Crazy Idea for finishing redwood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-22-2017, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Crazy Idea for finishing redwood

I am finishing a slab of redwood into a live edge table. The wood is soft and easily dented. The slab of redwood also had cracks in it. I slightly filled the under side of the cracks with Liquid Nails construction adhesive and then flipped the slap over and filled the top side of the cracks epoxy. This went very well, the construction adhesive prevented the epoxy from simply leaking out the bottom of the cracks.

I plan to use Varathane water based poly to finish the slab so I tested the Varathane on the bottom side of the slab. In the places where I had applied the construction adhesive I first sanded away the excess construction adhesive. Then I applied three coats of the Varathane water based poly to the bottom side. The finish looks great, but in the place where there was construction adhesive that had been sanded away, the finish is actually much harder and smoother. This was surprising to me.

This got me to thinking that since my redwood is so soft, maybe I should apply some construction adhesive to the top surface and then sand it away. This could potentially create a smooth and hard finish when combined with the Varathane water based poly. Is this a crazy idea? I am new to woodworking and I don't want to ruin my slab, but I also want a hard finish to prevent the table from being dented.
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-22-2017, 02:04 PM
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The problem would be there is too much area to cover with the adhesive. Then to have the results you want you would have to sand it uniform which would be nearly impossible.

What happened is the construction adhesive sealed the wood preventing the poly from penetrating so much and it built on the surface instead of soaking it. You could achieve the same thing by using more coats of the poly and get the wood sealed with it and then the finish would build and harden on the surface.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-22-2017, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for the response. I was thinking that it was something like the construction adhesive sealed the wood. I will plan to do more coats for the top surface of the wood slab. Probably 10 coats.

Should I be using a wood sealer before applying the water based poly?
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-22-2017, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Otterstrom View Post
Thank for the response. I was thinking that it was something like the construction adhesive sealed the wood. I will plan to do more coats for the top surface of the wood slab. Probably 10 coats.

Should I be using a wood sealer before applying the water based poly?
Water really raises the grain of wood so the water content in a waterborne finish tends to really make the wood porous so a sealer is a pretty good idea. Zinsser Sealcoat would be a good sealer to use under a waterborne finish. It's a dewaxed shellac so it would seal the wood without raising the grain too much.
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