Walnut Coffee Table #6: Crossing the "Finish" Line

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Blog entry by Lifesaver2000 posted 02-01-2012 01:25 AM 1481 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Final Glue-up Complete Part 6 of Walnut Coffee Table series Part 7: Project Completed »

Despite a slow down due to cold weather, I have been able to get bits and pieces done, to where I can see the end is in sight for this project.

Since my last post, I was able to get the glue scraping done on the top, get the corners rounded, round over the edge and get the whole top sanded down to 220. Even without any finish, this made a lot of difference in the look, and I really like it.

Over the course of a few days, I also finished sanding the drawer boxes and the main base of the table, and was able to rough cut the four boards that will make the drawer fronts.

While on the subject of scraping the glue, I made a bit of a discovery (for me at least). I have often seen woodworking videos with card scrapers used to finish the wood,thought that would be a handy thing to have, but have never gotten around to getting one. Well, as I was scraping the glue from the joints in my table top using my paint scraper, I realized that I was getting a lot of wood on the spots where the joints were a bit uneven. In the past I had used a block plane when working with pine or oak to even the joints, but this cheap paint scraper was making fast work of the joint, and leaving a very smooth, tear-out free surface to boot. In no time I had the joints in my top completely smooth and even, ready to final sanding.

All of that was done late last week. Thanks to some very nice weather for January (high of 66 today) I have made much more rapid progress this week. Yesterday the drawer fronts were worked down to final dimensions. I also rounded three edges, and used a cove bit to create a finger hold on the under side of the board for pulling out the drawer. I then sprayed a light coat of shellac over the drawer boxes, then I cleaned up the shop and made preparations for today’s work.

Today has been all about finishing. First thing this morning, I gave a final wipe down to everything, then brushed on some polyurethane on the middle part of the underside of the table top and the inside of the drawer fronts (you can see the different areas on the drawer front picture above). These areas won’t be seen so I didn’t want to “waste” the Watco Danish Oil I am using for finishing, but I didn’t want to leave one side of these pieces unfinished for a week and end up with bowing or curling.

Finishing has always been a weak spot for me, even when it has just been painting shelves for the house. But using this oil has worked very well. I followed the directions on the can, and it came out great. Now I plan to wait a week and then apply a few coats of polyurethane for durability. I know the can says it can be top coated in just 72 hours, but I want to be extra careful so will give it a full week or more.

Oh, the purplish spots in these photos seem to be reflections of the flash. And what looks like a crack in that one side panel is just a spot where the wood changes from heartwood to sapwood. It is actually more subtle in person, and gives it a nice character.

1 comment so far

View Ken90712's profile


17798 posts in 3756 days

#1 posted 02-01-2012 07:46 PM

Looking great , photos can be a challenage to show how great your projects are coming.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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