I'm new to the forum, and to woodworking/finishing in general.
I just had 3 pieces of spalted birch joined together to form a 39" by 96" natural edge table top.
It's planed and (almost) sanded.
My wife wants me to build a iron water pipe frame support for it, which I think I can handle (famous last words).
But I have no idea how to finish the wood. I know spalted wood is a little tricky, and I don't want a shiny poly finish. It should be light (natural?) in color and bring out the spalted beauty. That's as far as I got.
I'd very much appreciate suggestions -- oil, wax, stain, poly, shellac, laquer, etc.?
I'm seeing recommendations for all the following:
Dewaxed shellac -- soak up quite a bit and dry hard, optically clear and won't yellow
Tung oil (lighter, bring out depth and figure in wood)
Pratt and Lambert #38 -- alkyd/resin soya oil varnish
Target EM6000 -- water-borne
Winwax wood hardner
I work with spalting quite a bit. I find even in a hardwood it makes a very soft surface (well it would wouldn't it?). I would recommend a pour type table epoxy that you brush on, let it soak and brush on some more. Try to get it as deep as you can in the wood. Don't let it harden on the surface as pools, wipe it off when it has soaked up as much as it can. When it hardened sand and it will give you a smooth matte finish and impart quite a bit of strength. Do both sides and the ends even if they don't show.
A company near us produces molding of all shapes and sizes. They have perhaps four people looking over plans and doing takeoffs, then bidding the molding for the jobs. Given that, it may be useful to...