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Forum topic by liveoutdoors9 posted 07-12-2019 06:25 PM 243 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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liveoutdoors9

20 posts in 188 days


07-12-2019 06:25 PM

I bought a piece of cool looking spalted maple from a local “mountain man” selling slabs at an arts fest today. The price could not be beat and he and I ended up exchanging numbers as he had some great stuff. We are finishing our basement with a rustic theme and we want to use this as a coffee table. As you can see in the pictures, the slab is not flat all over which is part of what drew us to the board. Knowing that it’ll be a coffee table, any thoughts on finish? We thought two part epoxy possibly, but not sure how to deal with the valleys in it. Ironically the other side is pretty flat and we are considering hairpin legs for it. Any thoughts are appreciated. I’m still relatively new to the woodworking world and have only used two part epoxy to make coasters last year. Thanks


10 replies so far

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DrDirt

4575 posts in 4160 days


#1 posted 07-12-2019 06:51 PM

Personally I would not do Epoxy… I would got with a penetrating oil, that gives it protection, but doesnt’ look ‘dipped in plastic’... which is not so rustic.

I personally like Waterlox… but waterlox will darken th color a bit… it looks almost like strong tea, but is great stuff.

Would also check moisture content, as spalted/spongy sections are generally not very strong, and are of course wet, and likely to crack. If it is pretty wet, you would want to clamp it flat to dry out so it doesn’t look like a banana later.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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liveoutdoors9

20 posts in 188 days


#2 posted 07-12-2019 07:04 PM

Ill look into Waterloo. Good thought in the epoxy. Was looking for something water resistant. As I understand the history of the wood. It was actually pulled out of a lake and milled. The guy had dried it. He threw peanut oil on it while we were there to pull out some of the grain. The underside which has no oil on it is bone dry.

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DrDirt

4575 posts in 4160 days


#3 posted 07-12-2019 07:12 PM

If keeping color were important (once dry)... I would use shellac Sealcoat (bullseye)... and would spray it with Acrylic Laquer… which is what I finish most projects with from Sherwin Williams.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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therealSteveN

3085 posts in 992 days


#4 posted 07-12-2019 09:38 PM


Personally I would not do Epoxy… I would got with a penetrating oil, that gives it protection, but doesnt look dipped in plastic … which is not so rustic.

I personally like Waterlox… but waterlox will darken th color a bit… it looks almost like strong tea, but is great stuff.

- DrDirt

I agree, with exception I am sold on General Finishes Arm r Seal. It is also an oil base, and will darken/mellow the color. Water based would decrease the amount of yellowing/ambering, but will not POP the wood like an oil will.

An interesting video by Spagno, all oils though. Check the POP winner. Sorry it’s longer than the ascribed length for a woodworking video, but I feel it’s not wasted time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PryTA4pzTZ4

On the Arm r Seal I must say I have never bought a “gloss” anything, rather I get the satin’s almost across the board of all finishes.

-- Think safe, be safe

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SMP

1176 posts in 324 days


#5 posted 07-13-2019 01:46 AM

The 2 part epoxy holds up reallly well, is harder to apply, and has a look you either love or hate. Arm r seal is super easy and forgiving to apply, looks great and provides pretty good protection. Its a good middle ground between the looks and feel of a pure oil and the protection of a poly.

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liveoutdoors9

20 posts in 188 days


#6 posted 07-13-2019 02:07 AM

Would you guys recommend sanding the slab before finishing? What grit, if so? It’s relatively smooth already, but appears to be rough sawn.

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liveoutdoors9

20 posts in 188 days


#7 posted 07-14-2019 06:19 PM

Great video on the finishes. The satin Arm R Seal finishes less glossy than that video? I’d be ok with drowning the piece and showing some more grain. Looks like that may be my go to so long as the satin is less glossy.

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OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#8 posted 07-14-2019 08:01 PM

Outdoor, a bit hard to answer your questions without knowing just what you want. I suspect a satin poly will be the best finish choice, and for application, thin it 1:1 with mineral spirits, flood the piece and keep it wet for 10 min, wipe off. Give 3-4 hours for solvent to evaporate , and repeat. If it was waterlogged and now dry, you may need to repeat a couple more times. Now it is sealed and ready for however you want to finish it.

You might want to fill the cracks/negative areas with epoxy so food dust etc dont fill them. Do before putting the poly on. Depends on how flat you want it. As for sanding, depends on what you want. You may want the rough sawing marks. Be much more specific with what you want it to look like.

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liveoutdoors9

20 posts in 188 days


#9 posted 07-14-2019 08:43 PM

Regarding sanding, was wondering more about if it would accept the sealer better like typical stain. We do like the rough saw marks so wouldn’t sand it down. Essentially, we want it to retain its natural look as much as possible, even if it darkens. The main goal is to make it as waterproof/resistant as possible to ensure it’ll last.

Could I just use the Arm R Seal and call it a day? Keep in mind, my experience is limited to standard oil stain and poly on standard big box boards. I’m learning as I go. Thanks for the advice on this as I’m trying not to jack it up.

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OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#10 posted 07-15-2019 12:06 PM

Dont sand. Thin and apply as described above. If areas get sticky while wiping off, just apply a bit more thinned ars and wipe off. After it is sealed you can decide if and how much film build.

Another option would be precat lacquer. It has to be sprayed and I think you can get it in a rattle can online – about $20-25 per can tho I think.

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