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Finishing hickory - plharrison - 03-03-2021

Just about got my 7' x 4' hickory breakfast room table top flattened and ready for sanding/finishing. Holy crap that stuff is hard! I've never built anything with hickory so I was looking for advice on how to finish it given it is a breakfast table (and there are grandkids around a lot). Being as hard and dense as it is, I had heard someone say not to sand over 100 grit. It has varying color, light and dark, plus I left some knots in it. I was thinking just poly but I wondered what others have done with hickory.

RE: Finishing hickory - fredhargis - 03-03-2021

I've done a fair amount, and mostly I've just put a coat of varnish on it. I do sand to 150 with the ROS, and then hand sand with 180. For all tha aggravation of working with it, it's one of my favorite woods (appearance wise).

RE: Finishing hickory - lift mechanic - 03-03-2021

I use a lot of Calico Hickory. Lots of browns to cream colors. I sand it to 220 starting with 180. The only finish I have used is Arm-R-Seal satin, 3 coats, sanding 320 between coats. Make sure to wipe it down with water or mineral spirits after sanding. The wood is so hard it is tuff to get all the machining marks sanded off.

RE: Finishing hickory - rwe2156 - 03-04-2021

Its going to darken over time.

RE: Finishing hickory - plharrison - 03-05-2021

Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize hickory would darken over time. I know all the stuff I've made with cherry sure does. My wife will be happy to hear that. She was envisioning darker!

RE: Finishing hickory - chizlr40 - 03-11-2021

Two coats poly with a 220/320 sanding between coats and plenty of drying time. Depending how shiny you want. I did hickory cabinets for a friend he wanted shiny so I used the gloss,he loved them

RE: Finishing hickory - rwe2156 - 03-17-2021

Polyacrylic and most all the Target Coatings products will dry clear.

Whatever you do, don't do gloss unless that top is absolutely perfect.