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Project Information

My wife works in the local school system. They had this table which at first I thought might have been a donated old poker table but after disassembly it's clearly a commercially built table and I think might have been built at a state correctional facility. I forgot to get a before photo, but it was all over the orange shellac look shown on the base pieces in photo three. It's all constructed from white oak and when my wife asked me if I could refinish it I said yes since it is all solid wood, but then she asked me if I could make it pretty…. Well,,, I had to think about it for awhile… The top is 3/4" with a 2nd layer screwed to the top to increase the thickness, yes a cross grain nightmare. Originally all pieces had a 1/8" round over including the top and the build up perimeter/apron.. it was really offensive to me. What I did to improve it;
A) I cut 3/16" off of the width of each of the 8 boards screwed underneath the top and reinstalled them
B) I used a bottom bearing 1" pattern bit to match the top to the "apron boards and eliminate the groove from the apron and the top having an 1/8" inch round over
C) Using a table top round over bit I cut in a round over into the top creating a 1/8" reveal to the top surface
D) sand all pieces to bare wood to 220 grit
E) Dye the 6 pieces of the base, (assembled with lag screws) with a dark mission brown WB dye
F) shoot a coat of WB poly over all pieces
G) using a 60* V bit cut the reed-ing in the 4 vertical pieces of the base
H) Shoot another coat of WB poly on all pieces
I) sand with 400 grit & shoot final coat
J) paste wax and buff top

It's not a fine piece of furniture, and since it's going back into an elementary school environment I did poly the hell out of it but I figure it has at least another 30 years in the school



28,289 Posts
Nice restoration!!

4,766 Posts
Great job