Final Steps

In my last post on this Accent Table, I had just completed the basic shaping of the top as you see in the above photo. Still looking a bit heavy in the thickness and still exhibiting some surface grain tear-out, I chose to reduce the thickness a bit more. I first hand-planed the underside of the top until it was flat and virtually free of blemishes. I then sent it through the surface planer to remove thickness from the top side.

This produced a better surface, but even so, I needed to remove nearly an additional 1/16" with the hand plane to completely eliminate the tear-out. It's a challenging piece of wood with the large, dramatic waves of flame in the surface grain.

I got into the rhythm of frequent trips to the sharpening stones and carefully set the iron to make very shallow cuts.

With the top, bottom, edges and ends planed to their final surfaces, I moved on to cutting a bevel along the front and rear edges of the top. Below, I'm using a block plane for all the rough stock removal. Final passes were done using my shop-made wooden smoothing plane.

Shallow end bevels on the underside are another ingredient I use to increase the visual lightness of the top. Rough cutting was done using a low angle smoothing plane and finished off, once again, with the shop-made wooden smoothing plane.

Final passes with the smoothing plane and a couple very light passes with 800 followed by 1,000 grit sandpaper complete surface preparation of the top.

In setting up for the final finish, I first set the stand up on blocks and proceeded to wipe the piece down with mineral spirits to clean it off, especially in the areas around the joinery where I had earlier applied beeswax to control glue squeeze-out.

Both the stand and the top received 2 coats of oil/resin finish made of a three-equal-part-mixture of Waterlox finish, tung oil and mineral spirits. After a two-day cure of the first coat, I like to very lightly sand the surface with 1,000 grid paper.

A similar light sanding will happen after the second coat followed by the application of a couple light coats of beeswax polish. Next time, I hope to have a few color images of the completed piece to share with you.

Hej då and happy shavings!