Black Walnut Floating Top End Table

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
11 years ago I bought some black walnut for dirt cheap. Note the piece on the far right. I thought that was an interesting piece at the time, but never know what I would use it for.
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The bench is 60" long for reference.
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Some cleanup
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Crosscut on the slider
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Then off to the bandsaw
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Some resawing
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Planning out the top, the void will be filled with epoxy
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Filling knots with epoxy tinted black
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Flattening another piece for leg stock which was too wide for my jointer.
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Made a form for the epoxy pour
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Metallic pigments
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Parts planned out. I had some fun with the grain on this one.
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I had to laminate some pieces to get the grain that I wanted and the thickness that I wanted.
The bottom piece is a left-right bookmatch.
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Leg stock
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The 3 show faces. The other face will go against the couch.
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Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Sliding dovetails for the floating top
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Cut some bevels on the edges of the table. Made a fixture to hold the stock on the sliding table. This worked well.
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Dry fit
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Decided to try pre-finishing on this project
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Glue up
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Floating top attachment points
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Final resting place
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I had a lot of issues with the finish, still not 100% happy with it, but it was time to move on. No exaggeration, I applied and sanded off the finish at least 7 or 8 times. There may have been a few curse words and temper tantrums.... :)
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Beautiful work Jeremy, really like the epoxy pour on this one. Linking the full size image here for folks to really appreciate the detail (link to album)


What did you use for finish, and what caused the problems? Was it the finish over the epoxy?
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Fabulous I have a similar piece of "what to do with" wood in the corner of my shop. Now I know
Thanks
 

gritz

Robert
Senior User
I know finishing those materials with varying porosity would be a challenge for me. Nice piece!
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
What did you use for finish, and what caused the problems? Was it the finish over the epoxy?
First I tried wiping on shellac that was heavily diluted with denatured alcohol. I was getting really bad streaks and bubbles where there were little pin-holes in the epoxy (places where knots were filled, not the river-pour section). Eventually I gave up on shellac and moved to General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. I have used Arm-R-Seal several times in the past and have had good results wiping it on with a rag. I thinned it with Mineral Spirits, but I couldn't get it on without getting bad streaks (much like the shellac, so it is probably something about my method). I moved to a foam brush with Arm R Seal, which was putting on a heavier coat and the streaks went away, but I was getting bad runs and drips at the edges.

I even tried spraying the shellac and the Arm-R-Seal, but I would get TONS of little specks of crap on the piece. Some of the larger specks had a white color to them which made me thing about the last thing I sprayed (white enamel paint). Probably didn't clean the gun well enough.

Eventually I sprayed a light coat of Arm-R-Seal on the top, sanded the specks of crap off the top and called it done. Once the piece gets some use and I re-learn how to put a coat of finish on, I'll probably redo the finish on the top.
 

JohnW

John
Corporate Member
Love the design and build pictures Jeremy. Like how you arranged the grain patterns.

I've had the same issues with epoxy fills. Depending on brand and formulation, epoxy requires special prep before finishing. Consult the manufacturer and see what they recommend. It typically includes waiting for the cure to finish, washing/scrubbing with water, and sanding to get level and add a bite for the finish to adhere. I just completed a natural log coffee table refinish and had several large areas that required epoxy fill. It takes much longer for a thick fill to cure than I expected. Had to wait a week to 10 days before the finish would go on without blush and pock holes. My shop was at around 62 degrees at the time. Turning up the heater would have speed things along.
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Jeremy, beautiful craftsmanship! Additionally, the entire project appears to be well-planned and well-executed. I have no insights regarding your finishing issues. I typically enjoy the building phase, but when it comes to the finishing, I am not a fan.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
Jeremy, I had difficulties finishing an epoxy piece as well when trying to use poly. I had roughed the surface as required, but still had streaks and ton's of tiny bubbles. After stripping it all back off, I elected to sand the entire top to 2000 grit and applied Odie's oil which is more like a wax that hardens. It worked well, but I did not get as much sheen as I would have liked even with some buffing. Next time I may try either an epoxy topcoat (very high sheen) or Rubio Monocoat. Both seem to be widely used for river tables.
 

JohnnyR

John
Corporate Member
Beautifully done Jeremy! How many showers did you take before you had it figured out in your head?
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Beautifully done Jeremy! How many showers did you take before you had it figured out in your head?
I had the design mostly planned out in my head before I started cutting wood. The wood grain choices evolved as the project progressed.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
Just like Phil, I have a book-matched pair of 8/4 maple slabs in the corner. They are around 6' long, and I've not given much thought to their fate. So thank you Jeremy, for inspiration from your beautifully rendered table!
 

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