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peter-harrison

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An old client of mine had a large walnut tree in his garden which had to be cut down. He had it planked, and asked me to make him a garden table. I was a bit (!) reluctant as for me, English walnut is the best furniture timber in the world, and should definitely be indoors. He insisted though, so I made it. I finished it with several coats of Osmo exterior oil, and advised him to put at least the top in his garage over winter. Sadly, for whatever reason, he didn't, and the top has ended up very black.
I have scraped and sanded back to a good surface and it is now drying out for a while in my workshop. The sapwood has suffered a bit but the heartwood is in pretty good nick.
So my question is, what would be a better finish? Paint is obviously out, and I'd like the grain of the timber to be as visible as poss. I'm thinking of timber preservative, then wood hardener for the softer bits of sapwood, then something like Sikkens Cetol but has anyone a better suggestion?
 
:( more upset by this post than by the finger table saw one! In my experience horizontal outdoor wooden surfaces are just not projectable without continuous maintenance, think keeping a boat in good condition, and even there most surfaces are not truly horizontal as they allow for run off. I tried Osmo and another (forget the name) and after one season they were looking very shabby and after two needed a complete refinish.
 
An old client of mine had a large walnut tree in his garden which had to be cut down. He had it planked, and asked me to make him a garden table. I was a bit (!) reluctant as for me, English walnut is the best furniture timber in the world, and should definitely be indoors. He insisted though, so I made it. I finished it with several coats of Osmo exterior oil, and advised him to put at least the top in his garage over winter. Sadly, for whatever reason, he didn't, and the top has ended up very black.
I have scraped and sanded back to a good surface and it is now drying out for a while in my workshop. The sapwood has suffered a bit but the heartwood is in pretty good nick.
So my question is, what would be a better finish? Paint is obviously out, and I'd like the grain of the timber to be as visible as poss. I'm thinking of timber preservative, then wood hardener for the softer bits of sapwood, then something like Sikkens Cetol but has anyone a better suggestion?
@robgul did some tests iirc... !
 
I also was requested to make an exterior walnut bench seat, after several attempts to persuade the customer to re think the material we finally agreed they would have a custom exterior tarp made to measure and would be fitted at all times the seat was not in use, (7 months of the year id say! ) we ended up using Sikkens cetol filter 7 as it has a high UV resistance and was good for use on horizontal surfaces,
That was 2 years ago and i haven't received a call ... yet....

I will add... this is a photo pre Sikkens, i had initially used a clear exterior varnish that sun bleached within a month, i removed the bench and added several coats of Sikkens which was a lot darker but still allowed the grain to come through, it did look the nuts but i cant find that photo...
 

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@robgul did some tests iirc... !
Not sure this is much of an answer . . . . the garden table, and bench, I made a couple of years ago used new 2.4m scaffold boards from Wickes so hardly timber of the finest quality.

The table is 2,200mm x 1,150mm (4 complete width boards, and one trimmed on the width- fitted in the centre - so that the top fitted my sash clamps!) - the bench is the same length and two scaffold boards wide with about a 10mm gap - with purchased steel frame legs - the table top boards are butted and glued with biscuits for alignment, pocket holes and 3 cross-stretchers on the underside.

Local paint supplier, Brewers, recommended Sadolin Extra Durable Wood Stain for colour and then Sadolin Classic Wood Preserver as a seal/topcoat. The table stays outside, uncovered, for the winter with the bench underneath (the table legs are propped up on one side to pitch the top so that rain runs off) - it's been outside for one complete winter and so far this winter - with no detriment to the finish etc. It'll probably get another topcoat in the spring.

. . . it's not Walnut!
 
West System 2 pack epoxy is as good as it gets

https://www.westsystem.com
It is good for certain things. It isnt good for big chunks of wood as they will expand & contract & when they do the surface will crack.
A big factor with West epoxy is its UV resistance is low, out in the sun an epoxy coating on its own will fail before an oil based varnish does. You can put expensive 2K polyurethane over it but it will still fail before long.
Epoxy is a good base for paint but not so good for clear coatings left out in the sun.
 
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