Any tips on finishing a Hamilton-style drafting table top?
Hi, I used to have a gorgeous Hamilton drafting table that looked like this: http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=490882 . It got lost in a move, and I haven't been able to find another one I can afford, but I did find a similar one, of a cheaper make, that has a beat up pine top. A friend is helping me make a new top from maple, but we're not sure how the original would have been finished. I need a very smooth, not too glossy surface, to be able to do the kind of work I need to do on it. My friend suggests coats of water-based polyurethane finish with lots of sanding in between. Does that sound about right? Would the original tables from the 50's and 60's have been finished with an oil-based varnish? Any tips or suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks.