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Multi wood Table

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I am building a table that is made from 4 different types of wood and the top will use all of the woods intermingled. (Wenge, Jatoba, Padauk and Walnut). Because of the very open grains I need to fill the pores. Since the colors of the woods are so different, I'm wondering what single product to use? Also, what finish would be good? (I'm thinking Watco Danish Oil Natural). The table will be used as an office work table. 

 

Thanks!

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I've been told that plaster of paris will turn translucent once you hit it with oil. It would then basically take whatever color it's in. Never done it myself though.

And Welcome

 

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google Crystalac, Rockler Woodworking has it as I'm sure others do, also Aquacoat at Woodcraft supply, either would be worth checking out. as for finish stay away from Watco in any form and stick with Arm-R-Seal from general finishes of a good quality varnish in satin, welcome and post some pictures when you get done.

also i have heard good things about Behlen wood filler (clear) from Highland Woodworking, i have not used any of these so i can't speak from experience, maybe others will check in.

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There is no reason to fill the pores.  Just sand to a high grit (320) and it will be smooth enough to use as an office table.   Wipe on about 3 coats of Minwax wipe on Poly or General Finishes Arm R Seal and you will have a nice, natural, durable finish.   

Danish Oil is not a good choice.  it gives you almost 0 protection.  The first time you spill coffee on it you will be mad.  

 

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The Belhen clear filler works well under oil based finishes like varnish. Another   path you could take is a waterbourne finish. You can use it as a filler and finish. Sand between coats and you can fill the pores and build a finish.

You definitely want a film finish on a desk or tabletop.

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You also may consider moving into something with broad spectrum uv inhibitors if you have any Windows in the office the table will reside in.  The colors look great now but once that padeuk turns to crap brown,  if may not have the same appeal.

I'm going to disagree with mike though on the no filler. On a few projects I used wenge on,  I sanded up past 320 to try to get it as smooth as possible.  Initially is pretty flat but once you blow it with compressed air, the deep pores are immediate. 4 coats of ARS did not fill in the pores.

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Drzaius is correct about the plaster of paris as a filler. I have used it plain, and dyed for color. The plain looks like mud when you apply it, but turns translucent (not clear!) when an oil-based finish is applied. Dye works best for creating contrast, not color-matching.

If you decide to try this, do it on some scraps first, as YMMV.

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All of the poly finishes will be more protective, but I love the feel of the wood itself, preferably not coated in thick plastic.  If it's your desk and not a general conference table then I wouldn't rule out an oil/wax finish.  You don't have to worry about streaks or brush marks or drips because you just buff it off.  My current favorite is Odies oil which makes the grain stand out, but since it soaks in, you're still feeling the wood and not the finish.  If you want it a little more protected, then I'd just add some extra wax.  That said, if a lot of people are using it, then go ahead and seal it up.  Anyone who hasn't finished their own table is probably not going to be too careful with coasters or spilled coffee.

 

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4 hours ago, Anna S said:

All of the poly finishes will be more protective, but I love the feel of the wood itself, preferably not coated in thick plastic.  If it's your desk and not a general conference table then I wouldn't rule out an oil/wax finish.  You don't have to worry about streaks or brush marks or drips because you just buff it off.  My current favorite is Odies oil which makes the grain stand out, but since it soaks in, you're still feeling the wood and not the finish.  If you want it a little more protected, then I'd just add some extra wax.  That said, if a lot of people are using it, then go ahead and seal it up.  Anyone who hasn't finished their own table is probably not going to be too careful with coasters or spilled coffee.

 

2 or 3 coats of minway wipe on poly will not coat the wood in thick plastic and won't look that different an oil/wax finish.  I have used both and think the wipe on poly actually makes the wood look nicer.  Oil/wax finishes don't do as nice of a job highlighting figure or chatoyency.  

 

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Depends on the oil/wax.  I haven't been impressed with tung oil and linseed oil...  That seems to dull with time, but the odies oil I put on my curly cherry bed came out amazing and was really easy to apply.  I did another table with figured walnut and ambrosia maple using armour seal's oil poly blend.  It came out great too, but definitely not better, and it was a lot more work.  Every time I'd try to put on a really light coat to avoid drips, but then something would dry first and I'd get streaks, or miss a drip, dust falling on it...  I kept having to re-sand it back down.  It looks great now, but definitely not an enjoyable process.  I think user preference is probably the biggest part   

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Anna, if you are applying poly or oil/poly blends by hand, I recommend thinning liberally, use a clean cotton (t-shirt) rag, and work quickly. It may require an extra coat or two, but runs, drips, and streaks seem to happen most often when applying to heavy, too thick, and too slow.

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