Maple Trestle Table, Session 31 – Finishing the Top

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session;
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons;
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs;
Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving;
Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base;
Session 20 – A Little Sanding, then Lots More Sanding;
Session 21 – Preparing for a Big Glue-Up;
Session 22 – Fitting and Joining the Table Top;
Session 23 – The Bottom of the Top;
Session 24 – Profiling the Table’s Edge;
Session 25 – Completing the Bottom Edge;
Session 26 – Installing the Base;
Session 27 – Flattening the Top and Completing the Edge;
Session 28 – Filling the Voids;
Session 29 – Removing Epoxy, Then Adding More; and
Session 30 – Preparing for Finishing and Starting Some Finishing.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks “WELCOME to Session 31 of the Maple Trestle Table build!” I shout from the rooftops. #flairww -3:01 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the table on its feet and I’m preparing to lay down the first of three coats of General Finish’s Enduro-Var Satin. #flairww -3:03 PM Jul 17th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks method of application? -3:10 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I’ll use a rag to wipe on the final 3 coats. There are already 2 heavily brushed on coats of General Exterior 450 urethane containing UV inhibitors. #flairww -3:17 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve gone over the top surface with 320-grit paper to level the last brushed coat. Now I’ll hand-sand the edges. #flairww -3:20 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I brushed on the first two coats, I was more concerned about coverage than runs. #flairww -3:25 PM Jul 17th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks whoop whoop whoop!!!!! #flairww -3:25 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to make sure that I remove all the runs before I start finishing. My right hand is sanding, my left is feeling for bumps. #flairww -3:25 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood Isn’t it exciting? I can’t wait to get some pictures of the finished table to share with everyone! #flairww -3:26 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I vacuumed the surface thoroughly. Now I’m ready to continue finishing. #flairww -3:50 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first coat of Enduro-Var has been ragged on very thinly. It’s already dry to the touch. #flairww-3:59 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll apply another coat in one hour.#flairww -3:59 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just applied another thin, wiped-on coat of finish. It’s quick and easy once you find the rhythm. Hint: don’t use too much finish. #flairww -5:14 PM Jul 17th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks @tumblewood we are waiting with baited breath #flairww -5:27 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time for another, and possibly last, coat of finish! #flairww -6:14 PM Jul 17th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks Must feel very good! -6:15 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks While applying the finish, I noticed what looks like a dried drop of finish. #flairww -6:21 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll come back in an hour and level it, then apply one more coat. #flairww -6:21 PM Jul 17th, 2012

LaMacchiaDesign @FlairWoodworks how did wiping enduro var go? I’ve only brushed on. -6:30 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @LaMacchiaDesign It started to go very well once I figured out how much finish to have on the rag. Too much and it leaves a wet trail. #flairww -6:31 PM Jul 17th, 2012

LaMacchiaDesign @FlairWoodworks how light of a coat did you do? I realize that might be hard to reference. – 6:35 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @LaMacchiaDesign Light enough that it was dry to the touch perhaps 10 seconds later. Does that help? #flairww -6:36 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @LaMacchiaDesign The right amount of finish doesn’t make things slippery, but there is only a little drag. #flairww -6:40 PM Jul 17th, 2012

LaMacchiaDesign @FlairWoodworks yes. I’ve used it enough to have some insight on that. I’m going to try it one of these days. Are you happy w/ how it went? – 6:40 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @LaMacchiaDesign I am very happy with how the finishing process went. #flairww -6:41 PM Jul 17th, 2012

Warped_Boards @FlairWoodworks do you wipe it on with a tampon, rag, sponge or brush? -10:33 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Warped_Boards I use a cotton rag carefully bundled up so that no wrinkles contact the workpiece. #flairww -10:35 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Warped_Boards It’s similar to a French-polishing pad, except all cotton. #flairww -10:36 PM Jul 17th, 2012

Warped_Boards @FlairWoodworks cool, I’m going to try that. I’ve been annoyed by using a sponge brush- it applies too much finish that then sags -10:40 PM Jul 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Warped_Boards Nothing worse than sags. I did use foam brushes to apply the first two coats to build the finish, then sanded back. #flairww -10:41 PM Jul 17th, 2012

Now, I will wait for the finish to cure to the point that when I sand it, dust is produced and the finish doesn’t produce “corns”, clogging the abrasive paper.  In Session 32, I’ll smooth the finish and give the table a final inspection.

You can leave a comment now, or wait to see pictures of the completed table.  (That feels so good to write!)

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