Any ideas on how best to finish a Flitch/Slab tabletop? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-16-2010, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Post Any ideas on how best to finish a Flitch/Slab tabletop?

I am going to build a coffee table out of two beech slabs and I am looking for suggestions on how best to finish it. My goal is to pull out the figure and grain. Also, I am going to cut one of the slabs in half for the legs, but not sure how best to attach it to the tabletop. Thanks for any ideas or assistance.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 08:35 AM
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For stain resistence and durability, I prefer polyurethane. Multiple coats wet sanded between coats will look like glass. For old world elegance, shellac, the old fashioned way.

Assuming you are going for the natural look , thick dowels would work to join pieces.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
For stain resistence and durability, I prefer polyurethane. Multiple coats wet sanded between coats will look like glass. For old world elegance, shellac, the old fashioned way.

Assuming you are going for the natural look , thick dowels would work to join pieces.
Why not the best of both? If it were me, I would apply two or three coats of de-waxed shellac to pop and highlight the grain and then give it multiple coats of a harder finish. I really enjoy using the General Finishes Polyacrylic product.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=6294

It's far superior to the Minwax crapola of the same name, flows out nicely and dries quickly so that you can build multiple coats without the hassle of dust particles sticking in a slower drying oil based finish. The acrylic finish should be plenty strong enough for a coffee table.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-17-2010, 09:27 AM
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You didn't say if you can spray a finish. You could first use a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil or pure tung oil and naptha. Allow to dry thoroughly. Then make a wiping version of polyurethane.

If you can spray, you may want to treat the slab with the oil mix, and wait for it to completely dry. Use a lacquer or waterbase polyurethane.

For the leg attachment, you could make connecting rails to the legs at the top (for a coffee table height) and screw through those to the underside of the slab. For taller tables you may need stretchers towards the bottom.






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post #5 of 5 Old 06-23-2010, 11:22 AM
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I use a coat of linseed oil first to pop the grain let it dry for a week then a coat of seal coat, then top it with a poly. Then Polish it with pumis and rottenstone. If you go to my gallery you will see some examples of tables with that finish.


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