Black Walnut tabletop questions? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-05-2018, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Black Walnut tabletop questions?

Hello everyone!

Iím new to the form and would greatly appreciate any information.

I live in Fort Worth Tx.

So I got some black walnut Iím making a tabletop out of. After waiting a year for the moisture content to get down enough to start working with it. Moisture content is at 4-6% on the ends and 6-9% in the middle of the boards. The boards are 3Ē thick.

Is that a good moisture content to start working the wood?

Iím thinking of using biscuits when joining the boards together. Should I stagger the biscuits?

What sealer & epoxy should I use on it when completed? Something that wonít leave a ring when sitting a cold glass of water on it. Or scratch easily.

Hereís the wood.


Hereís the 6Ēx6Ē all cedar legs itís going on. Theyíll be white washed.


Thank you for any information!




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post #2 of 7 Old 08-06-2018, 09:31 AM
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Welcome! That is some pretty beefy black walnut! Do you plan to make the top that thick or will you re-saw it? I always use biscuits for the table tops, especially if the top will be pulled open to add a table leaf, heavy loads like stacked books.... The round kitchen table in the photo was the last large table I made and it does open. If you do use biscuits they should be about 2/3 down from the top so as the biscuit dries and shrinks it won't leave a slight depression on the top surface.

Anyway, I've worked with BW quite a bit, one of my favorite woods especially the live edge slabs with crazy figure. I was strictly a polyurethane user on all my table tops until I started using General Finishes Arm R Seal Oil & Urethane. Some of my pieces are in the Gallery and all the live edge pieces have the General Finishes product on them. I prefer the semi-gloss sheen. This stuff is excellent. The oil really makes the grain of the wood pop, which I previously would get using Watco Danish Oil Natural followed by the poly. So that alone saves you a finishing step. It goes on easy with a small piece of old cotton t-shirt or foam brush (light touch) and is self leveling. No water marks from water glasses or spilled wine and is very natural looking. My only knock is that the opened shelf life is relatively short as the product will thicken after a couple months. To extend its life I always pour off what I need into another container, clean the rim of the can and put the lid back on.

Here's my process:
1. Sand to 180 grit. Clean off any dust.
2. Shake the can to mix very well. Pour off what you need.
3. Apply first coat. It might look a little uneven as it soaks into the wood at different rates but no worries. It's also important to not fuss with it once you put it on, don't keep trying to work it as it needs to level itself and starts to thicken. Let dry..
4. Lightly sand with 1000 grit sandpaper to remove any nibs then apply a second coat. Let dry. I apply 2 coats to vertical surfaces and 4 - 5 on horizontal surfaces like table tops.
5. Lightly sand with 1000 grit sandpaper to remove any nibs then apply a third coat to the top. Let dry.
6. Lightly sand with 1000 grit sandpaper to remove any nibs then apply a fourth coat to the top. Let dry.

Good luck. Be sure to post a picture!
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-06-2018, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saw Dust Rules View Post
Welcome! That is some pretty beefy black walnut! Do you plan to make the top that thick or will you re-saw it? I always use biscuits for the table tops, especially if the top will be pulled open to add a table leaf, heavy loads like stacked books.... The round kitchen table in the photo was the last large table I made and it does open. If you do use biscuits they should be about 2/3 down from the top so as the biscuit dries and shrinks it won't leave a slight depression on the top surface.



Anyway, I've worked with BW quite a bit, one of my favorite woods especially the live edge slabs with crazy figure. I was strictly a polyurethane user on all my table tops until I started using General Finishes Arm R Seal Oil & Urethane. Some of my pieces are in the Gallery and all the live edge pieces have the General Finishes product on them. I prefer the semi-gloss sheen. This stuff is excellent. The oil really makes the grain of the wood pop, which I previously would get using Watco Danish Oil Natural followed by the poly. So that alone saves you a finishing step. It goes on easy with a small piece of old cotton t-shirt or foam brush (light touch) and is self leveling. No water marks from water glasses or spilled wine and is very natural looking. My only knock is that the opened shelf life is relatively short as the product will thicken after a couple months. To extend its life I always pour off what I need into another container, clean the rim of the can and put the lid back on.



Here's my process:

1. Sand to 180 grit. Clean off any dust.

2. Shake the can to mix very well. Pour off what you need.

3. Apply first coat. It might look a little uneven as it soaks into the wood at different rates but no worries. It's also important to not fuss with it once you put it on, don't keep trying to work it as it needs to level itself and starts to thicken. Let dry..

4. Lightly sand with 1000 grit sandpaper to remove any nibs then apply a second coat. Let dry. I apply 2 coats to vertical surfaces and 4 - 5 on horizontal surfaces like table tops.

5. Lightly sand with 1000 grit sandpaper to remove any nibs then apply a third coat to the top. Let dry.

6. Lightly sand with 1000 grit sandpaper to remove any nibs then apply a fourth coat to the top. Let dry.



Good luck. Be sure to post a picture!


Thank you for the great information! Iíll definitely post pictures when finished.


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post #4 of 7 Old 08-06-2018, 12:09 PM
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You did not answer the question as to whether or not you will use boards current thickness or re-saw.


George
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-06-2018, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
You did not answer the question as to whether or not you will use boards current thickness or re-saw.


George


Iíll be planing them down as little as possible to keep them as thick as possible. Not going to re-saw.


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post #6 of 7 Old 08-07-2018, 04:28 PM
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Biscuits.. I have read that a proper joined and glued up edge joint is stronger than the wood itself, and the biscuits add no strength. I only use them when I need help holding and lining up the boards during the gluing process, usually if I have a big glue up to complete. I don't think staggering them will make any difference. Place them where they will help you complete the gluing process. Which a 3 inch edge gluing surface, I think the table will be plenty strong without them myself.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-07-2018, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodworker56 View Post
Biscuits.. I have read that a proper joined and glued up edge joint is stronger than the wood itself, and the biscuits add no strength. I only use them when I need help holding and lining up the boards during the gluing process, usually if I have a big glue up to complete. I don't think staggering them will make any difference. Place them where they will help you complete the gluing process. Which a 3 inch edge gluing surface, I think the table will be plenty strong without them myself.


Thank you sir! Iíve read about the same thing. I might just use them for glueing alignment. Again, thank you for the feedback.


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