bushwacked

Coffee Table with some metal

Recommended Posts

So I’ve been asked to build a couple coffee tables. This is the first of probably 2-3 that will be coming. 

The top  - knotty Alder

The base - metal legs 

more than likely I will be using a danish oil tinted finish on it to get a medium walnut color. Yes staining wood and metal legs .. right down @EricS wheelhouse of love haha. 

I bought the wood on lunch break. 8/4 knotty alder was $2 a BF. Which was nice 

E3416FAE-F4EF-406F-9D2B-56D54C1FD899.thumb.jpeg.be960c4ee6b73f23d46bcee06f9d18da.jpeg

 

the base will be these ... 16”x 16” x 3”  rough steel with a clear sealer on them. $80 shipped off amazon. 

206F4583-891B-4A03-B284-831583B77B1A.thumb.jpeg.7e22ca2e20687c2cb0a59caef17c2886.jpeg

F0118C44-A734-47A0-863B-B84BD5E8225E.thumb.jpeg.4fad3ae0b08f0309740570e7920e9a22.jpeg

 

 

 

Questions before fore I get going ...

the knots in the alder ..

do I leave them?

Do I have to fill them with epoxy? If so do I color the epoxy or what? 

Do they need to be filled before I plane/joint them? 

 

Thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would epoxy them before milling to ensure they're stable.  As for the coloring, that would depend on the desired outcome.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, TIODS said:

I would epoxy them before milling to ensure they're stable.  As for the coloring, that would depend on the desired outcome.

Ok. I’m assuming west epoxy is the thing to get? What model numbers though? 

The color I would like to match as much as possible. If it’s off a little that is fine. Just not trying to make it a standout feature piece haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're going to get WS, then 105 resin and 205 or 206 hardener.  One is a little faster than the other.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So one more question ... do I need to fill the knots? If it’s trying to be a little rustic a little modern ... the knots may look kinda good... may ... 

would I have to worry about my board blowing up through the planer or jointer if they are not filled? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, bushwacked said:

So one more question ... do I need to fill the knots? If it’s trying to be a little rustic a little modern ... the knots may look kinda good... may ... 

would I have to worry about my board blowing up through the planer or jointer if they are not filled? 

I think it would make for a nicer looking top

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, bushwacked said:

So one more question ... do I need to fill the knots? If it’s trying to be a little rustic a little modern ... the knots may look kinda good... may ... 

would I have to worry about my board blowing up through the planer or jointer if they are not filled? 

If those knots aren't stable then you could have issues in the planer.  I've had them come out before and was probably lucky that the planer wasn't damaged but, was bummed about starting over on the piece I was working on.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok then. Sounds like I’ll be off to the store tomorrow and getting some west systems. 

105 and probably 205? The quicker drying stuff. Even though I’ll let everything sit overnight if not a couple days when I can get back in the shop. 

West will dry perfectly clear right? I’m debating on clear or dyed. Also how does it work with the stain? Just try not to get it on the epoxy or what? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 205 is the fast hardener but in reality it still cures fairly slow. Also it does not cure clear. You need the 207 if you want that.

As for dying it, I just add a drop of transtint in and mix it up. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Irrevelant pet peve epoxy cures it doesn't dry. I can't help it sorry.

207 dries clear. I'd fill the knots even if they are stable the holes in the top will get annoying after some time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Irrevelant pet peve epoxy cures it doesn't dry. I can't help it sorry.

207 dries clear. I'd fill the knots even if they are stable the holes in the top will get annoying after some time.

Actually an important and relevant point.  It's difficult to work well with epoxy without understanding the difference.

On whether to fill the knots:  our trim and cabinets are knotty alder that has been stained but not filled.  Looks great. 

Coffee tables might be different, since they are horizontal surfaces that will collect debris.  Decide how you feel about that.  We have a dining room table made from Knotty alder, with the knots and voids filled with black tinted epoxy, and looks great (in this neck of the woods - the West, ironically, it is System Three that is most available.)   I will send pictures if you want them.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Pondhockey said:

Actually an important and relevant point.  It's difficult to work well with epoxy without understanding the difference.

On whether to fill the knots:  our trim and cabinets are knotty alder that has been stained but not filled.  Looks great. 

Coffee tables might be different, since they are horizontal surfaces that will collect debris.  Decide how you feel about that.  We have a dining room table made from Knotty alder, with the knots and voids filled with black tinted epoxy, and looks great (in this neck of the woods - the West, ironically, it is System Three that is most available.)   I will send pictures if you want them.

 

Yes that would be great to see. Thanks! 

Map should I go with black trans tint dye for this? I would assume trying to match just makes things ugly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, bushwacked said:

Yes that would be great to see. Thanks! 

Map should I go with black trans tint dye for this? I would assume trying to match just makes things ugly?

If your finish is on the dark side, I'd go with a black tinted epoxy.  If it is lighter and you want to highlight the underlying knotty figure, then go clear.  Clear is harder, involving bubbles, etc.  

Here are some pic's; the trim and table are both on the darker finish side.  The trim used a Van Dyke Brown glaze/stain (used both ways.)  The table was commercial and I don't know the particulars except that the voids and knots were apparently filled with black epoxy.

Maybe the bottom line is that both methods are commonly used.

First images are trim with Van Dyke Brown (comes out black, really) knot.  Following images are of commercial table made from knotty alder and filled with black tinted epoxy.IMG_0047.thumb.JPG.b5905351a4a37a31174e6a6980f905cb.JPGIMG_0047.thumb.JPG.b5905351a4a37a31174e6a6980f905cb.JPG

IMG_0048.JPG

IMG_0049.JPG

IMG_0051.JPG

IMG_0050.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going for a natural finish you could take a scrap with a large knot in it and sand it into darker sawdust to mix into the epoxy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also suggest masking around the knots to prevent the overfill from leaving stains to plane / scrape / sand away. Don't ask how I know ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on masking the knot before filling. Alder is on the softer side of things and filler or epoxy will soak in and leave a shadow that isn't easy to sand out.  It took me concerted effort with a card scraper and the result was still a slight depression, but the shadow was gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably could try a few things on the underside or on scrap, first.

To wdwerker and highlander:  with sanding does your result come out continuously smooth from wood to epoxied void?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By filling (stabilizing) before you mill, you should be able to avoid taping off the knots.  If you need to touch up the spots after milling then I would tape.  Obviously, you still need to tape the underside to keep your epoxy where you want it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't want to go down the west system rabbit hole right now you can just buy quick cure epoxy at home Depot. Is cheaper and works fine. I use it all the time for filling knots. I always tint mine black. I like the look.

Also you can get rid of bubbles in epoxy by using a heat gun and playing it over the just poured epoxy.

If you have never filled a large void with epoxy before than do a test piece first. You may be surprised by the number of bubbles and speed of cure etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Pondhockey, yes. If the void is completely filled, it makes a nice smooth transition from the wood.

Regarding the comment by @minorhero, I often use Devcon 5-minute epoxy to fill smaller voids. It cures clear, and is readily available in most home centers and hardware stores. I don't recommend it for holes of any size (bigger than a dime), or thin cracks, because it is thicker and cures too quickly to properly settle into the nooks & crannies. It is also much more brittle than WS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now