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Forum topic by coalcracker posted 02-22-2019 03:45 PM 241 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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coalcracker

3 posts in 25 days


02-22-2019 03:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sycamore slab table finish

Hi all,

Inspired by a cookie slab from a sycamore tree cut down in front of my house a couple years ago, I have decided to embark on my first real foray into woodworking by creating an end table. The approx 40” diameter slab has been drying in my basement and should be dry enough to begin work in a few months. I plan to build a router sled to flatten it out, then sand it down and probably attach some simple metal legs. But my question here is related to the finishing.

In reading this forum and watching woodworking videos on youtube, I get the message that finishing can be equally if not more important than all of my other prep work, so I want to get it right. I have VERY limited experience with finishing (I made a wood threshold once with minwax stain and polyurethane), so I’m looking for a technique that is novice-friendly. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other samples of sycamore from that tree on which to test the finish before I use it on the slab. Fingers crossed!

I anticipate moderate use of this table (books, drinks with coasters) and it will likely get a good amount of indirect sunlight.

Basically I’d love to hear your suggestions on what to use. The simplest option seems like a wipe on polyurethane, with rattle can spray lacquer a step up in difficulty.

Should I consider using boiled linseed oil or tung oil to bring out the grain before a topcoat?

If you have any specific suggestions for sycamore, all the better.

Thanks!
cc


5 replies so far

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a1Jim

117531 posts in 3874 days


#1 posted 02-22-2019 04:28 PM

Welcome to Ljs
Depending on how thick it is your slab may not be ready to use for some time longer than a few months as a rule of thumb wood needs 1 year of drying time for every inch of thickness depending on where and how is stored to dry and what kind of atmosphere it’s in. , If you make a table out of it before it’s dry you risk the possibility of the top cracking or twisting. As far as finishes are concerned Arm R Seal is a strong durable finish it is oil based so it will bring out the grain and color of the wood without any additional finish.

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coalcracker

3 posts in 25 days


#2 posted 02-22-2019 04:58 PM


Welcome to Ljs
Depending on how thick it is your slab may not be ready to use for some time longer than a few months as a rule of thumb wood needs 1 year of drying time for every inch of thickness depending on where and how is stored to dry and what kind of atmosphere it s in. , If you make a table out of it before it s dry you risk the possibility of the top cracking or twisting. As far as finishes are concerned Arm R Seal is a strong durable finish it is oil based so it will bring out the grain and color of the wood without any additional finish.

- a1Jim

Thanks Jim. It’s about 4 inches thick, but end grain, which I gather can dry more quickly than regular wood slabs. It’s been drying about 18 months so far. Regardless, I have a pinless moisture meter with which I have been checking the moisture periodically. I’d love to get started but definitely plan on waiting until it’s adequately dried out.

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coalcracker

3 posts in 25 days


#3 posted 02-22-2019 05:03 PM



Welcome to Ljs
Depending on how thick it is your slab may not be ready to use for some time longer than a few months as a rule of thumb wood needs 1 year of drying time for every inch of thickness depending on where and how is stored to dry and what kind of atmosphere it s in. , If you make a table out of it before it s dry you risk the possibility of the top cracking or twisting. As far as finishes are concerned Arm R Seal is a strong durable finish it is oil based so it will bring out the grain and color of the wood without any additional finish.

- a1Jim

Arm R Seal is jut oil based poly?

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a1Jim

117531 posts in 3874 days


#4 posted 02-22-2019 06:30 PM

Yes, but not all polys are quality products, it’s very durable strong enough to use on floors. If you want to add more color consider General finishes dye/stain. A great source for finishing is Charle Neil on youtube and he has an online membership online class, he also has some books on the subject.

https://www.google.com/search?q=charles+neil+youtube+finishing&oq=charles+neil+youtube+finishing&aqs=chrome..69i57.21605j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

http://www.cn-woodworking.com/finishing-class/

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bondogaposis

5252 posts in 2648 days


#5 posted 02-22-2019 07:45 PM

For beginners I recommend Arm R Seal, it is pretty fool proof.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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