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· Wood Snob
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phinds said:
There are fillers that are best used on porous wood, ESPECIALLY oak, before you put on poly, but it's too late for you. I don't know how many coats you would need to put on to totally smooth out the pore holes, but it's likely to be a lot.
I'm with you on the filler. It's too bad many here don't do it. Especially on furniture. Really takes the finished table to a finer quality.

To the OP. You might try sanding it flat with a fine grit and then try filling by rubbing it in with #4 pumice. Leave the pumice in the pores and finish. Don't know if it will work with poly but it's an old method of French polishing.

If your new to woodworking. I'd like to challenge you to research finishes for furniture that don't use poly. For end tables you could use a wipe on varnish (not the poly type) that will be the easiest to apply and look like a million bucks. Too many times we get caught up in the idea that the finish has to be rock hard and bullet proof.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

· Wood Snob
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ryan50hrl said:
I've never used filler or sealer on oak. I understand why people use filler, but sealer? I think oak is one of the easiest to finish.
I never used sealer before either. But now I'm building the largest woodworking project I have ever done. 4 walk in closets in walnut. I'm into my 26th sheet of 3/4" ply and I'm glad someone talked me into using a vinyl sealer. It's the product the manufacturer makes specifically to be applied (sprayed) before the pre cat lacquer. It's cheaper. It bonds better and it sands so fast and easy without the build up on the paper. I get 5 gal for the price of two gal of lacquer.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

· Wood Snob
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GoNavy429 said:
I have gone to the wipe on poly's for just that reason and have had some really good results. Usually have to do more then 3 coats, five seems to work great, but really not that hard to do, wiping on the poly goes really fast and no chance for bubbles, streaks or drips. I use old tee shirt square to put it on. Comes in oil and water based.

oil base
http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/interior-clear-protective-finishes/minwax-wipeon-poly

water based
http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/interior-clear-protective-finishes/minwax-water-based-wipeon-poly
While I shy away from poly. My finish of choice for anything in furniture is a wipe on varnish. Like you said, it's not hard to do. In fact it's probably the easiest finish to do if you want a fine finish. I use the oldest method known to woodworking, but unfortunately they no longer give directions for it on the cans anymore.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

· Wood Snob
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5,963 Posts
Filling open pore wood such as oak and walnut will produce a fine finish. It's a step up in quality and will turn heads. People will want to feel the difference they see with their eyes. It's the difference between a complement for your work and admiration. I would like to encourage anyone to try filler and enjoy the difference a little more work can produce.

Al B Thayer

Nails only hold themselves.
 
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