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    Just getting started...interested in almost everything right now
  1. Thanks! Yeah, I am discovering that...I am currently selling my motorcycle to fund my woodshop start up. I am also lucky to have a father-in-law who has years of experience and a sweet shop to work in where I can learn. He and my brother-in-law are giving me tools left and right that they don't need, so I should be really up and running in no time. On top of that my wonderful wife gave me a coupon for father's day good for a woodworking class of my choice. It shouldn't be too long before I actually know a thing or two!
  2. Thanks guys...the little man loves it and I am pretty proud of the way it turned out considering this was my first finishing experience. I have def been bitten by the woodworking bug and am working on setting up shop in the garage. Here is a picture of the finished train table before it went inside and got loaded up with trains. Can't wait to get into the next project and looking forward to sharing everything I am learning with my son when he gets older.
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    Maple Train Table

    First time finishing...
  4. Well my wife was really happy with the first coat, so maybe I am being a little too critical. Overall I would def take a different approach next time and I may refinish it in a few years once I get some more knowledge and experience under my belt. Here is a picture of the second coat...we are debating a third coat, but haven't decided. Areas that were accepting more stain become more noticeable with the second coat, so I am a little nervous to make this even more pronounced with a third coat. We will see...
  5. Update: So Sunday night I put a coat of Bull's Eye wax free shellac on and then put the first coat of stain on last night. I am really showing how green I am at woodworking with this project unfortunately. Having little experience, I thought the pieces came from the manufacturer pretty well sanded, so I didn't sand before applying the shellac. Also, I didn't see Marc sand the shellac before adding the gel stain in his video, so I did not do this far I am thinking I should have done both. I have attached a picture of two of the side rails to this point so far...I don't think
  6. Thanks for the quick responses...I just needed that little bit of confirmation to boost my confidence since this is the first time I have ever finished anything and it is a birthday gift that we hope to have in our home for quite some time. I will try to post some pictures once it is complete!
  7. Hey guys, I hope everyone is all set for the weekend. I recently purchased an unfinished maple train table for my son's birthday (he is turning 2 and loves Thomas). We wanted to purchase it unfinished so we could stain it to match our living room (dark wood everywhere). I am very new to the woodworking world, so I have been doing a lot of research on how to darken this wood without any problems. I was planning on going with the process outlined by Marc in his coloring blotchy wood video. I was going to go with a shellac sealer first, then a general finishes gel stain, and I am trying