advice, grandpa made me: Black Walnut live edge kitchen table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Question advice, grandpa made me: Black Walnut live edge kitchen table

My grandfather is a luthier and woodworker (in fact, he is probably on this website as well).



The hairpin table legs are in the background

I needed a kitchen table for my apartment and admired the look of live edge and black walnut. He just so happened to have some black walnut from a log he bought 10 yrs prior. He lives far away but I went to visit and helped (just a little) but he did the majority of the work.

I requested that he not finish/seal the wood, because I wanted to add some sort of effort, I want to learn something, and because I want something very matte while being durable and resistant enough for a kitchen table. I've looked into 100% pure tung oil, and have read that the warm tones do enhance black walnut. Waterlox seemed a little too shiny, but maybe not? I also appreciate non-toxic things and don't mind touching up.

He said he used 420 grit as the last sand.

Also, do I treat all the edges including the live edge and bark?

Thank you for your time and I appreciate your feedback.

Last edited by aptdweller; 10-15-2015 at 03:26 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 08:03 AM
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If you are going to sand to 420 grit I would recommend dampening the wood to raise the grain every time you make a grit change to a finer grit. 420 is so fine it will skim over the surface more than actually sanding. Do you plan to do anything with the sapwood? There are dyes you can use to color the white wood to blend it in with the heartwood but this would need to be used before using tung oil. There is nothing else needed to treat the edges and the bark. The bark will either stay on or fall off in time and nothing you can do to help it. It comes down to when the tree was cut more than anything. A tree cut in winter when it is dormant is more likely to retain the bark.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by aptdweller View Post
My grandfather is a luthier and woodworker (in fact, he is probably on this website as well).



The hairpin table legs are in the background

I needed a kitchen table for my apartment and admired the look of live edge and black walnut. He just so happened to have some black walnut from a log he bought 10 yrs prior. He lives far away but I went to visit and helped (just a little) but he did the majority of the work.

I requested that he not finish/seal the wood, because I wanted to add some sort of effort, I want to learn something, and because I want something very matte while being durable and resistant enough for a kitchen table. I've looked into 100% pure tung oil, and have read that the warm tones do enhance black walnut. Waterlox seemed a little too shiny, but maybe not? I also appreciate non-toxic things and don't mind touching up.

He said he used 420 grit as the last sand.

Also, do I treat all the edges including the live edge and bark?

Thank you for your time and I appreciate your feedback.
Never heard of 420 grit, I suspect it was 220, based on the pic I would say that is pretty close, at most 320 but that's not typical.

Since your Grandfather is a wood worker, why not ask his thoughts on finishing the table? I'd bet he has some great suggestions, and it's another opportunity to spend some time(even on the phone) with him.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't know how to delete this reply and have quoted replies below. Thanks!

Last edited by aptdweller; 10-15-2015 at 04:26 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If you are going to sand to 420 grit I would recommend dampening the wood to raise the grain every time you make a grit change to a finer grit. 420 is so fine it will skim over the surface more than actually sanding. Do you plan to do anything with the sapwood? There are dyes you can use to color the white wood to blend it in with the heartwood but this would need to be used before using tung oil. There is nothing else needed to treat the edges and the bark. The bark will either stay on or fall off in time and nothing you can do to help it. It comes down to when the tree was cut more than anything. A tree cut in winter when it is dormant is more likely to retain the bark.
Thanks for the suggestions, I think I'm going to leave the sapwood unless that's a big no-no. Perhaps it's more of a casual look than an elegant one, but that's okay. Just to make sure, did you say I should even use tung oil on the edges, or that I should use anything else besides tung oil?
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
Never heard of 420 grit, I suspect it was 220, based on the pic I would say that is pretty close, at most 320 but that's not typical.

Since your Grandfather is a wood worker, why not ask his thoughts on finishing the table? I'd bet he has some great suggestions, and it's another opportunity to spend some time(even on the phone) with him.
The quote from the email he sent me states: "So far I have sanded it to 320 grit. I will quit at 420 which is more than adequate. The under side is totally unfinished because I didn't want it to be any thinner. No one can see the underside anyway."

He really enjoys making instruments the most, nowadays, and he also doesn't seem to be much of a fan of the finishing side of things. He's also getting older, maybe he was thinking sanding very smooth like an instrument? He then suggested laquering the table, which, from what I understand, is more of what you would use on a violin, etc. That's why I decided to take care of the finishing myself.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by aptdweller View Post
The quote from the email he sent me states: "So far I have sanded it to 320 grit. I will quit at 420 which is more than adequate. The under side is totally unfinished because I didn't want it to be any thinner. No one can see the underside anyway."

He really enjoys making instruments the most, nowadays, and he also doesn't seem to be much of a fan of the finishing side of things. He's also getting older, maybe he was thinking sanding very smooth like an instrument? He then suggested laquering the table, which, from what I understand, is more of what you would use on a violin, etc. That's why I decided to take care of the finishing myself.
Might be the case.

Laquer can be a beautiful finish, for a clear it is rich, and warm, not plastic looking like some of the urethanes IMO.

And Laquer touches up pretty easy as well. It used to be my choice, but I also had a great airless rig that made spraying it very easy.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-15-2015, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, I think I'm going to leave the sapwood unless that's a big no-no. Perhaps it's more of a casual look than an elegant one, but that's okay. Just to make sure, did you say I should even use tung oil on the edges, or that I should use anything else besides tung oil?
Coloring the sapwood is a personal choice thing. If you are happy with it I would leave it alone. It takes quite a bit of tinkering to get the color right trying to dye it anyway. Personally for me I consider sapwood a defect.

The edges of the table as well as the underside of the top will need a finish too. If you are using tung oil I would use it there as well. The underside needs a finish to prevent warpage. If you seal one side of a piece of wood the other side is prone to draw moisture from the air and cause that side to swell. The swelling in turn causes the wood to warp.
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