Bog oak coffee table ( heavy).

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Orraloon":28f5zgc5 said:
I like the handle that looks like a leather strap. Hope you don't mind if I copy that one day.

Not in the least! Sincerest form of flattery and all that.

The decision here is to do the black strap with brass dome-headed screws, and to loose-fit the cross straps over those screws to see if we like them.
Me too. The strap handle is a nice interesting feature. The cross bits are a step too far and detract from the lines. I quite like the little pins though. Might even use two on a diagonal. Maybe.
Looking good Mike.

Nice to see someone else cooking up their own finishes too! I've got a thing for Danish oil at the moment, first coat flooded on (no faffing about, just get plenty on), second coat (bit more careful) and the third coat with a good glug of oil based varnish mixed into it.
I decided on a 2 stage glue up, firstly to de-stress the whole procedure, and secondly, to fit around meetings and work. So first thing this morning I quickly cut some grooves for buttons:


Then I glued up the two ends and the front drawer surround:



I also pushed some really awful filler crudely into all the cracks on the underside of the table top, to prevent the resin mix running through:


Damn stuff wouldn't come out of the nozzle at all, so I cut the bottom open and took it from there,

That was phase one. Then this evening I did phase two, which were the two long sides (front and back), having de-clamped the ends:


I also cleaned up the filler, leaving the table top ready for resin. I can't wait for that pleasure...
will1983":2vfzrrlf said:
........Nice to see someone else cooking up their own finishes too!........

There's a guy in Poland, I think, who has a business making expensive bog oak furniture, and he doesn't apply any finish at all normally. Now that I've worked with it a while I can understand why. The wood is naturally waxy. All he does is sand it an awful lot with a very fine grit, and it polishes up to a deep shine without the addition of any finish at all. It really is a very odd material.
I'm saving progress updates for one last post which will include the finished piece of furniture in situ, but I thought I'd drop this little hint here as a foretaste. Everything is now finished apart from the finish on the top, which I started tonight:


How many days to christmas? Well, however many there are is how many coats of oil/ varnish/ white spirit mix it will have.
Oh no. Sorry to say, but that looks terrible! Why are you only finishing half the table top?

I'll get my coat... and make sure the door hits me several times on the way out ;) Looking forward to the final post Mike. Oh, and I'd call this a quick build if it were me.
Right, where were we? Ah yes.....

Having assembled the frame, I made a quick softwood frame for the drawer runners:



Time to take a few deep breaths and cut the table top to size. I never used to get nervous going out to bat in a crisis in front of 20,000 people and a TV audience, but I sure as hell get nervous with stuff like this. I thought about how I was going to do this days in advance. First job was to make a really accurate template:





After placing the template in position on the table top, I used the appropriate sized forstner bit to locate the hole for the corner of the leg cut-outs. Remember, the legs have an aggressive round over:


I secured a guide in place (I can tell you this took ages, checking, re-checking, taking it apart and starting again....):




After completing the little straight cuts with a tenon saw (no photo), I did a trial fit. It dropped in first time......which isn't necessarily a good thing. However, three of the cut outs were absolutely perfect, and one was a gnat's slack. Much better than I hoped!! Phew:



This is the not-quite-perfect one:


As if that wasn't enough to give me palpitations, next came the step which I'd been dreading from the moment I selected the timber: filling the top. First, I built little dam walls around all of the cracks with hot-melt glue:



I also taped up the ends of cracks where they showed on the end grain, or glued on some temporary dams of off-cuts of hardboard. Remember the cracks in the underside had already been filled with a cheap filler.

Then I mixed some of this:


...with some of this:


.........and trickled it into the cracks:




There's actually a little more to it than that. I did the bigger cracks in two pours, using just clear resin for the first bit, to within about 6 or 8 mm of the surface, then came back with the brass-filled resin the following day. Whilst that lot dried, I did secondary jobs such as making oak buttons:


.......and the little strap thingies for the drawer handles:



I hate wasting this precious timber, and I couldn't find any dark brown amongst my off cuts, so I had to generate some from the middle of a board.......hence the saw handles.


Marking out is such a pain on this dark wood, so once again.....masking tape.



Back to the table top. I sanded off the bulk of the resin:


Unfortunately, there were 3 or 4 low spots, including a couple on end-grain. Time for another pour:


Whilst that was drying I got on with finishing the rest of the table. My wife tells me that my workshop would have been uninhabitable by anyone with a sense of smell because of the resin, so there is the occasional bonus from not having one. Oil/ varnish/ white spirit mix on everything, then wipe it off within 7 minutes:


This Stanley no. 80 cabinet scraper was an absolute godsend:




I screwed some little blocks onto the ends of the table legs so that I could finish easily all the way done to the bottom:



Back to the top:




The brass is showing up matt and greenish in these photos. I've no idea why, because in real life it is satin and metallic.

Now, take a close look at this next photo. In sanding down the filler I finished off with 180 grit paper. This next picture shows the difference between sanding and finishing with a blade. The lower half (closer to the viewer) is sanded. The upper part (further away) is scraped. The sanded area looks dull and matt. The scraped wood looks glossy and bright:


I thinks that's rather persuasive, personally.

I hated doing this:


All my planes are razor sharp and well set, and normally end grain is a doddle. It wasn't with this stuff. In the end I had to just get it good enough and then stop, because I was in danger of going past my lines. It isn't the easiest wood to work with.

You've seen this before:


But not this:


I did a final assemble and minor adjustments, and brought it into the house. The body of the table and the drawers have had 4 coats of finish. I might just do one final coat on the drawer fronts and handles. The table top has only had one, so is just sitting in position for the sake of these photos:









The strap thingies over the drawer handles are just hot-melt glued in place temporarily, awaiting a committee decision.

Finally, there is a gap here which is crying out for a matching end table, so watch this space:

Bloody marvellous!

I can't see any gap on the gappy leg and I bet nobody except you will.

I was doubtful about the brass fill but now that the top is so beautifully dark, it all makes sense.

Thanks for sharing the journey, especially the worrying bits and the useful tips passed on.

=D> =D> =D>
Very nice Mike, I didn't think the oak legs would work but I was wrong.

Are you planning a scaled down version for the side table?

I haven't really thought about that one yet Pete, but I suspect it would be taller and "lighter" (ie slim legs, slim apron, slimmer top), maybe without a drawer. I've got a staircase to make first, but I'll open the conversation about the side table with my wife this evening.