Reply by Rich

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Posted on Burl table top

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5880 posts in 1440 days

#1 posted 03-13-2018 05:31 AM

Smart man. A router sled is a great way to flatten pieces like that. I do mesquite rounds that way.

LittleShaver gives some excellent advice. What I do is to fill the voids with epoxy. Since epoxy with black pigment is pretty much the norm for mesquite, that’s what I use. Get a good epoxy, like West Systems or System Three. I’ve found that the epoxy at the big box stores is too viscous. The good stuff flows better. If you do the epoxy fill properly, then it’ll be completely stable. You can add butterflies for decoration, but they aren’t necessary.

One thing you’ll realize when you’re done is to do the epoxy fill before you flatten the top. It’s good to flatten the bottom so the tape will stick to keep the epoxy from leaking, but it’s easier to do the top after the fill so the epoxy gets leveled with the wood. No big deal to do it now, you’ll just lose a bit of wood you didn’t need to.

Tape off the bottom and do the pours in stages. If you try to fill it completely, the epoxy will run out. Pour it maybe 1/4” deep and let it gel. You don’t need to wait for it to fully cure, just let it get firm so it won’t run. You’ll also need to tape off the sides, and that’s more difficult to do to keep the epoxy from leaking.

Regarding the bark, I take it off. And finally the finish. Something like Waterlox is great, but there are lots of choices.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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