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I know for sure there is at least one guy here who does it. I don't get to play with burl much. I have cut some thin slices off a burl (gonna make a couple clocks, the burl will be the face) I messed with it today just to see how it would take varnish, just as I expected. Burl is a total mess of endgrain and flat grain. The flatter grain took varnish well, the eyes which are endgrain just kept soaking it up. I know they make endgrain sealer blah,blah and a guy could really sand between coats too, which I didn't do I was just playing with a piece. Any tips?
 

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I don't know what kind of sheen you are looking for but I use a finish on my bar tops that is an epoxy. It is however a high gloss only.

Another thought was to use a sealcoat like zinnser sealcoat then apply finish.

I do endgrain on some of my bartops and mantles and a good sanding sealer will also seal it up and allow for build.
 

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Ya gotta be talkin' about maple...right???

I found that oil is best...I know it's a pain, especially if it's been bakin' in the Oregon sun, but when it finally fills up I have found it to be spectacular. I had one slice 3/4" thick and it was a cap cross section that was cupped. Started puttin' oil on it and was able to turn a really nice platter out of it...or should I say... Jill did :shifty:

I use BLO or just regular mineral oil...That works great. Just keep wiping it on until it stops soakin' it up. When it dries I use a goblet buff and buff it out.

Then I usually spray a couple of coats of water based satin poly on it to seal it and it should be good....unless it's in the sun.

Good results come from good sanding. Oil will show tear out or scratches/gouges real well. I laways sand to 2000 grit with figured wood and an oil finish.

If it looks good the way it is I've also had good luck using bee's wax and a heat gun. Low heat thin coats and buff in between. 8 or 10 coats and you could beat it with a hammer and not dent it.

I'm not big on dying or staining. I prefer natural, and oil really ehances mother nature's artwork to the fullest. Although...I just turned a maple bedside table and I dyed it to match the woman's antique iron bed, from an e-mailed picture. When she got it she said it matched perfectly. My first dye job...a success....that will probablly be the last time.

I've tried just about everything...this works best for me.
 

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Just keep coating it (letting it dry) and sanding it down until you get a smooth surface. Sooner or later the end grain will fill up with finish and will finally produce a smooth finish. Be careful if you are using a top coat that has mil limits.

OR you can fill it with Bondo then sand it down for that funky pink dot effect.:no: :no: :no: :cursing:
 

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need help on finishing table

I have an old burl wood table that was left in the elements for a long time, all the finish is gone. I've sanded and sanded it down to get back to the natural color now I'm stuck. I tried using a pour on resin and it darkened the wood and I lost the color. Sanding, sanding and sanding some more I am back to the natural wood color. How do I or what can I use that will put that glass like finish on it and still keep the natural colors in it.
 

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I have an old burl wood table that was left in the elements for a long time, all the finish is gone. I've sanded and sanded it down to get back to the natural color now I'm stuck. I tried using a pour on resin and it darkened the wood and I lost the color. Sanding, sanding and sanding some more I am back to the natural wood color. How do I or what can I use that will put that glass like finish on it and still keep the natural colors in it.
You might be alright sanding the finish off since you are putting clear on the table however it's generally a bad idea to sand a finish off when refinishing. A finish should first be chemically removed with paint stripper. To check to see if you are alright wet the table top down with water and see if there is any places where the wood doesn't take the water. If there are spots I would use paint stripper and get the rest of the old finish off. The table is likely veneered so the last thing you want to do is more aggressive sanding. If after wetting the table and it's alright do a light sanding with 220 grit paper where the water is raised the grain.

The appearance of the table top with water on it will be the color of the table with a finish on it. If there isn't enough color the wood will need some stain.

A glass like finish can be done with any film finish however on burl will need a lot of surface preparation and the finish will need to be sprayed. Burl usually has a lot of defects in the surface so careful attention needs to be spent to find these defects and putty them. Even on a refinish these spots tend to re-appear. Then if it's an open grain wood such as walnut the grain needs to be filled with a grain filler. Then when you begin finishing start with a sanding sealer. Keep applying sealer sanding between coats until the surface is completely level and you can see no defects at all in the surface. Then put three or four coats of a gloss finish over the top wet sanding with 400 grit between coats. By then the finish should look really good. On the last coat wet sand it with 2000 grit paper followed by buffing it with a auto polisher. Use something like a 7" polisher with a lambswool bonnet with rubbing compound. Then use a clearcoat safe polish to even up the sheen.

If you use lacquer for the finish be sure to allow plenty of drying time between coats if you used a grain filler. Lacquer will melt into the dried finish and cause the grain filler to swell up out of the grain. Then by sanding you end up bringing back the grain texture again.
 

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You might be alright sanding the finish off since you are putting clear on the table however it's generally a bad idea to sand a finish off when refinishing. A finish should first be chemically removed with paint stripper. To check to see if you are alright wet the table top down with water and see if there is any places where the wood doesn't take the water. If there are spots I would use paint stripper and get the rest of the old finish off. The table is likely veneered so the last thing you want to do is more aggressive sanding. If after wetting the table and it's alright do a light sanding with 220 grit paper where the water is raised the grain.

The appearance of the table top with water on it will be the color of the table with a finish on it. If there isn't enough color the wood will need some stain.

A glass like finish can be done with any film finish however on burl will need a lot of surface preparation and the finish will need to be sprayed. Burl usually has a lot of defects in the surface so careful attention needs to be spent to find these defects and putty them. Even on a refinish these spots tend to re-appear. Then if it's an open grain wood such as walnut the grain needs to be filled with a grain filler. Then when you begin finishing start with a sanding sealer. Keep applying sealer sanding between coats until the surface is completely level and you can see no defects at all in the surface. Then put three or four coats of a gloss finish over the top wet sanding with 400 grit between coats. By then the finish should look really good. On the last coat wet sand it with 2000 grit paper followed by buffing it with a auto polisher. Use something like a 7" polisher with a lambswool bonnet with rubbing compound. Then use a clearcoat safe polish to even up the sheen.

If you use lacquer for the finish be sure to allow plenty of drying time between coats if you used a grain filler. Lacquer will melt into the dried finish and cause the grain filler to swell up out of the grain. Then by sanding you end up bringing back the grain texture again.
Thank you I will try that and it's not a veneer , It's a very hard and solid slab of a tree. I originally thought redwood but it's not.
 
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