Maple Trestle Table, Session 30 – Preparing for Finishing and Starting Some Finishing

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; and
Session 29 – Removing Epoxy, Then Adding More.

(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 I’m back at work on Maple Trestle Table. I have more scraping and sanding of epoxy, but hopefully that won’t be the whole day. #flairww-10:41 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll start work today by sanding the bottom to 320-grit. #flairww -10:45 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m sanding the flat area first. Then I’ll sand the contoured edge. #flairww -11:02 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then I’ll flip the top and repeat. #flairww -11:02 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The top has been sanded to 320-grit. At this point, the edge has only been sanded to 120-grit. #flairww -11:17 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The edge has now been sanded to 180-grit. #flairww -11:26 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The edge is now sanded to 220-grit.#flairww -11:34 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The bottom of the table, including the edge, is sanded to 320-grit. Time to flip the top! #flairww -11:42 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks In preparation for flipping the top, I reattached the battens so I don’t risk scratching the surface. #flairww -11:50 AM Jul 8th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks [Are you sanding the edge] by hand? -11:50 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve been using my random orbit sander with a 3/8″ foam interface pad. It works well. #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks by hand? -11:54 AM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Remember this side? I need to scrape epoxy before sanding. #flairww -11:57 AM Jul 8th, 2012

Tumblewood He’s at it again!! Woot! RT @FlairWoodworks: Remember this side? I need to scrape epoxy before sanding. #flairww -12:05 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Scraping is done. Now I’ll sand to 320-grit. #flairww -12:41 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first stage of sanding takes the longest. I’ve sanded the top with 120-grit and switched to 180. #flairww -1:10 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks On to 220-grit. #flairww -1:24 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Finally, 320-grit! #flairww -1:33 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve sanded the top to 320-grit. It almost looks finished. #flairww -1:47 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a damp rag to raise the grain. #flairww -1:49 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When the surface is wet, it looks finished. This is very rewarding. #flairww -1:49 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After being dampened, the wood feels a little rough. I’ll lightly sand it by hand with 320-grit. #flairww -1:54 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I sanded the edge and knocked down the raised grain. I am done sanding and ready for finishing! #flairww -2:12 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Well, there’s actually a bit more to do before finishing. I have to smooth the epoxy on the inside edges. #flairww -2:14 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I removed the sharpness from the live edge with a little hand sanding. #flairww -2:30 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I blended the epoxy into the live edge with a file and sandpaper. #flairww -2:32 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My first coat will be a finish with UV inhibitors to prevent the epoxy from yellowing. #flairww -2:38 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I know… you want to see a picture of the table with some finish on it. Here you go! #flairww -2:49 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And now, we wait. #flairww -2:50 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks In an hour, I’ll give the top a light sanding then apply another coat of the exterior finish. #flairww -2:53 PM Jul 8th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Looks great, Chris! Gonna be no fun finishing but at least it’s nearly done and out the door! #flairww -3:31 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Why do you think it will be no fun to finish? #flairww -3:51 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s been an hour so I’ll give the table a light sanding with 320-grit, then apply another coat. #flairww -3:51 PM Jul 8th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks ..seems like a lot of nooks and crannies, which is never fun during finishing except that… ur nearly done! wahoo! #flairww-3:53 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The top and base are both in the shop for finishing! #flairww -7:31 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There are some wicked lumps at the bottom of the can. I guess I need to keep stirring… #flairww -7:33 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before the second coat, I’m going to lightly sand the surface to make it smooth. #flairww -9:31 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After sanding the finish smooth, I wiped off the dust with a rag slightly dampened with water. #flairww -9:49 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second coat has been applied to the base and underside of the top. #flairww -10:21 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After this coat of finish dries, I’ll smooth it before applying the final coat. Then I’ll rub it out for a perfect finish. #flairww -10:24 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks In simple terms, rubbing out is sanding the finish. I may use these foam-backed abrasive pads. #flairww -10:27 PM Jul 8th, 2012

HalfInchShy What would it be in non-simple terms? :) RT @FlairWoodworks: In simple terms, rubbing out is sanding the finish. #flairww -10:43 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Abrading the macroscopic synthetic stratum to obtain a smooth, uniform appearance using an abrasive medium. #flairww-10:49 PM Jul 8th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop preparing for the last coat of finish tonight. #flairww -12:14 AM Jul 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I love the way this finish looks. I’ll finish applying the finish tomorrow. #flairww -1:05 AM Jul 9th, 2012

Before flipping the top over to finish the other side, I will rub out the bottom surface. The trestle base needs only to be rubbed out to complete it.  That will happen in Session 31!

Care to leave a comment?

6 thoughts on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 30 – Preparing for Finishing and Starting Some Finishing

  1. This is so interesting! I don’t know the first thing about woodworking, but I‘m so amazed by this. One day I would like to build my own chair out of wood .. maybe when I retire, lol!

    1. Hi Holly,

      One summer about ten years ago, when I first got really interested in woodworking, I read nearly every woodworking book and magazine at the local library. That gave me enough knowledge and confidence to start experimenting. Keep reading and you’ll get there too.


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