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Thread: Finishing a Burl Slab Question

  1. #1
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    Finishing a Burl Slab Question

    I am in the process of buying one of the burl slabs below (Buckeye or Birds eye) with a base of same kind of wood (or red wood root or similar).
    I have a thick pc of glass that will be placed over the top once finished but I was wondering the best way to finish the top of the burl and the base.

    In conversation with the guy that has them he was telling me that i should sand it to 220, then apply Laquer sealer to it and sand again with 320 when dry, then put 5 coats of semi gloss laquer on sanding in between with 400 or steel wool 0000. Then leave the last coat alone, then give it a week to fully cure.
    I asked about using oil after the sanding sealer coat but he says he stopped using oil on these kinds of woods as they will always darken.
    I thought i would ask to see how other people on here would approach finisihing this kind of wood and base.........

    Thanks Dan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BuckeyeslabB1[1] (450 x 600).jpg   BuckeyeslabB5[1] (600 x 450).jpg   Sample1[1] (430 x 517).jpg   Sample8[1] (378 x 360).jpg  
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 09-13-2009 at 01:46 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Sounds like a fun project. Personally, I like the look of oiled redwood burl (because I like it darker), but the buckeye burl I think I'd finish with something that helps keep the lighter tone (in other words, un-oiled). I agree with your wood guy's approach to a lacquer finish, but I'd go with gloss lacquer for all the coats except the last one. The semi-gloss has additives to dull the finish, and they obscure the wood to a small extent, especially as you build up layers of it. Gloss lacquer won't hide as much of the wood. In most cases I'd use a gloss for all the coats, then use steel wool or synthetic pads to knock back the gloss in the final coat. But with a piece like these, where there are voids you can't get into to with sandpaper or steel wool, I'd use a final coat of semi-gloss to get the same effect.
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  3. #3
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    I've seen slabs like that at shows, usually they have a clear epoxy finish. The stuff is supposed to be self leveling. Sand, pour and let cure.
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  4. #4
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    your guy that is selling them is on track, but vaughn has some good points as well the last coat of satin would be my method.. there are many areas that you arent gonna get to with any abrasive.. and the gloss lacquer will maintain the figure better..i have a set of redwood burl, living room furniture and that was how it was done, and it still shows the depth after over twenty years. in the these pieces if yu used the pour on finish your gonna get dribbles somewhere that in my opinion would take away from the final look.
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  5. #5
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    Yes i agree i have read about the pour on epoxy type resin sealer and i am sure i do not want to do the finish that way. thanks for the replys and im sure im going to go the laquer route as mentioned...Dan
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

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