Finish Wood: To begin, I am using an oil stain which I brush on and then wipe. I do the whole table at one time, and I stain all of the wood. (Remember, when you finish wood, you brush on a stain finish -you are not painting. Do not try to go back and touch up any part of it - and always let it dry completely before you begin the next coat.) The first picture shows you that I am brushing on the oil stain with the table upside down. I will brush and wipe in sections. Wiping the stain results in a smoother finish. You can see in Picture #3 the part that has been brushed, but not yet wiped. Go back to Picture #2 to see the difference that wiping makes. You will see that it makes a much nicer finish. I let the stain dry overnight.
My first coat of finish is high gloss polyurethane. I let that dry overnight. The next step is to sand all of it by hand with 120 grit sandpaper. Once I have sanded the wood smooth, I apply the first coat of satin polyurethane. I let that dry overnight, sand the table again, and then apply another coat of satin. Let this coat dry overnight. Brushing on the base gloss coat and then the two satin coats gives you the deep mirror effect you see in fine furniture.
The next step is to take a piece of burlap sack, put some 30-weight motor oil on it, dip it in pumice stone, and then rub the heck out of the finish. Wipe off any excess when you are through. What you did with the pumice stone and oil was remove the glassy shine and replace it with a glossy finish. Then, the last step, after you have rubbed it smooth with the pumice stone and oil, is to wax the piece. I use Johnson's Paste Wax, which you can find at Ace Hardware. Let the wax dry real good and then buff it.
The pulls that you see on the box drawers are made of cold rolled steel. I made these in my blacksmith shop. I heated the steel, beat the ends flat, and then bent the steel on the swage block (a Christmas present).
This pretty well takes care of the finishing. However, going back to applying the first coat of finish (the gloss coat), I cover everything with it to seal the wood. The two satin coats are usually just on the parts that will be seen.
As you can see in the last picture - the
Worktable for Mary
- the basement window is reflected in the tabletop.