Today, we finished finishing the live edge walnut slabs that will be the Zelli Bar top.
We sprayed a Waterlox tung oil finish onto the slabs; three times in total. In between each spray, we lightly sanded the surfaces; after the first coat with 220 grit and second coat with 320 grit. Post-sanding, we rubbed the surfaces with steel wool to catch the bits of finish in the smaller grain texture.
Step 1: With the random orbit sander, Rob lightly sanded thesurfaces with 400 grit sandpaper. He was careful of the edges/corners as to not to wear through the finish and have to respray it again. We didn't sand the live edges in this case because of the uneven surface.
Step 2: Next, he broke out the steel wool and mineral oil. He wiped down the freshly sanded surface with the steel wool and mineral oil, trying to make sure to apply enough even, firm pressure (again, as to not break through the layer of finish).
Step 3: Because the mineral oil can be deceiving as far as masking any still-shiny-from-the-finish areas, he wiped down the surface with a soap and water dampened shop towel. After wiping away the soapy water, it is easy to see where any substantial shiny areas remain so he could go back with the steel wool and mineral oil.
Step 4: At this point, the only shiny spots that were left were in the tiniest of crevasses in the grain. Solution? Rottenstone. We have a pre-mixed combination of rottenstone powder and mineral oil in a sealed jar that some soft bits of rag sit in. Using those rottenstone soaked rags, Rob wiped down the surface again making sure to rub the rag with the direction of the grain. We make sure that the rags never have a chance to pick up any dust or rough particles because that would mean making scratches on our nearly completely smooth surface.
Step 5: After the rottenstone is rubbed onto the surfaces, I buffed out what bit of the powder remained and tackled the final stage- Murphy's Oil Soap. Using dampened shop towels, I washed down the surfaces with Murphy's Oil Soap to remove any remaining substances. Then, the surfaces were inspected carefully looking for any shiny bits that might remain. If any were found, they were buffed out with rottenstone and then washed down again with Murphy's.
And, we're done with the top! The walnut slabs are now coated with a clear and protective finish and smoothed to perfection. This bar top is ready for drink-slinging!