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Forum topic by DannyW posted 11-17-2019 10:52 PM 679 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


11-17-2019 10:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak finishing

Hi everybody, I just started on my new hobby less than a year ago and already got my first commission! A lady in the neighborhood asked for a woodworker to make some leaves for her dining table to use at thanksgiving, and I volunteered to give it a try. She wants about 45” of additional space, and the leaves for her table which she already has are 11” by about 54” long. I think making 4 leaves 11” wide will be the easiest to glue-up and get ready for her by then; I plan to get them to her unfinished for now and finish them after the holiday. Fortunately I am off work for the next 2 weeks so I can work on it until I get it done. Here are some pictures of the leaf that she brought me as a template:

The leaf has a routed edge that I think (considering the length of the leaves) will be easiest to do as a molding. I will cut the leaves short by the size of the routed edge, and then after the holiday make some moldings to go on the edge before finishing. I have a doweling jig to use for the holes and dowels, and also a jointer and thickness planer so that I can use rough sawn lumber (the leaf is 15/16” thick).

The only thing that really concerns me is matching the finish on the table. The only finishes that I have experience with are Danish oil, wipe-on poly, and a combo of the two. The finish that is on the table appears to be a very thick poly but the color is not exactly like anything that I have done before. I don’t think it is all that important to her since it will usually be covered with a tablecloth, but I want to do the best that I can do. Initially she said that she didn’t even care about wood species or stain.

For the top coat I expect a thick coat(s) of poly will do, but to match the color will probably require some sort of stain. I guess my question to you with more experience is what kind of stain is easiest to work with and will make it fairly easy to match what she has? I know I will have to experiment some on scrap (maybe a lot) before I add the finish. Any hints on how to proceed are greatly appreciated.

-- DannyW


22 replies so far

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

910 posts in 1664 days


#1 posted 11-18-2019 12:01 AM

I did the same thing for a friend a few months ago. He decided he wanted them made with oak. Once they were done, they were quite heavy and unwieldy. Although that was not a big problem for him, you might discuss this with your client to see if she would like to have something lighter and easier to handle. Poplar would be a good choice and could even be stained to a similar color. Of course, the grain will be different, as you say, they will be covered anyway.

I would not apply edging as you suggest. You could have expansion/contraction problems due to the cross-grain situation. Make the leaves a little extra wide and then use a guided hand router to make the profile. Then trim off any tear-out at the beginning and end of the cut as you cut the leaves to final width. Or, apply some sacrificial pieces on the edges before cutting the profiles.

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#2 posted 11-18-2019 12:36 AM

Thanks for the advice on the edging bilyo. I thought about doing just that but don’t have any hand router experience; this might be a good time to learn. The existing leaves are oak and are heavy but at only 11” wide aren’t too bad so I think that is best. She was asking for wider but as you said they would be heavy, probably why the existing leaves are only 11”.

Any advice you can give on the stain?

-- DannyW

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pottz

7034 posts in 1546 days


#3 posted 11-18-2019 12:48 AM

congrats it’s always nice to be appreciated.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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cmacnaughton

142 posts in 206 days


#4 posted 11-18-2019 02:27 AM



Thanks for the advice on the edging bilyo. I thought about doing just that but don’t have any hand router experience; this might be a good time to learn.

- DannyW


A very good time to learn! Surely you have some scrap you can use for practice? Moving forward, this is a skill you’ll use frequently.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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WoodenDreams

830 posts in 473 days


#5 posted 11-18-2019 02:44 AM

Post a pic of the leaves when done.

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#6 posted 11-18-2019 03:25 AM

Surely.

-- DannyW

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

109 posts in 159 days


#7 posted 11-18-2019 04:01 AM

I’d run that edge profile on a table saw.

Set the blade to whatever the angles are and run all the pieces through. Then flip it and run it through for the other angle. I’d probably do the more vertical angle that leaves the widest face first. Then, I’d nick that smallest wall. Then, if you have to run them held up in the air, use a tall fence to keep the piece up in the air and stable.

Kinda like angle tenons. Does that make sense?

Doing it on a router table would be easier than trying to balance on those long skinny edges, or get your jig just right. You could set up some kind of angle fence to hold the piece at the proper angle and just run a nice straight bit. You could also use a panel bit, that has that taper on it… If you can find the right one.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6016 posts in 3375 days


#8 posted 11-18-2019 05:28 AM

Wow, you chose a difficult project for your first commission. Aligning the edges on multiple leaves can be quite challenging.
Make sure to install the alignment pins before cutting the leaves to final length.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#9 posted 11-18-2019 01:42 PM

Yes doing the edges is what is worrying me the most right now. Milling, glueing up, adding the alignment pins, all seem easy enough to my simple mind, but routing the edges looks much more difficult although at first I thought it looked easy. I guess I can build a router jig to help with alignment although I will have to think that through some more. That way I could do all of the leaves at once and reduce the alignment problems.

-- DannyW

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bilyo

910 posts in 1664 days


#10 posted 11-18-2019 02:02 PM

IMHO, the best way to do the profile is to use a bit with guide bearing. Make a straight cut to final length, smooth the edge, and then use (in your case) a simple 45 deg bit with a guide bearing like this. Start by making a light pass with the bit high so that it takes only a small corner. Then make multiple passes lowering the bit a little at a time until you get the profile you want.

If you put your alignment pins in first you won’t be able to use excess width for trimming off any tear out by the router bit. So, before you start, glue some sacrificial blocks onto each edge. These, of course, will need to be flush with the top and the edge to be profiled.

I just looked at your pictures again and realized that your profile might not be a 45 deg angle. Same process. If it is not, you will just need to find a bit with the same angle.

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#11 posted 11-18-2019 02:34 PM

Thanks bilyo I think that sounds like a plan. I knew there had to be an easy way to do it! I was just over complicating things like I usually do (I am an engineer after all).

-- DannyW

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1355 posts in 1057 days


#12 posted 11-20-2019 12:44 AM



Wow, you chose a difficult project for your first commission. Aligning the edges on multiple leaves can be quite challenging.
Make sure to install the alignment pins before cutting the leaves to final length.

- pintodeluxe


Right, don’t underestimate how difficult it is to get several leaves lined up correctly with the alignment pins. Your next challenge will be matching the finish…save lots of scraps to make samples for her to approve.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#13 posted 11-20-2019 01:12 AM

Yes that does have me concerned. I have a Milescraft doweling jig that measures the distance of the dowel (locating pin in this case) to one edge. I plan to always measure from the top edge and hopefully that will get me close. I can use the leaf she gave me as a guide for both sides.

-- DannyW

View CoryN's profile

CoryN

9 posts in 1078 days


#14 posted 11-20-2019 02:58 PM

Can the table accept additional leaves? Does it have the capacity to open that far? You may need to do additional work on the table also.

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

233 posts in 359 days


#15 posted 11-20-2019 03:07 PM

The table still has over 45” of space left after all of her 11” leaves are installed. That must be a LONG table (with no leaves it is 54” round)! So yes 4 more leaves will fit it seems.

-- DannyW

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