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post #1 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Boxcar wood finishing

Hello all! Trying to complete my first wood project. I have built a 45.5"x 93" dining table for my wife as a new house gift. We are designing and decorating the house as a industrial farmhouse.

What I have is t&g boxcar wood that I purchased(was told from the 1960's). I glued and clamped the planks together for 30hrs. Then with a saw I cut the overall to the dimensions I needed. Then with a belt sander I cleaned the edges and rounded the corners. I'm seeking help to how to finish the look of the top, I would like a matte type look but not apposed to a glass top finish such as a bar top.

I'm not sure if I should sand the top a little, then either wax and seal or stain. How can I get the sides that I have sanded to closely match or look as good as the top? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Another option. I have is shearing and forming some 12ga carbon sheet into an angle and wrap the edges of the table.
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 10:53 AM
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Looks good, and it is heavy duty LOL

You might apply a coat of dewaxed shellac or Zinsser Seal Coat, then a couple coats of water based urethane
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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It is heavy, the bottom weights around 250lbs. The top I'm not real sure of lol. What would you do about the edges?
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 11:26 AM
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Finish is going to depend on the finished look you want. If you want a more rustic look a few heavy coats of oil, either linseed or tung, would give the wood a decent bit of protection without hiding the character, it'd be the closest you could get to bare wood. A matte or semi-gloss polyurethane would be my next suggestion, for a little more protection.

Personally though, I'd go with a pour-on epoxy. Not quite a rustic finish, but its a lot easier to clean

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post #5 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Pour on epoxy such as the thick epoxy resin on bartops? Sorry a lot of the products I'm not up to date on. I would like a way to make the sides match or look good with the top, possibly some sort of stain?. How should I finish the top before I put the pour on epoxy? I though about lightly sanding the top and apply a stain or sealer to get some colors and so it would match the sides.

I would like the wood to pop so you can see all the characteristics it has endured in its life. Thanks for the suggestions so far guys.
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 88notchback View Post
Pour on epoxy such as the thick epoxy resin on bartops? Sorry a lot of the products I'm not up to date on. I would like a way to make the sides match or look good with the top, possibly some sort of stain?. How should I finish the top before I put the pour on epoxy? I though about lightly sanding the top and apply a stain or sealer to get some colors and so it would match the sides.

I would like the wood to pop so you can see all the characteristics it has endured in its life. Thanks for the suggestions so far guys.
Yup, exactly like what they use on bar tops. I call it pour-on epoxy because, well, you apply it by pouring it on. The brand I've used also has POUR-ON in big bold letters, so it kinda sticks. You wouldn't need to do anything to the top before the epoxy, the epoxy is the finish in this case, just follow the directions on the box and you're good.

As far as getting the sides to match the top, I dunno. You've got fresh cuts on the sides and the aged, weathered look on the top, matching the two is near impossible. You could sand down the top, but then you'd lose the character, you could stain the entire thing but the sides still wouldn't match perfectly. Personally, id leave it, looks pretty good as-is to me

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post #7 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 04:23 PM
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You might try flaming the edges. If you do the epoxy or polyester pour on, dam the edges first with tape or about anything to keep the finish from running on the floor. Unfortunately the epoxy finish for the edges requires doing one at t time just like the top. When using a poured finish you will get little bubbles of gas trapped in it. Lightly pass a propane torch over the surface to get rid of them. If this is new to you do a small test piece first. If there are pits and dings in the surface fill them first with some thickened epoxy. The sellers of epoxy resins have instructions on line. Polyester resins would also work. Seal the back side of the top to even the absorption of moisture.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-05-2017, 10:43 PM
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Nice HEAVY table!!! As a "out of the can" finish I would use Waterlox....it works easy, it's good, tough, and very easy to repair IF ever needed......and when it's done it can be at a sheen level to look industrial rustic.....stick with the theme!!! Just my opinion!!!

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post #9 of 12 Old 06-06-2017, 01:24 PM
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I would NOT use a pour on finish

It would be like putting "man made plastic" on a wood finish, rather than leaving it "natural" or in your case rustic. The tactile surface of the wood is also what makes it rustic, unlike an epoxy. Granted, epoxy will be easier to wipe clean, but only you can decide which direction you prefer.

If you serve a lot of heavy drinkers or have a lot of kids, then the epoxy would probably be best.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-02-2017, 05:14 PM
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Hi there - I'm build a similar table from maple boxcar planks. Curious if you did any rip cutting of your planks. If so, did your planks have the threaded rod running across the lamination width and what was your cutting technique to cut through the wood & rod?
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-03-2017, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hi there - I'm build a similar table from maple boxcar planks. Curious if you did any rip cutting of your planks. If so, did your planks have the threaded rod running across the lamination width and what was your cutting technique to cut through the wood & rod?
I need to post updated pictures. I ended up cleaning the top and putting minwax satin on the top. I cut and formes the carbon angle on the edges. Turned oit fantastic.

Yes i did cut thw maple planks. The rod appeared fo be alumnium or some light weight metal. It cut nicely with my standard circular saw. No special process was taken. At on point I cut the rod exactly in half lenght ways for about 12" then tapered off, it looked awesome and I hated covering it up with thd angle. I will trt to update with pictures soon.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-03-2017, 03:54 PM
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Good find and a good way to use wood that would wind up in the landfill or an incinerator. My only concern would be any chemicals spilled in the boxcar over the years.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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