Part 5 – Final Assembly
It’s taken three months of weekends, holidays, and spring break, but I’ve finally finished building our reclaimed heart pine farmhouse table. As you can see in the photo above, I have coated the table top (both sides – top and bottom) with five coats of polyurethane to protect the surfaces from water marks and scratches. The scratches are less of a concern because of all the nail holes. It is important to use the same type of finish and same number of coats on the top and bottom of your slab because you want the two sides to have the same relationship with the environment. That is, if the top has five coats and the bottom has one coat, the bottom will allow more moisture in and your table could warp into a bow. Sucks to be that guy.
I have decided to leave the understructure unfinished for a couple of reasons. First, the beams are not planed flat and I didn’t remove or fill in the blemishes like I did with the top. Making those weathered boards shiny might look out of place. Second, the understructure of the table has the exact look and character as the 7-foot shelf I built before I began the table, which is also unfinished. If we decide at a later time that we’d like to finish the shelf and understructure, we can.
Leg and joint details above and below.
After sanding with 32, 60, 120, and 220 grit sand paper, the 100-year-old beams have an incredible patina and are smooth to the touch – no splinters.
The photograph below shows the table top after it’s treatment with five coats of polyurethane. You can see the contrast in color between the sealed wood of the top and the unsealed wood of the understructure. I really like the contrast. What are your thoughts?
We set the table with our new Fiesta dinner plates in yellow, blue cloth napkins, and wine glasses for supper club Saturday night.
Above, you can see the butterfly inlay I used to keep the deep crack in the table top from spreading. The crack is also filled with epoxy, giving it the dark color.
The center, wavy board in the table top is so full of pine resin that I’m sure it would catch fire with a single match, even after 100 years. The resin is what gives heart pine its wonderful smell, dark purple tones, and the southern name “fatlighter”.
Charlie seems to enjoy the table. However, I think she’s dissappointed that she can no longer lay out through the center of the table between our legs. We’ll post more as we continue to transform our dining room into the space we’ve always wanted. Look for heart pine picture rails coming soon. Thanks for reading -Robby