A small conference table - the build #4: The top is ready for finish

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Al Navas posted 02-02-2009 05:03 AM 7252 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The top is ready for sanding Part 4 of A small conference table - the build series Part 5: Glue-ups, surface flatness, anxiety, and 100X-200X magnification »

From my blog:


The table top is back, cut to final length, and sanded (sorry, no chance to take photos of my friend’s amazing shop).

I beveled the edges, using a table edge bit for the topside, and a small, 1/8-inch roundover for the bottom side. Routing the top bevel free-hand requires much care and concentration, as this bit is large:

The bevel profile:

I am very pleased with the overall appearance of this table top. The bevel will provide a much better feel on the arms than a normal table edge:

Hopefully you will get a sense of the size of this router bit. The router base plate is one of two that came with my DeWalt 618, and has the largest opening – the bit’s cutting diameter is 2-1/2 inches:

To use such a large-diameter bit one must reduce the router speed to around 10,000-12,000 RPM. In addition, I suggest shallow cuts. I took four passes to route the entire profile.

Now the table is ready for the first coast of Zinsser’s Seal Coat. I will apply using a lint-free rag. This results in application of a very thin film of shellac on the oak.

Now, some neat stuff about finishing oak with waterborne coatings – and the reason you pay to access my blog (just kidding…!):

1. White oak, and especially red oak, have high tannin content. White oak may or may not be marginal. This high tannin content makes them acidic.
2. The typical waterborne coatings are very high pH, typically pH 10 or higher.
3. Applying the typical waterborne coating directly on the surface of the oak can cause nasty reactions. For example, it is possible to get bridging and pinholing.
4. Therefore, a work-around is needed.
5. Enter: Zinsser’s Seal Coat dewaxed shellac. I apply two very thin coats using a lint-free cloth. I allow it to fry for two hours, sand between coats to 320 grit, and then apply my waterborne coating.
6. For this table I will use Target Coatings’ new Emtech 2000wvx alkyd.
7. My client liked the finish on the half-scale tables. As a result, I will use the same finish, and apply 4 coats minimum , using a Fuji Q3 Pro HVLP system.
8. The EM200wvx imparts a very nice straw color to the white oak. And it looks great on walnut (the legs of this table).

Related posts:

The full-size table is ready for sanding

The full-size table: Gluing up the top

The full-size table: The beginning

My entry in the Lumberjocks Winter 2009 Woodworking Awards

Thanks for reading, and following along this build!


-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

2 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4986 days

#1 posted 02-02-2009 05:25 AM

Nice job on the top, Al. It looks good and it certainly pays to have a friend with a wide belt sander. You could have done it yourself but, in all likelihood, you would still be sanding.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 5039 days

#2 posted 02-02-2009 03:56 PM

Thanks, Scott. I am glad I let the big sander handle this one.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics