|Forum topic by phillyB||posted 01-30-2015 02:45 PM||1217 views||0 times favorited||25 replies|
01-30-2015 02:45 PM
Hello! So I’m a long time lurker…First time posting. I’m in Charlotte, NC and have become addicted to woodworking slowly but surely over the last year and a half. Learned a lot and it’s been fun…Have a whole lot more to learn!
TL;DR: My grandparents table which I inherited and was going to refinished is badly twisted and I need to fix it!
So about 6 months ago I was given my grandparents dining room table which they’ve had in use for about 50 years. It’s just pine and was stained and poly’d…nothing terribly expensive it’s a nice table and I would like to keep it in the family for another 50 years. It’s in rough shape and not to my wife’s liking color-wise right now so we were going to fix it up.
The plan was to strip it and refinish it…Simple task! I’ve done a number of finishing projects over the last year and figured it’s as simple as stripping the poly, sanding it down a little, sanding back to smooth, staining, and reapply poly. Well I’d never refinished a table top and I did not do my research…
The table was stored in a warehouse for about a year before I got it, detached from the bottom and legs sitting on a pallet. I don’t know what the humidity was like in the warehouse. When I got it, I began working on it in my garage in the summer heat. I took the top coat of poly off first and began sanding. A few days (or a week, I can’t remember at this point…Worked on it on my days off) later I flipped it and stripped and sanded the bottom. The bottom wasn’t really poly sealed like the top and was very rough, never really finished.
So…I go to start smoothing it out with a higher grit and I notice that it’s all out of whack. At first I thought that I had sanded unevenly, but I knew I was very careful to keep a steady pace and not to linger in one spot. Surely I hadn’t done this much damage to the table! So after reading up on fixing table tops that are warped/cupped/twisted, I come to learn that I shouldn’t have taken one side off at a time and I should have kept airflow moving on both sides. Doh! I also wonder if it became somewhat warped while sitting on the pallet in the warehouse for a year? Not sure if it would do this if it was still sealed with poly but didn’t have airflow on both sides.
Needless to say I’ve tried to even it out with a jack plane and a belt sander but I feel like it’s too much to make any significant progress without taking off a ton of thickness because of the way it is warped on each side. What is the best way to proceed?
I’ve read of techniques such as attaching it to the apron and wetting it? If I do this, how do I know that it won’t warp even worse or become some other crazy shape? I’m in NC and the table is in my garage now, temp stays around 40-50 this time of year in there. Also, how much water do I put on it? Just barely wetting it or coating it with standing water all around?
I’ve also seen that I can make a router sled and level it out that way…I feel like if I do this then I’m going to cut the thickness of the table in half because it is so bad on both sides, not just one.
There’s also a small crack on the top of the table top about 6” in from the edge forming…Some wood filler? Better idea to keep it from getting worse? Should I worry about it at all if I can get it flattened out and sealed up?
What is my best chance at getting this thing straightened out? I’m kind of desperate at this point and I really don’t want to be the one in my family who volunteered to take grandma and grandpa’s table to refinish it and then ruined it!
Thanks in advance!