17 April 2016 at 1:18 am #136447
I’ve been working on a side table in american black walnut. It’s taken me a while because I bought the timber rough sawn so it seemed to take me weeks of sawing an planing to get the pieces to finished size. I have now completed the joinery and am starting the final assembly. I have really enjoyed working with this wood (my first time) I can get a beautiful surface with a No. 4 and a cabinet scraper. I just need to decide how to finish it. I have made it to go in my partners office to match her desk and cabinet. I gave an off cut a couple of coats of tung oil and whilst it really brings out the grain and looks stunning it is a little dark. I tried the same with BLO but it still seems dark. Can anyone suggest an alternative? Photos show table clamped up in “rehearsal” stage. I’m especially proud of the table top which is made up of four pieces with a bullnose front edge. I’m keeping it in a drawer at the moment for safe keeping.17 April 2016 at 2:11 am #136452
That is some sweet looking wood. But they don’t call it “black” walnut for nothing. Maybe you could try shellac, but if it could take spills that might not be a good idea. I’ve used clear polyurethane on projects before with pretty good results. Also, Paul uses a clear finish on (I think) the table top of the dining table he built last year. I used the same finish on a table I made last year and it seems OK, though the table top is pine, so it is soft and even with the finish it still dents easily. Can’t remember what it was, but if you watch his video you can find out.
Matt, Northern California - Started a blog in 2016: http://tinyshopww.blogspot.com/17 April 2016 at 4:46 am #136453
If you don’t want the timber to get darker I noticed you already have tung oil, just thin it and all it will do is pop the grain but it will leave it’s natural colour unchanged.
The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
(Hand tool only woodworking magazine)19 April 2016 at 8:07 am #136494
Thanks for your advice guys. I’ll try thinning some tung later and see what it looks like. I’ve also got some water based poly left over from another project so i’ll try some of that also. The table is all glued up and together now, pic attached.4 May 2016 at 9:33 am #136966
So I went with water based poly- 2 coats watered down and 3 coats neat with a light sanding between coats then a final polish with beeswax. I think it looks nice. I’m very pleased with it4 May 2016 at 10:45 am #136973
I believe walnut lightens with age… My grandparents dinning table, made of walnut, is a golden oak color/copper color. Maybe it was from sitting in the sun for many many years?
Anyway, that is a beautiful table!4 May 2016 at 11:43 am #136975
Brett aka PheasantwwParticipant
Great job and the wood is spectacular…One thing to try next time is to taper the legs a little. It will give the table a more delicate look…
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