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Forum topic by Dannnyh posted 09-11-2014 10:36 PM 883 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dannnyh

29 posts in 852 days


09-11-2014 10:36 PM

Hi All

I am in the process of making a oak table for outside, see below thread

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/63093

I have sanded the top down and it is pretty smooth, but is not completely flat.

Do I

a) Leave it as it is, as it is going to be an outside table that will be used only occasionally.

b) Or will it annoy the hell out of me if I don’t get it flat before I use it ?

It also has some pretty major cracks in it which I need to deal with, the two splits in each end I am planning to bowtie, but am unsure how to deal with the other smaller cracks within the main body of the wood see the pitures below.

Do I

a) leave them alone

b) Fill with glue/sawdust mixture (will this affect the finish ?)

c) use resin ?

TIA

Dan


15 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

372 posts in 2073 days


#1 posted 09-11-2014 10:58 PM

What climate do you live in? Unless it is somewhere with VERY little humidity like Arizona this table is not going to last very long.

These splits are all going to get bigger over time and the whole thing will grow fungus eventually and start to rot. Keeping it off the ground will help but it is quite inevitable unless you plan to run out and take it in EVERY single time it is going to rain or gather dew etc.

My advice would be to not use this for an outdoor table and instead to get a more stabilized piece of lumber for that.

If for some reason you absolutely insist on using it as an outdoor table then I would just accept the fact it has cracks and I wouldn’t bother smoothing it down overmuch. It is going to expand and contract so much that anything you dump in those cracks will get pushed out or open up more and leave a bigger crack depending on changes in the seasons.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#2 posted 09-11-2014 11:11 PM

being perfectly flat would be a personal preference. My kitchen table is 200 year old rough sawn. It doesn’t bother me.

What kind of oak s it? it makes a big difference. If its white oak, it will outlive all of us. If its red oak, but a good marine varnish on it.

bow ties for sure.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1725 days


#3 posted 09-11-2014 11:31 PM

I would use bowties on the end checks and epoxy for the others. Epoxy can be colored black and is quite attractive that way. If the cracks go all the way through apply tape on the bottom to act as a dam. Also, if they are really deep, you will need to apply the epoxy in 2-3 sessions. Sand it smooth before it has totally cured.

-- Art

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#4 posted 09-11-2014 11:44 PM

If the cracks are not filled, the whole thing will last maybe 3-4 years before it rots no matter what you protect it with; unless it has some roof-like protection.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#5 posted 09-12-2014 01:33 AM

Firewood!

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

View woodjunkie's profile

woodjunkie

35 posts in 2136 days


#6 posted 09-12-2014 01:48 AM

I like it. Bowtie the ends and enjoy it for the 3 or 4 years it has and then build a new one.

-- He: Can I get the plans for that? Me: Plans???

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#7 posted 09-12-2014 01:52 AM

Yep

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Dannnyh's profile

Dannnyh

29 posts in 852 days


#8 posted 09-12-2014 09:42 AM

Hi all

Thanks for your mostly helpful responses !

I am in the UK so that tells you all you need to know about our climate !

I am not sure what type of oak it is, not sure how you would find out either ?

I am planning on keeping the table in the garage during the worse months, It will be dry but the moisture content in the air will vary. There will be occasions when it gets wet even in the summer.

As this will be my first attempt at making a piece of furniture, I will use it to practice some new techniques like the bow ties, if the table gives up after a few years then that will just give me an excuse to build another one, luckily as the base is steel I will be able to reuse it and just replace the top.

My last project was building the curved roof for my shed so this is a bit different.

Thanks Dan

View jinkyjock's profile

jinkyjock

487 posts in 1042 days


#9 posted 09-12-2014 10:29 AM

Hi Dan,
recently built a White Oak bench for outdoor use.
Filled in knots, holes & defects with a combination of Walnut sawdust
and 2pack epoxy resin.
Came out really dark and a nice contrast with Oak.
As Don W said, finished with 3 coats of Yacht Varnish.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

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Dannnyh

29 posts in 852 days


#10 posted 09-12-2014 10:39 AM

Thanks James, you got any pictures ?

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#11 posted 09-12-2014 02:39 PM

If you take it indoors, then you are good to go.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#12 posted 09-12-2014 02:48 PM

If it’s going to spend time outside, I would first stabilize the cracks with several Dutchman patches and then cover the entire thing with either a thick spar varnish (and reapply as needed). That, or pour on a two part epoxy, making sure to fill the cracks to prevent further degradation

View Dannnyh's profile

Dannnyh

29 posts in 852 days


#13 posted 09-12-2014 03:01 PM

can you cover the whole table with the epoxy ?

Would you be able to apply any other finish under it first ?

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#14 posted 09-12-2014 09:09 PM



can you cover the whole table with the epoxy ?

Would you be able to apply any other finish under it first ?

- Dannnyh

There are several epoxy finishes.

I had some pine Adirondack chairs that I finished with marine varnish. they were outside year round here in the north east. Every 4 or 5 years they would get a fresh coat. They lasted 25 years and would have lasted longer had I not stopped maintaining them.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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Dannnyh

29 posts in 852 days


#15 posted 09-12-2014 09:48 PM

Thanks Don, seeing you are in NY your weather isn’t that different to ours in the UK.

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