drill bit.

You can put the legs wherever you want if you are just going to screw them into the plywood blocks. If you screw them straight into the walnut, try to get in from an edge a little. Typically, the closer you are to any edge, the more the wood will want to split. As the first poster said, be careful with “punky” aka soft wood. It will feel sort of spongy. Screws won’t hold in punky wood.

Good luck. Hope you become an addict like the rest of us. This is way better for you than drinking or smoking. Have fun!!!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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Clint Searl

1479 posts in 1104 days


#6 posted 07-05-2014 02:54 PM

Ignore all previous replies.

Mount the legs with PC-7 epoxy.

Finish with waterborne poly floor finish.

-- 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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birgertime

6 posts in 167 days


#7 posted 07-07-2014 03:17 PM

Thank you for the suggestions! I put about 4 coats of wipe on poly on the top this weekend and bought some 3/4 inch plywood blocks to attach the legs, though I did not notice the message about the PC-7 epoxy and bought Elmer’s wood glue max. Will that be sufficient or should i take it back and get epoxy?

The screws I have are 1 1/4 inch. Will that work or should I get something else?

I’m not very excited about how the finish looks because it doesn’t look very even. I have 400 sand paper. Would a light sand and wipe with mineral spirits smooth it out or should I put a thicker coat over the areas that do not look as glossy after sanding/wiping?

Please let me know what you think.. Thanks again!

-- Dave, Nashville, TN

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gfadvm

11467 posts in 1433 days


#8 posted 07-07-2014 03:29 PM

That wood glue should be fine for your blocks.

As far as the finish, just keep wiping more coats on the whole surface, sand lightly if you have any dust nibs, repeat until you get the finish you want. I wiped on 22 coats on the last table I posted. Get some finish on the underside as soon as you get the blocks glued on to seal the wood so it doesn’t cup!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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TiggerWood

197 posts in 350 days


#9 posted 07-07-2014 03:36 PM

I didn’t want to post on this topic because I would want to be there to access this first hand to make any decisions. I agree with lunn about counter-sinking a key for the legs. For the screws I would use some hardy 1” because I wouldn’t care for them to get into the slab. For the finish, it depends on whether you want glossy or satin. For satin I would sand with 1000 grit and wipe. For glossy, sand with even finer sand paper and then a layer of wax.

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birgertime

6 posts in 167 days


#10 posted 07-07-2014 03:57 PM

Thanks! I already put some stain/finish on the underside. How will this effect gluing the blocks to the slab?

-- Dave, Nashville, TN

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gfadvm

11467 posts in 1433 days


#11 posted 07-07-2014 06:46 PM

Glue WILL NOT bond to finish! Sand these areas back to bare wood. Epoxy may work over finish but I’ve never tried it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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birgertime

6 posts in 167 days


#12 posted 07-07-2014 06:49 PM

Great! Thanks for the info

-- Dave, Nashville, TN

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birgertime

6 posts in 167 days


#13 posted 07-07-2014 07:17 PM

Are the 3/4 inch blocks with 1 1/4 inch screws going to work well?

-- Dave, Nashville, TN

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gfadvm

11467 posts in 1433 days


#14 posted 07-07-2014 11:44 PM

Those screws should be fine with those blocks. I would predrill the screw holes being CAREFUL not to drill through the slab!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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mrjinx007

1826 posts in 511 days


#15 posted 07-08-2014 12:14 AM

Clint always appear to be rough around the edges with his replies but I like his advice after I have cooled off from his provocative comments. To be honest, I don’t think those flimsy metal legs do any justice to that slab. It is like a Jewish guy said like time ago, a house build on sand…. Think about a wooden base for that slab and take your time designing it. It can be something very special, perhaps an heirloom; not something that was rushed.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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