Step 5: Finishing

Since the top was already finished, I decided not to strip away all that character and old varnish.  Instead, plane down any surface inconsistencies, then clean the top thoroughly with denatured alcohol and steel wool.  Then, add two or three coats of fresh wipe-on poly to seal and protect.  Make sure to apply finish to the underside of the table as well, so that it doesn't absorb humidity unevenly, causing the surface to buckle over time.  

Polish up the legs with a power sander, then ease the edges by hand to they aren't sharp or splintery.  Make sure the doweled joints are sanded flush.  Wipe with a damp rag.  

Tape off the underside of the top and rub the legs with boiled linseed oil and a rag.  Linseed oil is a cheap finish that brings out a warm glow while nourishing the wood.  It is non-toxic and low-maintenance, easily refreshed with a new coat whenever necessary.  

DIY at its finest
Very well done!
I have two tables that are similar to this, except that the legs fold up and they have laminate tops. We use them both as TV tables and for longer term purposes, when/where needed. Of course, they're missing the beautiful joint work, but the look is the same and they're so versatile.<br>
good looking table!
Curious about your choice of saw blades. I recently burned the motor out of a relatively new table saw while cutting hardwood. The manufacturer said I was using inapproproprite blades, (16 tooth carbide.)
the manufacturer gave you some b.s., unless you were severely trying to cut too fast, for too long. slow and steady wins the race. <br> <br>16 teeth sounds too few. my 10&quot; saw uses an 80 tooth blade... the more, the smoother the cut. <br> <br>what type and size saw are you using?
I logged in just to tell you how beautiful this table was in its simplicity. Love the joint work, etc. I know nothing of woodworking, but things like this encourage me!
Very good work. It looks enough strong, but in case I would make four wood reinforces, one for each leg, at the angle. Think of children...
Simple and beautiful. I have a lot of old pine wood from a floor and your work give me inspiration for use it. I think all your instructables are very well designed. I like all of them. Thank you for publish them.
Beautiful table!
How pretty! I need one of these.

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Bio: Furniture hacker. Author of Guerilla Furniture Design, out now. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @objectguerilla.
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