Woodworking: End table refinishing project (part 3)

Once the glue was dry, I started to sand the panels. Certainly it was convenient that my glue job set with proper alignment.

A little preview first:

I figured the end table had been constructed from one type of wood because why wouldn’t it be? Clearly the stain had been applied after it was assembled, and that is an approach. But it looked so flat and boring that I wasn’t even looking for any indication of inconsistency.

I still don’t know for certain why this was the case, but what I had picked up from that front lawn was put together from at least three different types of lumber. The base is made out of pine, so that’s now garbage. It can make sense that the base is made of a cheap soft wood, and the design is easier to turn on a lathe. But the top is made of two different hardwoods. If find that to be weird. However, certainly rescuable.

I started the sanding with the larger board.

I see potential, but I don’t know what lurks behind the awful stain.

The stain they used was ugly and flat. There’s grain that might actually look good, but so much can be buried under stain. I know from experience when I stained the coffee table to hide that yellow river. The wood got lighter and lighter the more I sanded. The 60-grit helped me remove the terrible brown and smooth out the seams.


I’ve used my Makita sander for all my projects. It’s held up fine for more than 20 years. After hours and hours of sanding, my hands buzz. For days. I feel like that’s not a good thing, but look at this progress! And switching to 100-grit and then 150 and then 220.

Why hide this?

I moved on to the side pieces. I had expected them to be the same wood underneath the bad stain.

That grain!

Same process of removing the old finish, but this wood is darker, and it’s not from stain penetration. It’s just a different wood. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I didn’t expect it.

Look at these color differences!

I knew the top would be a bigger challenge. This was the part that had come in two pieces, when I noticed too long a split along one seam, I snapped one of those two apart before gluing it up. A prior owner had tried to repair it when a different seam had split, but rather than clamps, it appears that tape was used. Then again, it could have been taped together until someone bought glue.


The prior DIY repair left an offset that I figured I ought to be able to correct during sanding. But I was most apprehensive about what I’d find under the many oval rings in the corner. My hopes of finishing with teak oil depended on clear wood underneath.

So here’s a gallery of that progress:

It’s important to point out the offset I had to resolve through sanding.

Offset created by a bad DIY job to fix it who even knows how long ago.

The legs that came with this piece don’t seem to match the rest of it, and I had resolved to get round tapered legs that match the mid-century modern stylings of the rest. That led to an entirely separate search for legs that are worth installing. That will be covered in another post.

Since it all looked clean teak oil is the way I decided to go. As I began my prep for that, I noticed that boards I hadn’t addressed were also splitting apart. But teak oil will fill some irregularities. I decided that it wasn’t an issue and that I’d try to get away with it.

This should be OK. Right????

You might think this is me asking for trouble. Find out next week why you’re right.

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About raabidfun

I'm a guy living the #raabidfun lifestyle. I figured I would create a blog about crossword puzzles I do. The idea is to do the NYT crossword and the WSJ crossword daily as much as I can. That includes when I don't finish and have clearly failed. They can be difficult. Also I am not an attorney, and any legal analysis in this blog reflects my interpretation, which means it can be flawed and should not be relied upon for use in legal matters (especially against me).

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