Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Finishing solid timber 'side table"

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1368 posts in 1843 days

#1 posted 02-26-2017 04:11 PM

Jeff B.,

Some options for easing the edges are…

1) Breaking the edges with a light sanding, leaving the appearance of a sharp 90 degree.

2) A round over or cove. Depending on the depth of cut, a fillet could be introduced to the profile.

3) A chamfer with an angled router bit, probably a 45 degree angle. It could be chamfered from one end to the other or it could be a stopped chamfer where the chamfers end in lambs tongues. The remaining un-chamfered edges could be broken with sand paper.

I would probably only break the edges at the top and bottom to maximize the surface for those accumulating beer cans. But if you elect to profile the edges around the top, clamping a sacrificial backer board to the side of the block of wood that sets flush with the end of the block of wood where the router bit will exit the cut could reduce tear out.

Here is a link that provides are overview of finishing options. I would probably steer clear of shellac as the final top coat since, as I understand shellac, it can soften in the presence of alcoholic. I would also continue applying finish, one layer at a time with curing time in between, until the end grain no long absorbs finish. The end grain will really soak up the first couple of coats of finish.

Filling the checks before proceeding to the finishing would be a good idea since coating all the wood surfaces within those checks would be next to impossible.

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