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Thread: Quilted Mahogany Top

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Smithville, TX
    Posts
    358

    Quilted Mahogany Top

    I know it has been awhile since you all have heard from me last, but I've been working three jobs, not to mention this too. Needless to say the gallery area of my shop is still in the just get er done stage, but I do have a couple of pieces made for the wall. I don't want to add anything to the shop tour thread until it is ready. And then there is this. A storied piece of wood, and I'll leave the story part to Alex, since it is his wood. My part in this story starts when I saw Alex trying to put a finish on this with a rag and some poly with one light bulb hanging on a wire. When he told me the story of this piece of lumber and what he had intended it to be -- a conference table or really high end dining table -- I practically tackled him and said this needs a special finish, one that will look French polished but have the durability of cross linking when we are done. He agreed, and we are currently getting it ready to be the featured piece of the Texas Furniture Makers Show in the fall, he'll tell you about the Fine Woodworking connection.

    It took four of us to carry it to my shop and the sanding began. BTW - the slab is 37" wide, over 1" thick and almost 14' long. I followed the advice of a finish specialist and he convinced me that this new product, a water emulsion version of linseed oil, should be wiped on first to pop this piece, followed by sealer and top coats, etc. Test piece went fine, but I apparently didn't let the oil dry long enough after wiping it off (about 8 times the recommended time) and when I went to start sanding the first seal coat it pealed like sunburned skin. I should have trusted my instincts, but we weren't that upset since we both felt the oil darkened it too much, anyway. We ended up scraping that off and starting over again (talk about some sore forearms), this time trusting my gut and past experience. Lacquer. And since this was mahogany, after all, how did I want to fill it? Because it was such a special piece, I didn't want to muddy things up with any filler, though we did experiment on other pieces with different fillers, and they all did just that, muddied things. That meant lots of coats, instead, slowly filling the little valleys and pits until it got closer and closer to glass smooth. It has, so far, taken 13 coats of lacquer to finally fill nearly everything, and I am currently letting it dry for a week to see if I want to squirt it another time or two before moving on to the catalyzed varnish for the final topcoats (I'm guessing 3), using a finer needle and aircap with each successive coat. I'll then let it cure for at least a week before beginning the wet sanding and hand rubbed final stages for the luster we are looking for.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the wood itself, followed by a link to more of the process. Like I said, I'll let Alex tell the history... Though, you have to be careful, since I'm not sure you can believe everything he says.





    http://s115.photobucket.com/albums/n...ed%20Mahogany/
    Mini Max Tool Acquisition Mediator.
    "An old man to most kids and a young man to those who are dead."

    www.samantics2.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    1,697
    That is one of the most beautiful pieces of wood I have seen. I enjoyed seeing the finished table as well as the in process photos. Thanks for sharing.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Hi Sam ,
    This friendship project is one I would imagine you getting involved with. It must be a real joy having another craftsman close by, as I am sure it is for Alex. If my network wasn't my source of income I would join you all in smithville but be out of work quick with the quality you guys produce!
    Thanks for sharing that beautiful chunk of wide thin long wood! It is beautiful!
    Shaz/not to be confused with Shaq
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  4. #4
    Wow! I couldn't see any breaks in the grain - is that one piece of wood? What a piece of work - Nature's and yours!

    Question about that special finish. From pictures you posted of the table from the end, the wood gives the impression of a river flowing. Entrancing. But if you give it a finish in Lacquer to a French Polish appearance, will anyone ever have the view you have given us in the picture? I can only imagine that you could see the first few feet, but then the rest would be reflection.

    What do you think?

    Bob A.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North Central Texas - DFW
    Posts
    89
    Sam,

    That is a really great project and finish.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Waterford, MI
    Posts
    773
    Well I'm green with envy. Not sure if that's due to that awesome piece of wood or the fact you've got a free space big enough to work on it.
    Last edited by Doug Shepard; 07-09-2008 at 02:19 AM.
    --------------------------------------------
    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,890
    THAT........ is gorgeous!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    Posts
    5,533

    *THUD*

    *THUD*

    yup, jaw hitting the floor, green with envy.

    Beautiful piece, can't wait to see more about it!
    -Ned

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Smithville, TX
    Posts
    358
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Antoniewicz View Post
    Wow! ...is that one piece of wood?
    Question about that special finish. From pictures you posted of the table from the end, the wood gives the impression of a river flowing. Entrancing. But if you give it a finish in Lacquer to a French Polish appearance, will anyone ever have the view you have given us in the picture? I can only imagine that you could see the first few feet, but then the rest would be reflection.
    Yes, one piece of wood. I see something different in it every day (usually one of Alex's whiskers )And the flowing river (I call it the Princess's hair) effect only gets better with finish and contrast lighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Schaubhut View Post
    Hi Sam ,
    If my network wasn't my source of income I would join you all in smithville but be out of work quick with the quality you guys produce!
    Thanks for sharing that beautiful chunk of wide thin long wood! It is beautiful!
    Shaz/not to be confused with Shaq
    Hey, "Big Shaz"
    The more the merrier. We would love nothing more than an artisans' collective here, and there is a big contingent in the town that are aiming towards that end. I don't see any reason why you couldn't continue to work with your base and commute at measuring, meeting and install times. Get in while the getting is good. Another four buildings sold in downtown last month!
    Mini Max Tool Acquisition Mediator.
    "An old man to most kids and a young man to those who are dead."

    www.samantics2.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hempstead, Texas
    Posts
    80
    MAN.... how nice.
    I hope you don't make a table out of it.... You need to hang that on the wall titled "An art of work, by mother nature"... nuff said.

    Ted

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