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TomRash

Claro Walnut Table Top Finish

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Attached are the two boards that are going to make up the table I am making.  The base is going to be made with cherry.  I am hoping to be done with the woodworking part next week. Then comes the tough part. I have never worked with claro walnut before so I am not sure how I should finish for a durable good looking top. I would prefer something that looks natural and not like plastic.

 

I have used WATERLOX ORIGINAL SEALER/FINISH for other projects, but I am not sure if I should use it here. What about enduro-var or Arm-r-seal? Should the pores be filled and if so with what?  I have heard doing it by sanding with oil and creating a slurry. Any thoughts would be appreciated.   

post-14723-0-21718300-1383746127_thumb.j

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First, wow, stunning lumber!  Love the crotch burl.

 

Now, when you say "Plastic", do you mean a thick built up finish or a high sheen or both?  I have had people describe both to me as "Too Plasticy" so I don't want to mislead you with my own opinion on what makes wood look plasticy.  Also, just how tough does it need to be?  Durability and repair-ability of the finish are typically an inverse relationship.  So the tougher you want the finish, the more difficult it will be to repair if damage occurs.  

 

 

Personally, I almost always go with an oil and wax finish on any table, especially if you are going for a "rustic" look, which burls lend themselves to.  You can warm up the colors and pop the grain with different oil selections.  An oil/varnish mix called "Danish Oil" works really well on figured walnut. Then I'd wipe on a butcher block treatment (Mineral Oil / Beeswax)  This will make the table super easy to maintain and repair.  You will literally spend more time finding the treatment and a rag than you will repairing.  No finish will stand up to a rogue fork or knife, so I just go with easiest to repair.   This method is not the best at protecting against "Dings" but, really, neither is anything else until you get into the uber thick epoxy finishes.  Which, by definition will look plasticy, because that is exactly what they are.  

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I've recently built and finished a claro walnut table and benches.  the finish i chose is a 50/50 mix of varnish/tung oil.  wet sand in finish from 220 grit(i'll sometimes skip), 320, 400, 600...etc. until you get what you want.  thin the first couple coats and i'll do two coats at the lowest grit.  I then follow up with Skidmore's restoration cream, a beeswax/tungoil finish.  very smooth feel, easy to maintain and repair,  no plastic lookpost-14725-0-35084400-1383754160_thumb.j

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Good ol' Arm-R-Seal satin on walnut never disappoints me.  The oil in it pops the figure nicely, and it's a very durable finish.  Couldn't be easier to apply, either.

 

Some killer boards you have there.

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Wow.....pretty cool!!!!

 

if you look closely at the bottom 1/3rd of the boards. I see a devils face just above the shape of a heart. Very cool. Too bad...looks like you will lose that once you get things jointed.

 

-Ace-

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Hey, Tom. Welcome to the forum. Those are some awesome boards. It would be hard for me to finish that table top because of all the drool marks I'd be making. :)  +1 on the Danish oil.

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I've recently built and finished a claro walnut table and benches.  the finish i chose is a 50/50 mix of varnish/tung oil.  wet sand in finish from 220 grit(i'll sometimes skip), 320, 400, 600...etc. until you get what you want.  thin the first couple coats and i'll do two coats at the lowest grit.  I then follow up with Skidmore's restoration cream, a beeswax/tungoil finish.  very smooth feel, easy to maintain and repair,  no plastic lookattachicon.gifwalnut bench 011.jpg

 

nice bench, I like the simplicity of the legs. 

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I've recently built and finished a claro walnut table and benches.  the finish i chose is a 50/50 mix of varnish/tung oil.  wet sand in finish from 220 grit(i'll sometimes skip), 320, 400, 600...etc. until you get what you want.  thin the first couple coats and i'll do two coats at the lowest grit.  I then follow up with Skidmore's restoration cream, a beeswax/tungoil finish.  very smooth feel, easy to maintain and repair,  no plastic lookattachicon.gifwalnut bench 011.jpg

That's an awesome bench. The finish is great, too.

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Thanks everyone for the ideas. I will be sure to post some pics when I am done.  I love that bench too and may have to "borrow" the design for a bench I am building for the table.  

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The bench has a sister, both of which belong to a 40"x9' bookmatched slab table.  It almost looks like the slabs could have been from the same tree.  Pic was too big and couldn't figure out how to shrink it.  it can be seen on my google+ page.  wentzelwoodworking.  Claro burls have just amazing figure.  lots  and lots of scraping. As for the bench design, very fun one i've been working on.  The first one was madrone with slab leg. FWW#233pg.75.  no glue or fasteners on either  bench is the trick.

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