Sapele Side Table Completed

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Project by Greg3G posted 12-28-2008 12:29 AM 2602 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well after a busy past few weeks at the day job and trying to get ready for the flood of family coming in, I did manage to get the side table finish completed. The finish is two coats of oil/poly blend, the several coats of shellac. I finished by wet sanding to 2000 grit, an automotive rubbing compound, then two coats of wax buffed out with my polisher. The only problem now is the top is very slick and shinny. bit hard to photograph.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

11 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5057 days

#1 posted 12-28-2008 12:34 AM

Wow … that is some nice material… where did you get it ?

Great posting GREG !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6874 posts in 5054 days

#2 posted 12-28-2008 12:48 AM

Hi Greg;

The table looks great!

Excellent work!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 4914 days

#3 posted 12-28-2008 12:53 AM

Very nice table, if I may make a suggestion about the finish….

I recently discovered the miracles of oil and sandpaper and I think that would help you here. I used to try and fill pores with finish, but what a long, tedious process. I noticed that even though you went to 2k grit and polishing, the pores were still open. Thats a lot of work that doesn’t pay off when the pores have not been filled, IMHO anyway.

Try this: take a piece of 220 grit with a backer block and spread some tung oil (fresh and thin, if the can is old, chances are it has become thicker) and sand with the grain to make a slurry. You will know when you are close when the block seems to want to stick to the surface because of the added surface area, not to be confused with the stickiness of drying oil.

Now you have two options, if your slurry is pretty even, you can let the oil dry then buff with some 0000 to prepare for your topcoats. If your slurry is mounded, you may have to rub it, but the problem here is that by rubbing while the slurry is wet, you can pull it out of the pores you just filled. You can use a plastic scraper to remove the excess maybe….If you must rub it, rub sideways to minimize the pulling.

This trick was a revelation for me, and my finishes have been glass smooth ever since, and I use less paper and finish, not to mention time. Hard to beat that….Give it a shot on some dark scrap, the results are more apparent on darker woods…..There is a difference between a high gloss, and an ‘even’ high gloss, and your projects are of the caliber to warrant the added work :)

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 5160 days

#4 posted 12-28-2008 01:19 AM

Thanks all, Dan, I love the hat.

Carver, I didn’t use oil in my rub out because I didn’t have the time to wait on it to dry. With the light wet sandings, rubbing compound and wax, I was able to get a pretty smooth finish in less than an hour. (after the last coat of shellac, that only too about 20 minutes to dry. My camera nor my photography skills aren’t the best. Also the lighting in my shop isn’t set up for pictures so the shot of the top looks a lot worse than it is. Thanks for the suggestion though, I may use it on a future project when i have more time.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

164 posts in 4867 days

#5 posted 12-28-2008 01:44 AM

Well what can I say about this? Perfection personified in a finished product. Really nice work pal. But here is the real problem that I see. How do you top this one? Good luck.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5037 days

#6 posted 12-28-2008 02:33 AM

Greg, It sure came out outstanding. Great job.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5213 days

#7 posted 12-28-2008 02:34 AM

Greg -

Wow! Great looking table. I like the wood choice and the clean construction lines. Rich makes a great comment . . . how do you top this one! Wonderful photography by the way.

Carver – great suggestion . . . I will file this tip away for future use.



View Karson's profile


35273 posts in 5475 days

#8 posted 12-28-2008 05:42 AM

Greg: The wood is beautiful. Nice job you did with it. I hope that Karen is real happy.

The top sure has some cool grain patterns.

See you in a week.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Karson's profile


35273 posts in 5475 days

#9 posted 12-28-2008 05:53 AM

Sorry for stealing your post Greg but I wanted to show how I’ve done it and as Carver suggests.

I do something like you state, but I’ve used a random orbital sander and Danish Oil with some Japan Dryer and make a sanding dust mud pie I’ll use a putty knife to press it into the pores and then let it dry. Then I use a putty knive to cut it off the surface after it dries.

On this piece I couldn’t use any glue because of the contest rules so i actually filled in a split using the same material.

Click for details

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4762 days

#10 posted 12-28-2008 06:36 AM

The Ribbon Striped Sapele is gorgeous and your table design is great as well : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1930 posts in 4746 days

#11 posted 12-29-2008 05:43 AM

That ribbon stripe mahogany/sapele is hard to photograph. I think they call it chatoyance. This is a great table!! Great job!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

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