Wednesday 9 December 2015

Dolled Up - Mid-Century Table (Season Final)

This is the final post about the Mid-Century Table build.

Let me show you my finishing process.

And finally some beauty shots in the right light.

I did not want to withhold the last part of this build report.
The very last task was the finishing of the table. In order not to risk anything, I have resorted to me familiar method
Usually I'm using a water-based wax varnish. This stuff is pretty easy to use. Not unhealthy. It does not smell bad. And for me it makes a fine job.

I'm using Aqua CLOU "Wachslasur" (which means wax varnish). The type I'm using is uncolored.

Prepared for varnishing

The tabletop was done first. The first coat you will do raises the grain. It dried after 3-4 hours, but I usually give it a few hours more to dry.
Before you can do a second coat a light sanding has to be done. I've used 240 grit sandpaper for it. Just a few light passes and you already recognize that the surface will be pretty smooth. That done you can apply a second coat and let it dry over night.

Table top after two coats

After these two coats applied you already have a nice surface. But if you will wipe over with your hand you will feel little high spots. These will be polished in the next stage.
By the way, the frame was treated in the same way.

Varnishing the frame

After two coats

Waxing and Polishing

The final coat of my workpieces usually is paste wax. Also in this case.
Normally I rub on the wax with fine steel wool. But after I had some trouble with the black glue lines of the table top, I thought it would be a good idea to avoid touching the Oak again with moister and steel.
This time I've used a scotch brite pad. It was the first time I've used it and I must say it's working pretty well.

Loading the pad with wax

The pad loaded with wax, I've worked in grain direction and rubbed the wax on the surface.

Rubbing the wax on....

It came out like this. Hope you can see it. The surface becomes mat now.

Mat surface after one coat of wax

Again, the same treatment for the frame.

Waxing the frame

Let it soak in and dry for a while.

After a few minutes I have started to polish the surface. My secret weapon for this task is a household brush.
It has got middle hard bristles. So no danger do damage anything (even not in Spruce) and hard enough to do a nice polish job.

Polishing the surface with a brush

And you already can see the effect. It's shining nice, isn't it? If you will wipe with your hand over the surface now, you will recognize a significant difference. It's near to smooth even it will feel a bit "sticky" now.

After polishing with the brush

Now then, last step. I'm using a clean cotton rag and make a steady roll out of it. With this I will do a second polish now. This step wipes of the rest of the wax and will give you a surface which will be smooth as silk.

Polishing with a cotton rag

And that's it. My complete finishing process. For me it's easy to do and you will get a nice and resistant surface.

Final Touches

The last step before we can use table is to fix the table top. I've made some turn buttons (see here) to fix it.

Turn button and position numbered

Maybe as a tip from my side. After I have drilled the holes for fixing the turn buttons I have numbered the turn buttons as well as their position. This can easily be done with a chisel and is permanent which makes it it easy to find the right position again.

Now the turn buttons just have to be screwed. I've used brass screws for this and gave a bit of wax to it's tips so they will go in easier.

Fixing the screws

And of course clocking ;-). But keep in mind - easy does it.


And Now...

...the Beauty Shots.
See this nice little table in his natural environment.

That's his new place

You can place the right things on it......

Have a drink on.....

Even from the side it looks nice.

That's the over the shoulder shot ;-)

Upside down

It's great if you sit in your lounge chair, planing the next project....

Project preparation

And last but not least a detail view of the table top bevel.

Bevel at table top underside

I call it done now.

Alright folks, that's all!
Thanks for your interest in this project and for all the tips and friendly comments which I already received.
It was much longer than I expected, but it was worth every minute. I have learned so much and at some points of the project I had to do some knowledge building first. But that's why we are doing this stuff, or?
The main thing is that my wife loves our new table. The reason for it is, that it fits pretty much to the rest of the interior of our living room. But this are bought furniture. I picked up enough of the design aspects so that it looks somehow similar.

Nuff said. The next projects are waiting. Watch this space.



  1. The final photos look fantastic. It's much more substantial and balanced looking than I had expected from the first posts. I was probably expecting a smokey glass top.

    1. Hi Paul,
      thanks a lot.
      Maybe I was not concrete enough with my design at the beginning. I had something in my mind, but I didn't brought it properly to paper.

  2. Hi Stefan
    you project pics are way better than mine. I agree with Paul - the table looks great. I especially like how even and smooth the bevel on the underside of the table came out.

    1. Hi Ralph,
      thanks for your kind words. Taking the pictures this weekend showed me the details and let me see the table from another perspective.
      Before I've done woodworking I've invested some time into photography. But I can tell you, it's just a matter of equipment and training. Just like woodworking ;-)

  3. Wonderful, love the grain lines throughout the piece. Tight joinery, silky smooth finish, nothing else to improved on my friend.

    And most importantly, your spouse like it! That is the nicest compliment any of us could not top :-)

    Bravo, well done!

    Bob, long overdue for a trip to his shop...

    1. Hi Bob,
      Thanks to you too for your praise. You are so right. She asked every week when it will be ready and I answered soon.
      Glad that she likes it after all this time.
      Hey, there is every time something to do. Even if it will be just tool maintenance ;-) Spent an hour or so.
      BTW have you checked out the light patterns?

  4. The table looks fantastic! Excellent work from start to finish.

  5. The table looks fantastic! Excellent work from start to finish.

  6. Ah! I just thought of could triangulate those turn buttons.

    1. LOL
      My friend, to be honest I can't see triangular for the time being. ;-)
      I think the next project will be a complete different geometric shape.