Finishing tabletop with beetle grooves

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  • #661803
    Andrew Brand
    Participant

    Hello all, I am quite new to the site and learning a lot from everything that I have been reading so thank you first off. I am currently building a table top with some floor joists out of an old barn that were victim to powder post beetles at some point (I’m guessing). I have not yet glues them but will be doing so this week. My question is are there any precautions that need to be taken when dealing with this type of wood. I am concerned that it is porus and with some stains it may end up looking like crap and with just poly it may get too thick and end up yellowing. I don’t really know how people generally deal with this type of wood but I love the character and am set on using it. I appreciate any insight as I am really new to this and even the smallest thing can help. Thanks in advance!

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    #661848
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    One approach is to use table or bar top epoxies, which can be built up several mm thick with successive coatings.

    Look here and see if it is something you want to get into:

    https://promarinesupplies.com/products/crystal-clear-bar-table-top-epoxy-resin-coating-for-wood-tabletop
    Read the data sheets.

    There are many brands and they behave differently. Some have to be built up, some can be poured thick with a form around the edges.
    The built up kind can be stopped when you feel the wood is sufficiently consolidated, and you can sand and finish after.
    You can also color the epoxy to taste.
    You will probably have to fill the back side and tape open seams. Epoxy has a way of finding drain holes.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #661863
    Andrew Brand
    Participant

    Thanks for the info Larry, is it possible to do a light stain on the wood prior to doing a thin epoxy. I am a little worried about the stain settling in the low spots and creating darker veins where the bugs were. The stain is going to be necessary to get the top to match reclaimed legs that I built and will attach a picture of. The top is quite light in color and the legs are a fair amount darker.

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    #661869
    Stijn Bossuyt
    Participant

    Yes, your concern that the stain might be taken up too much in some places is justified. I would pour transparent epoxy until all the holes are filled, then I would add a layer of epoxy with a colour mixed in, and I would finish with a transparent layer again. That should do the trick.

    #661872
    Andrew Brand
    Participant

    Thanks Stijn, that doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all, I personally never would have thought about mixing stain in the epoxy. I appreciate the help guys, I have so much work into it at this point that its kind of a scary thing to think about messing it up when finishing. I am trying to avoid a glossy/glass looking surface when complete but if that is my only option then I’ll make due.

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