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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to build a dining table from red oak and it is to be painted black. I would appreciate suggestions on two issues. Is there any advantage that running the grain the short dimension would be any better than running it the long dimension. Second, what width would be suggested maximum width for the individual pieces of oak when gluing up the table top. I plan to use biscuits for alignment. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Ron; painting Oak is somewhat problematic due to its grain. It's also not cheap.
You might be happier with something like Maple or Alder due to their baby-bottom smoothness.
 

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I agree on using something other than oak. It is hard to finish to a smooth, flat surface. If you're going to use a black top with a natural (finished Oak) base, that could be interesting. Will look like a restaurant table with that black top. If you use Oak, I'd suggest flattening with a hand plane, and a scraper. It will give you a nicer surface than sandpaper. Sanding attacks the soft parts and leaves the harder grain higher.
 

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You might want to consider a dye like Transtint black dye. It will be black after you spray it on.

...and something other than oak.

Here is a bench I made from oak cabinet grade plywood. The grain is pretty evident. But that is what the lady wanted, so that is what she got.

Note: It is not easy photographing black stuff! :frown:
 

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John
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Well if you are bound and determined to use oak, I would use white oak it not as porous, and would paint and finish better.
Glueing panels wider then 4 to 5 inches have a Tendency To cup
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys....She wants to see the grain in the paint and she specified red oak so there you go......
 

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Ron, I just finished a makeup vanity for my daughter that was made from red oak. I finished it with black dye. Then used a grain filler with the same dye, let it dry for a little while then scraped it off. Finished it with PPG Breakthrough Clear V-70V, (one coat tinted with same dye, and the next two coats clear). Turned out absolutely beautiful.
I used red oak because that is what I had on hand and had plenty of it.
You can still see the grain through the dye and grain filler, but it is as smooth as a sheet of glass.
I have used red oak for many of the furniture tables and such that I have made. Although I love the red oak natural look, I usually finish with an Early American finish. I love the look. This was my first project using black dye. I am pleased with the results.
Don't let anyone deter you from using red oak. If done right its beautiful and durable.
 

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Welcome to the forum Samer.
 

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Thanks guys....She wants to see the grain in the paint and she specified red oak so there you go......
The customer is always right. But sometimes you have to remind them about that after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the good advice. It has been helpful. I just recieved a new request for another table but with a leaf. Any advice on how to include one leaf? I am thinking that you build the whole table, full length..cut the leaf out of the center add the locating pegs....then install the sliders that I will purchase from Rockler.

Anything to watch out for during construction?
 

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Just make sure that cut is exactly 90 to the side. I'd also expect some roughness to that edge, and be prepared to use a trim bit to finish up the edge with your router, so I'd allow an extra 3/16 ths length on the top.
 
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