The table top is back, cut to final length, and sanded (sorry, no chance to take photos of my friend’s amazing shop).
I beveled the edges, using a table edge bit for the topside, and a small, 1/8-inch roundover for the bottom side. Routing the top bevel free-hand requires much care and concentration, as this bit is large:
The bevel profile:
I am very pleased with the overall appearance of this table top. The bevel will provide a much better feel on the arms than a normal table edge:
Hopefully you will get a sense of the size of this router bit. The router base plate is one of two that came with my DeWalt 618, and has the largest opening – the bit’s cutting diameter is 2-1/2 inches:
To use such a large-diameter bit one must reduce the router speed to around 10,000-12,000 RPM. In addition, I suggest shallow cuts. I took four passes to route the entire profile.
Now the table is ready for the first coast of Zinsser’s Seal Coat. I will apply using a lint-free rag. This results in application of a very thin film of shellac on the oak.
Now, some neat stuff about finishing oak with waterborne coatings – and the reason you pay to access this blog (just kidding…!):
- White oak, and especially red oak, have high tannin content. White oak may or may not be marginal. This high tannin content makes them acidic.
- The typical waterborne coatings are very high pH, typically pH 10 or higher.
- Applying the typical waterborne coating directly on the surface of the oak can cause nasty reactions. For example, it is possible to get bridging and pinholing.
- Therefore, a work-around is needed.
- Enter: Zinsser’s Seal Coat dewaxed shellac. I apply two very thin coats using a lint-free cloth. I allow it to fry for two hours, sand between coats to 320 grit, and then apply the waterborne coating.
- For this table I will use Target Coatings’ new Emtech 2000wvx alkyd.
- My client liked the finish on the half-scale tables. As a result, I will use the same finish, and apply 4 coats minimum , using a Fuji Q3 Pro HVLP system.
- The EM200wvx imparts a very nice straw color to the white oak. And it looks great on walnut (the legs of this table).
What is coming up next: Milling the walnut stock for the legs, and the quarter-sawn white oak stock for the aprons. Then, fun with the FMT to cut mortises and tenons. And to cut the tenons on the long aprons I will have to use my special, secret weapon – the special base, propped up on the workbench.