Trying to achieve a specific look, please advise! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-11-2013, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Trying to achieve a specific look, please advise!

I've got a request from my wife to build a 4x4 cedar butcher blockish table. The design is being worked out in the design forum, but I would love some advice about how to achieve the finish she wants.

I've attached an image of the finish she is looking for at the bottom of the post. It looks to me like rough sawn which has been lightly leveled, well sanded, and then polyurethaned, though really I'm not sure of the finish.

The problem is I have neither the time nor the skill to season and shape, let alone build with rough sawn cedar. I am going to have to build the table from seasoned and shaped cedar and then attempt to distress the surfaces of the table to resemble rough sawn, or something similar.

Does anyone here have experience or thoughts on how to achieve this? How can I make finished lumber look like the picture below? Beyond that, how can I achieve the sort of semi-gloss high luster finish I see in the picture?
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-11-2013, 11:03 PM
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If you use boards for the top that are 3" wide you might be able to run them through a table saw edgewise and make them rough sawn. Then it would just be a matter of sanding them with fine sandpaper to get the excess fuzz off. The finish as light as it is should be an acrylic or water based poly or a pre-catalyzed lacquer. An oil based poly or nitrocellulose lacquer will yellow as it ages and looks bad on light woods.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-12-2013, 07:39 AM
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You didn't hear this from me...haha.There are times that we need a rough/er sawn look on pcs that are for whatever reason....not.Meaning,even our "rough" stock is too slick.

First,we decide if we want the round blade look(that's in your pic)....with the roughness going at an angle.Or do we want a "pit saw" look,where the lines are at a 90* to the edge(both of which are/can be time periods).Next we take a chainsaw and shim it,for lack of better description?,.....so that:We are laying the bar down flat on wood surface,depending on shim's thickness and that particular chain....determines the amt of "texturing".Pull trigger and take off,skimming the surface.When done well,it'll fool historic architects/engineer types.Like I said,you didn't hear it from me.

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-12-2013, 07:50 AM
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Without knowing what machinery you have or have access to, skip planing would produce a look you might like. An oil base polyurethane, or a nitrocellulose lacquer may look good to some, especially after it ages. If you want to maintain as clear a finish as possible, the easiest finish would be a waterbased polyurethane.






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post #5 of 7 Old 09-12-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The finish as light as it is should be an acrylic or water based poly or a pre-catalyzed lacquer. An oil based poly or nitrocellulose lacquer will yellow as it ages and looks bad on light woods.
How about Bullseye Seal Coat?

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Originally Posted by BWSmith View Post
Next we take a chainsaw and shim it,for lack of better description?,.....so that:We are laying the bar down flat on wood surface,depending on shim's thickness and that particular chain....determines the amt of "texturing".Pull trigger and take off,skimming the surface.When done well,it'll fool historic architects/engineer types.Like I said,you didn't hear it from me.
Haha! That's the kind of solution I love! Unfortunately I left my chainsaw in Wisconsin when I married and moved to chicago, and also that's crazy and I'm not confident I could get away with it all limbs unmarred.

Do you think a saws all could pull off anything close to as good? It seems it might be worth a try?
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-12-2013, 11:24 PM
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Sealcoat is a shellac. It doesn't really yellow that much as it ages but has an initial amber cast to it. I don't think shellac is a very good product for a table top. I think it lacks the hardness a table top finish would need. The purpose of sealcoat is really a sealer. It is a de-waxed shellac which can be used as a undercoat to a polyurethane. If you are just using the shellac as a finish you don't have to use a de-waxed shellac. You could use the super blonde shellac. It is available dewaxed but may be easier to find as standard shellac. Any shellac though is something that needs to be sprayed. It's easy to brush the first coat on but when you brush a second coat on you have to work very fast as the second coat dissolves the first coat.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-13-2013, 11:03 AM
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Have you talked to a sawmill? My local sawmill has aromatic cedar on their kiln-dried list... if you can just buy kiln dried rough sawn cedar then you'll save time over having to roughen up smooth wood. Then to get that look you can just hit it with a jack plane set to a light cut or use a cabinet scraper.
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