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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have recently started working on a coffee table out of a 40" (ranges from 38-42") round maple slab that is 4.5" thick. It is a gorgeous piece, however, it has an area of rot in it. It is still very green, it has not been drying for very long at all yet. I don't mind that it has rot, I like the character that it adds. What I would like to know is how to remove the rotten wood, preserve the healthy wood surrounding the rot, and prevent the rot from spreading.

any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

-L
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! I'm not certain that I would like to fill the defect with epoxy or leave it open.

Are there any good, simple methods for removing the rotten wood while preserving all of the good wood??

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here are some photos of the piece I am working with!

Edit: two photos didn't upload, I'll try to get them up
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
image.jpg
You can see the dark region on the slab... It is very soft and it like to remove it somehow. Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mallet and chisel.

If you want to purchase a new power tool, then an Arbortech will grind this out fast.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2001846/9374/Arbortech-Complete-Mini-Grinder-Carving-Kit.aspx

Nice slab. I hope you post final pictures of the project.
Thanks!

Yeah, my father-in-law fell some trees in his backyard and I saw the stump of this huge maple and couldn't pass it up. I will try to post the finished product. I am aiming for a modern low profile coffee table that will sit on a 6 inch high industrial steel square that I'll will weld.
 

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Sure will make a nice table top that's for sure.
Controlling the checking, is a bigger issue on its own. Almost guarantee it will check down the center.
Happens when the annual rings shrink as it dries.
Not the end of the world. Pieces I've done like that have checked, but adds to the character.
Can't wait to see it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another question for you guys:

I know that this piece needs to dry for a couple years, but it is quite straight right now, so I was thinking I would sand the top nicely and put some kind of oil or smooth wax and use it as a coffee table in the meantime. Is there a good oil or wax that will bring out the grain nicely while both letting the wood continue to dry and being easy to sand off once I want to apply the final finish??
 

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Another question for you guys:

I know that this piece needs to dry for a couple years, but it is quite straight right now, so I was thinking I would sand the top nicely and put some kind of oil or smooth wax and use it as a coffee table in the meantime. Is there a good oil or wax that will bring out the grain nicely while both letting the wood continue to dry and being easy to sand off once I want to apply the final finish??
If you seal the surface, it will take forever to dry, since by definition sealing is sealing in the moisture. The seal is not perfect, but it will slow down the necessary loss of moisture to get close to your shop/house moisture level.

If you use oil, you can later apply an oil based finish.

If you use wax, you cannot easily apply future finish, since most will not adhere to wax, other than more wax.

Dewaxed shellac will make the grain stand out, and will be easily removed by future sanding, but is not as good a seal for moisture control since it is a thin film. Dewaxed shellac can be used with water or oil based finishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you seal the surface, it will take forever to dry, since by definition sealing is sealing in the moisture. The seal is not perfect, but it will slow down the necessary loss of moisture to get close to your shop/house moisture level.

If you use oil, you can later apply an oil based finish.

If you use wax, you cannot easily apply future finish, since most will not adhere to wax, other than more wax.

Dewaxed shellac will make the grain stand out, and will be easily removed by future sanding, but is not as good a seal for moisture control since it is a thin film. Dewaxed shellac can be used with water or oil based finishes.
Thanks for your reply. I've just been to 2 big woodworking stores, a paint store, and a specialty woodworking store and know one knew what "dewaxed shellac" is or where I could find it. Where does on get dewaxed shellac from?
 

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Thanks for your reply. I've just been to 2 big woodworking stores, a paint store, and a specialty woodworking store and know one knew what "dewaxed shellac" is or where I could find it. Where does on get dewaxed shellac from?
Wow, I am surprised the woodworking stores do not understand that shellac is made in dewaxed version.

The stores may recognize this product.

The can says 100% wax free. It is a shellac based product. Handy product to have around. As the name implies, it is frequently used to seal the surface of wood prior to staining, to get a more even stain.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004758/7876/Sealcoat-Universal-Sanding-Sealer-Quart.aspx

Edit - additional link.

FYI, if you ever want to mix your own shellac, you just need to purchase flakes and denatured alcohol. This is a good source of the flakes and lots of information about shellac. This site knows the difference between regular shellac and dewaxed.

http://www.shellac.net/

I also use the Zinsser shellac products which contain wax.
 

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Dave Paine said:
Wow, I am surprised the woodworking stores do not understand that shellac is made in dewaxed version.

The stores may recognize this product.

The can says 100% wax free. It is a shellac based product. Handy product to have around. As the name implies, it is frequently used to seal the surface of wood prior to staining, to get a more even stain.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2004758/7876/Sealcoat-Universal-Sanding-Sealer-Quart.aspx

Edit - additional link.

FYI, if you ever want to mix your own shellac, you just need to purchase flakes and denatured alcohol. This is a good source of the flakes and lots of information about shellac. This site knows the difference between regular shellac and dewaxed.

http://www.shellac.net/

I also use the Zinsser shellac products which contain wax.
+1 I find it hard to believe to.
I Found it at the orange box store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
+1 I find it hard to believe to.
I Found it at the orange box store.
I honestly cannot find a wax free shellac anywhere. I am from BC Canada, maybe the main dewaxed shellac products are american.

Is there anything else that will accomplish the goal that I stated previously?
If I were to use a wax containing shellac, how deep would I have to sand to be able to apply a laquer a year or two from now when my piece has finished drying?
 

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I honestly cannot find a wax free shellac anywhere. I am from BC Canada, maybe the main dewaxed shellac products are american.

Is there anything else that will accomplish the goal that I stated previously?
If I were to use a wax containing shellac, how deep would I have to sand to be able to apply a laquer a year or two from now when my piece has finished drying?
You can always try mail order. This is one Canadian company in Quebec which sell dewaxed shellac. I think there may be a closer source.

http://artantiquequebec.com/en/shellac.htm

Shellac is easily re-dissolved in denatured alcohol.
If this was face grain, you may be able to flush it out later with alcohol then sanding. Since this is end grain it will go some depth in to the pores.

If you eventually want to apply laquer, perhaps you start with applying lacquer. It will show the grain, perhaps not as well as shellac.
 

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I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this but a dewaxed shellac will seal the end grain pores almost completely. There will be little or no transfer of water vapor through the endgrain. Drying will be greatly slowed up. Dewaxed shellac is one of the most water vapor inhibitors. In fact, some use it to end seal logs that have be newly cut.

To the extent you can, you want to promote water vapor flow from the end grain, not inhibit it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Sorry I'm jumping around a lot, as the thread states I am quite new to all of this.

I need to get this table done ASAP as I am a 3rd year medical student and I start in the hospital next week. I cant find that shellac anywhere and dont have time to order it now. I noticed my father has a bottle of "Watco natural Danish oil finish" as well as "Watco satin finishing wax". What do you guys think of me applying the natural oil and then topped with the satin wax (the wax is made to top the oil product)?
I've sanded the slab to 400 grit and LOVE feeling how smooth it is... Would this finish be stroke worthy??

Thanks again!!
 

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A coating of anything with wax means it will be a challenge to get a future finish to adhere.

Wax remnants will prevent future finishes from good adhesion to the wood.

Pick your poison. Pay now, or pay later.
 

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>>>> Watco natural Danish oil finish" as well as "Watco satin finishing wax".

Watco is a type of finish known as an oil/varnish mixture. It's a mixture of linseed oil and a varnish resin thinned with mineral spirits. The Watco Finishing Wax is just a standard paste wax thinned with mineral spirits. Neither one will provide much in the way of protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As it turns out, people in person are much more convincing than people online, haha.

I decided, upon talking to several local experts that I eventually got a hold of, to use pure tung oil. I have already completed the first application and am loving what the grain looks like with it. I am going to do ~6-7 coats with wet sanding with 600g.

A question in regards to apply tung oil. Two fellas that both seemed quite confident in talking about tung oil application gave my slightly different advice. One said to apply the first coat with a lint free cloth, and for each subsequent coat, pour the tung oil onto 600g sand paper and apply in circular motion. The other fella said to do the same thing for the first coat but to merely use 0000 steel wool between subsequent coats. Is one of these methods better than the other? Is there a combo of the two methods that would produce a more "touchable" smooth finish?
Thanks!
 
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