New table finish help - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-24-2019, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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New table finish help

So I decided to make a new outdoor table for our deck, this being my first one I thought it came out rather nice. I did a little torching and used an oil based helmsman outdoor satin poly. It was a perfect 2 days temp and humidity wise almost exactly what the can recommended. I applied 3 coats the first day, waited 6 hours between coats did a light sand between with a 400 finishing block. Did the 4th coat the next morning more than 6 hours later finished it did a real light sand and put it on my deck because it wasnt suppose to rain again for several days. I know I made the mistake of over sanding the table BEFORE the finish was applied because now when it rains the water pools in little areas of the table. After the finish was done and after several days of drying it finally rained. The next evening the deck was dry the concrete was dry but there was water still on the table like it had just rained so I towel dryed it. So here we are exactly 4 weeks later and it looks like the poly is almost gone. It lost that thin plastic look and looks like in some places it's starting to show small thin lines of bare wood. So I'm sure I know the answer to this but just want some confirmation. Is the pooling water that just sits on the top of this causing the poly so wear that fast? Even in areas that it doesnt pool it still beads up and almost every inch of the table is wet and it doesnt seem the the sun was drying it like everything else. There was even a corner i used kwikwood to fix becuase of a little saw accident smh... the poly covered it nicely and even though it was clearly visible you could see the poly layer of it and it was smooth as can be. Now it feels rough to the touch like the poly is completely gone. Any help will he appreciated sorry for the long winded explanation.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 03:43 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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A few questions for you ....

Describe the wood you used. It looks like Southern Yellow Pine. Was it dry? Was it pressure treated? If you use a card scraper, can you easily remove the poly or is it really bonded to the wood?

If you had to refinish it, I would scrape as much of the old/new finish off as possible, then use an "Aircraft" paint stripper to remove the rest.
Unfortunately, the strongest strippers have been banned, so home owners are stuck with ineffective ones like Citris Strip....
http://www.kleanstrip.com/product/ai...-paint-remover


https://www.homedepot.com/p/Citristr...G801/307416109


What type of sander did you use to start with, a Random Orbital Sander? What grits?

I see gaps between the boards. How are they joined to the side rails, tenons in a groove? pocket screws? other....? Why the gaps, to allow for movement across the boards widths? Are they "floating" to allow for this or are they pinned in place?

I like the "scorched" look of the wood. I hope you can keep it if you need to refinish it. Sadly, we get a lot of questions after the finish as been applied and there are issues, rather than before and "How should I finish this table". Ask this guy, @Steve Neul, via email or a Personal Message for some advice....
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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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 08-25-2019 at 03:47 AM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 09:13 AM
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I agree - a very handsome project !!

but - you may have used all the wrong materials.
a complete description from start to finish on the lumber
and assembly process is important for the most accurate feedback.
now that you know that Helmsman is JUNK - you can use
the correct sealer and finish once you get the wood issue under control.
again - not criticising your craftsmanship - just the materials involved.
(keep the table under cover and out of the weather for now).

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 08-25-2019 at 09:26 AM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Well I bought pine 2x10 and 2x8 from lowes they were not pressure treated for the top the base was made with pine 2x4 and 4x4 again not treated. The wood seemed dry wasnt wet to the touch when I bought it and it was about 2 weeks in a dry environment before I introduced sealer. The table is constructed with pocket screws and titebond 3. The polyurethane isnt flaking or coming off at all even when scraped with a finger nail or plastic card it seems to have bonded well. I used a random orbital grits 80,120,180,220 during assembly and a 400 finishing block between coats of poly. There are 8 middle boards all with rabbet joints. The first 2 on each side are connected wi th pocket screws, titebond 3 and rabbet joints on the ends. I attached a picture showing just the 2 boards on the each side of the fire pit those are well connected and not going anywhere. The middle 4 that you see the gaps in from my first post are removable I used rabbets and 2x4s underneath to try and stop warping and cupping. I'm 300lb and I have no fear of standing on this table. But I'm just not 100% what would cause that poly to thin down to the wood in 4 weeks. Helmsman is that bad?!?! I just dont want to refinish it if I dont know have a clue what caused it... all I have is the pooling water that sits on top.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 01:22 PM
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okay - it is solid !!
use it as is and hope you have many, many happy family
gatherings around it where fond memories are made.

"when" it comes time to refinish it in a couple of years,
drop back by for assistance in refinishing it. yes, Helmsman IS that bad.
but until that time comes, enjoy it as much as you can without worries.
it looks awesome !!

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 08-25-2019 at 01:25 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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What would have been your finishing process have been John? What would you have done differently? I have a family member who wants be to build a similar one for them and I dont want them to have the same headaches I'm gonna have sooner than I wanted to
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 04:51 PM
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we all love the look of natural wood.
unfortunately, the killer of clear finishes such as polyurethanes,
epoxy and varnishes is Ultra Violet Rays from the sun. (UV).
even the finest and most expensive wooden boats on the water require
a never ending maintenance schedule to maintain that look.
unless a person is willing to sand and re-apply the clear coat (normally
marine spar varnish) every season, it is very frustrating to watch the
project deteriorate beyond repair.
so - what do people do as a second choice ?? either solid color stain
or latex paint. the longevity of the project vs the good looking clear finish
is a tough choice.
construction grade SYP is not a good choice for an outdoor project that
gets a clear coat. but I do realize that thousands of people use it every day
hoping it will last 10 years.
personally, if I make an outdoor table, I use pressure treated wood.
before construction, I scrub it down good with TSP and some bleach.
then, let it dry for a week or so, build the project and roll on a few coats
of redwood latex stain. (every couple of years).
that is what I do.
other members on this forum and other forums on the net have their own
success and failure stories. we learn from them.
I build things that go on some very expensive boats. I use mahogany
for most of the projects with a very strict regimen of finishes.
there is NO clear coat: Marine Spar Varnish included, that is a "One Coat and Forget It"
type of coating. . . . . they are all high maintenance items.
so - either a solid color stain or latex paint. as for the wood choice; there is cedar,
redwood, cypress, and a host of others, depending on what part of the world you live in
that is better suited for outdoor projects than SYP or generic construction lumber.
sorry for rambling. but this subject is passionately discussed on every woodworking
forum on the internet. and nobody has come up with just ONE solution to suit the
environment in every part of the world.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 08-25-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 05:23 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Allow me to offer some suggestions .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathiusP View Post
What would have been your finishing process have been John? What would you have done differently? I have a family member who wants be to build a similar one for them and I dont want them to have the same headaches I'm gonna have sooner than I wanted to

A Poly, paint, or varnish is a thin film that does it's best to adhere to the wood fibers, and is really put to the test when applied to a horizontal surface. Everything is working against it, especially in small shallow areas created by sanding or just naturally, where water can settle.


My vote is for an oil stain or oil finish which can be reapplied as needed without stripping the entire surface down and starting over.

Think cutting boards where they are under water at least part of the time when being washed. Something like this:
https://www.diyhomecenter.com/penofi...RoC1_YQAvD_BwE


OR pick one of these that sounds good:
https://www.google.com/search?q=oil+...20257767613443




I would not want a painted table for those reasons as well.

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 #9 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. Red cedar stain is how I wanted to go but someone *cough cough THE WIFE* wanted this scorched look...that reminds me, I need to block pintrest from her phone somehow in an elaborate scheme and tell her they went under &#x1f914;, oh well that's for another forum. I'll just enjoy this table like you suggested as long as I can and fix it I added a couple more pics of the 4 week damage so you can see what I'm talking about. I'm thinking now after looking at close ups that the wood, being pine is checking or just stress cracks which crack the poly and let enough water in to slowly destroy my work...
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-25-2019, 09:29 PM
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I know lot's of people love poly, my dad included, but I've been burned enough by it that I just hate the stuff for several reasons. As such, I have used a waterborne acrylic on many projects, indoor and outdoor, and I just love the stuff. It is called PPG Breakthrough in either satin or gloss. Most places that carry it have it in colors too, like normal paint. It dries so fast though, that you have to spray it unless you are doing something pretty small.

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