Procrastination as an Art Form

It has almost been a year since I attended the hall table course at Ideal Tools in Williamstown. And ever since then, the hall table has been sitting, incomplete, in my hall, being used as a table! The top was still not squared off, or even fixed down.

I’m not sure what finally caused the cloak of procrastination to be shrugged off, but I took the table out to the shed tonight to be completed. And after such a long time, it is difficult to perform the mental switch from it being a piece of furniture in use, to one that is in the midst of the build process.

First thing I really wanted to do was to trim down the top – the ends got squared up, then a couple of rips down either edge front and back to finish with a trued top. I used the Flai Ultimate for this job, and in crosscut it was excellent – beautiful finish, no tearout.

But it was the rips that blew me away. They were not just smooth, or even to the quality of a glueline blade (one that rips smooth enough that you can go straight to glue-up). It was silky smooth, as good as you would get with a fine sandpaper, or even a scraper blade. The finish was that immaculate. So much so that there is no point me sanding it before starting finishing.

I then moved over to the 150/5 Festool ROS, and worked through the grits to 320. Again something I have wanted to do for a long time. The drum sander I used to do the initial flattening had left a burn the length of the table down near the rear edge, so sanding that out was a pleasure. Using the 150/5 was a pleasure as well. No dust (when combined with the Cleantex obviously) the pad remained clear and unclogged, minimal vibration transmitted to the hand, and a satin finish. I found myself running my hand over the top time and again just enjoying the feel of the surface.

The shed time finished with the top finally being secured to the base, using blocks screwed to the underside of the top, and engaging domino slots cut for the purpose in the rails.

Next, after some more sanding will be to apply the finish. Tung oil in this case – penetrates deep into the surface and once fully dry, it becomes quite durable, and water resistant.

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