Finished coffee table

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merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
I finally finished my first version of this coffee table. These pictures aren't great - I need to take some time to get some better ones, but it might be a while since I get that done. The design of this table (not mine) uses an interesting combination of joinery that, if done right, should allow the table to be assembled with no metal fasteners and no glue. My joinery was not perfect, so the 8 pegged bridle joints (leg to apron) are glued.

It is QS red oak and walnut. Finish is shellac. Top has about 20 coats of shellac, leveled and hand-rubbed to fill the pores and get an even satin sheen. The results were my best yet, though still far from perfect.

This one started out as a prototype. Since I didn't screw that up too bad, I decided to make it a finishing exercise. I'll be building another from padauk and cherry. May give this one away.


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mark2

Mark
Corporate Member
Thats a good looking table - 20 coats is a lot of work but the resulting smoothness of the top looks worthy of the effort.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
Thats a good looking table - 20 coats is a lot of work but the resulting smoothness of the top looks worthy of the effort.

I just realized my wording was not quite correct. At least 20 coats have been applied to it. I cut back and leveled the finish with a scraper every ~5 coats to fill the pores. Between that and several rounds of wet-sanding and polishing, it probably really only has the equivalent of about 5 coats on it.

I was able to achieve a nearly perfectly-smooth surface, but the consistency of the sheen on the surface is not perfect. But, its the best finish I've ever achieved on an large-pore wood like oak. My next table will be padauk so I'll face the same challenge there. Hopefully I'll be able to improve a bit on it.
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
Really good looking table and a super design.:icon_thum

Shellac finish looks awesome!

Wayne
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
That is a great looking coffee table. I like the wood and glass combo.

Red
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Great craftsmanship results in a great looking table. Thank you for sharing!

(Finishing is one of my major downfalls, I need to try and develop your level of patience).

Cheers,
:eek:ccasion1
Donn
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Very nice contemporary design and execution. Interesting joinery with a few inherent challenges. :icon_cheers
 

mshel

New User
Michael Shelley
You might want to experiment with some shellac and pumice to fill the pores. It should help cut down on the number of fill coats you apply.


Mike
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
You might want to experiment with some shellac and pumice to fill the pores. It should help cut down on the number of fill coats you apply.

Mike - what affect does that have on the clarity of the finish? I avoided a pore filler because I did not want to obscure the wood.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
:eek:ccasion1Awesome table......where did you get the plans from???

I had no detailed plans, per se. After hours of picture searches, I found a table I liked on custommade.com and eventually traced the maker back to his own site. His original is quite beautiful:

http://www.design-lift.com/splinter/rocky-top.html

His site is worth a visit - he has some very nice designs.

I emailed Dale and he was gracious enough to send me a scan of his original drawings, which greatly helped me understand the joinery. I adjusted the size to fit my needs. I also adjusted the leg profile a bit and a few other details, ordered the glass and started building.

Finishing took about 5x as long as building it :( I really hope I've learned enough to make the next pass easier!

Chris
 
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