I haven’t posted in a while, but with summer almost here, I’m finally able to spend a lot more time in the shop. After thinking about it for longer than I want to admit to, I’ve decided to pre-finish as many components as I can. My main reason is because the the bottom panel is hardwood and not plywood and thus will move with the seasons. I don’t want witness lines , and the only way to avoid that is to pre-finishing.
While pre-finishing will guarantee the tables look good, it means I had to tape off all the mortise, tenons and dados. I’ve coated everything with a coat of boiled linseed oil, & I’ve started applying my wiping varnish. If my tests are representative, it will take about a week and a half to apply the finish, because it will require 8 coats. While some people will scoff at finishing taking that long, I think the quality of the final finish is definitely worth it.