Any tips on finishing a Hamilton-style drafting table top?

nabqJanuary 15, 2013

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.

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joeboldt

Well, back in the day when I was an actual draftsman, we used a kind of vinyl top. We were making engineering drawings.

Here is a link that might be useful: table cover

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 8:20PM
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nabq

Thanks, Joeboldt. I've seen a bunch of tables with the vinyl tops put on, but I want to finish the wood in whatever way the Hamilton Co. used to.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:39PM
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brickeyee

Varnish.

Rock Hard table top is still available from Behlan's

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 1:33PM
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jjaazzy

My dads table had a mica top, not sure if it was original or not. He never left anything alone so......

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:06AM
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brickeyee

" mica top"

Mica or Formica?

Mica rarely comes in sheets large enough or smooth enough to cover a drafting table.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 9:40AM
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