#7
  
So I manage to make some things .. working on a grill table for my Kamado grill .. but you know that sometimes gets you into to trouble. 

My wife picked up an old Singer treadle sewing machine .. she got it stripped down to the metal frame .. on her way to a new table. She found a place in town that cuts down trees .. then turns them into lumber .. tree recycling right? Anyway she found a great deal on a slab of white oak that was just the right size .. so 4 deck screws and I'm done making her a table .. well .. you know thats not really it right?.

She wants this thing finished and I'm looking for somebody who has done something like this before for ideas. It's white oak .. couple inches thick .. nice grain .. it has a live edge (bark) on one side and it's got some small knots and surface cracks. Seems I've read that the best thing is to fill any of those with ... something? Shes looking for a natural finish .. not looking for a stain .. so the guy at this place suggested tung oil .. or maybe shellac .. so ..

Who's worked on something like this before .. I think this thing could end up pretty nice .. I'm good at following directions so let me hear your ideas ...
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#8
  Oak slab table top Chester's Friend [font=Verdana, Arial...
(08-15-2020, 12:25 PM)Chester Wrote: So I manage to make some things .. working on a grill table for my Kamado grill .. but you know that sometimes gets you into to trouble. 

My wife picked up an old Singer treadle sewing machine .. she got it stripped down to the metal frame .. on her way to a new table. She found a place in town that cuts down trees .. then turns them into lumber .. tree recycling right? Anyway she found a great deal on a slab of white oak that was just the right size .. so 4 deck screws and I'm done making her a table .. well .. you know thats not really it right?.

She wants this thing finished and I'm looking for somebody who has done something like this before for ideas. It's white oak .. couple inches thick .. nice grain .. it has a live edge (bark) on one side and it's got some small knots and surface cracks. Seems I've read that the best thing is to fill any of those with ... something? Shes looking for a natural finish .. not looking for a stain .. so the guy at this place suggested tung oil .. or maybe shellac .. so ..

Who's worked on something like this before .. I think this thing could end up pretty nice .. I'm good at following directions so let me hear your ideas ...

Did the nice folks who sold that slab to your wife tell her if it was green, air dried, or kiln dried?  A great deal often means green wood or maybe partially air dried.  How to know?  Call them and ask, then get a moisture meter and check it yourself.  If it's anything less than kiln dried the first thing you will need to do is to forget finishing it until the moisture content is down to 10 - 12%, with 8 - 10% being a lot more desirable.  

Once it's dried sufficiently you can finish it with whatever you want.  For a very natural look a waterborne varnish in flat sheen will look like the wood has nothing on it; about as natural looking as possible.  Osmo Oil might be a good choice, too, and dead easy to apply.  

When you attach the slab to the sewing machine base make sure to do it in a way that allows the slab to expand contract laterally.  Wood will expand/contract about 1/4" for every 12" of width from Summer to Winter.  If you don't let it do so something will give and that's usually not good.  

John
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#9
  RE: Oak slab table top jteneyck [quote='Chester' pid...
AFAIK, anything other than polyacrylic or a conversion varnish is going to tone the wood amber color.

I think a very clear shellac or natural Watco is not bad.

That said, white oak looks very nice with a dye stain, even if not quarter sawn.  Untinted white oak is pretty blah.
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#10
  Oak slab table top Chester's Friend [font=Verdana, Arial...
As John mentioned, the slab being dry enough is key.  As to a finish, for white oak, I use the old trusty varnish, BLO, mineral spirits mix for the first 2 or 3 coats, then straight varnish for the final coats.   Will darken the white oak a little, but looks terrific.
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#11
  Oak slab table top Chester's Friend [font=Verdana, Arial...
(08-15-2020, 12:25 PM)Chester Wrote: So I manage to make some things .. working on a grill table for my Kamado grill .. but you know that sometimes gets you into to trouble. 

My wife picked up an old Singer treadle sewing machine .. she got it stripped down to the metal frame .. on her way to a new table. She found a place in town that cuts down trees .. then turns them into lumber .. tree recycling right? Anyway she found a great deal on a slab of white oak that was just the right size .. so 4 deck screws and I'm done making her a table .. well .. you know thats not really it right?.

She wants this thing finished and I'm looking for somebody who has done something like this before for ideas. It's white oak .. couple inches thick .. nice grain .. it has a live edge (bark) on one side and it's got some small knots and surface cracks. Seems I've read that the best thing is to fill any of those with ... something? Shes looking for a natural finish .. not looking for a stain .. so the guy at this place suggested tung oil .. or maybe shellac .. so ..

Who's worked on something like this before .. I think this thing could end up pretty nice .. I'm good at following directions so let me hear your ideas ...

Finished this side table up a couple of months ago. It was one of my Covid projects. The slab came from the Salem Oak, it was the oldest (est 600 years) and largest white oak tree in New Jersey, fell in 2019.
There a few small knots and punky area which I filled with a “casting epoxy”. The finish was 3 coats of Arm-R-Seal.
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Oak slab table top


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