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Bowling Alley Table

Posted by ckhb (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 5, 10 at 15:44

We are in the process of sanding a length of bowling alley (probably hard rock maple?) to become our dining room table - we are a family with young children and will be using this table for everything: crafts, projects, meals, parties... how should we finish the top of this table so that it will last? We are not experienced woodworkers, but are willing to put in the time and effort to do this right. Please advise!


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RE: Bowling Alley Table

Polyurethane is probably the toughest easy finish. However, poly is prone to chipping and scratching and cannot be spot repaired. You would have to sand out the problem areas and recoat the entire top.Oli based takes 24 hours to dry and has a strong odor. Water based dries in 4 hours with much less odor. Three coats are the recommended finish schedule.

Non poly varnish is the next toughest. It is more easily spot repairable by sanding, touching up and fine sanding to match. There are now water based varnishes that have shorter drying times and less odor.

Many finishes are called Tung(or similar) Oil finishes and advertised as hard and protective. Pure tung oil finish has very few protective properties. The products advertised ad such are different blends of products and may even be a varnish.

Lacquer is easily water stained and heat damaged. But very easily repaired as each succeeding layer partially dissolves the preceeding layer. And lacquer dries quickly.

Shellac is the least protective and most easily damaged. Any alcohol will damage the finish as will many household cleaners.

So. Pick you pleasure.


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