finishing my coffee table of white oak

I'm getting close to finishing the Karl Caillouet-style coffee table I am making. I've gotten the Rockler Sam Maloof poly-oil-wax finishes, and am starting to do final sanding of the table top. I am going to go to 400 grit sandpaper as per the instructions. Question: Do I seal the oak first with diluted shellac, or go straight to the poly-oil?
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Han
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On Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:35:00 AM UTC-7, Han wrote:





A wash coat is usually only need when adding a color so you won't get a blo tchy outcome. White Oak doesn't really blotch much anyway but you aren't ad ding color so not really needed.
If you are going with natural color, you might try adding some color to the grain. After your first coat or two of poly, rub on some black or dark bro wn gel stain and wipe it off completely right away. You can leave it like t hat, gel stain is just color poly. Or you can add more coats of clear. The dark stain will get down in the oak grain and really make the grain pop. Re ally a nice way to treat natural red or white oak. Test it in a scrap you m ight really like it.
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Thanks!! I'll try on a piece of scrap ...
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Han
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On 4/10/2013 1:35 PM, Han wrote:

I would think straight to the poly-oil, Ummm what does the can say? :~)
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There has been a lot of talk about a wash-coat or sealer coat lately. Better to ask and look stoopid, then later on regret things. DAMHIKT!!
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Han
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On 4/10/2013 2:41 PM, Han wrote:

Typically you would do that if working with maple, pine, birch, any wood that does not absorb a stain evenly.
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I'm learning ...
THANKS!!!
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Han
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On 4/10/2013 3:46 PM, Han wrote:

Hey Han you sound like a pro!
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I'm about 40 years away from that. I'll see you if I make it ...
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Han
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Go straight to the finish out of the can, particularly since A wants it lighter in color.
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wrote:

:)
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Han
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Han wrote:

It depends upon what you want it to look like. The pores/grain of the oak will wind up much darker than the rest of it if you don't first use a sealer coat. However, that will also be true if you use shellac because the darkness comes from increased absorption which "colors" the wood; think how the wood would look with shellac and that's pretty much the way it is going to look if you put poly on top of the shellac.. If you want a more uniform overall color, seal with a waterborne material.
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dadiOH
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The consensus seems to be to go straight to the poly. But I'd like to know what would be your preferred waterbased sealer?
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Han
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Han wrote:

I don't usually use one but if I had need I'd use what I had on hand. Currently - and for some time to come - that is waterborne poly. I have that because I needed to finish something with minimal coloring.
On our Saltillo floors I used an acrylic, Seal-Krete by name, with oil poly over.
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Take the advice of someone who has used this type of finish on dozens of pieces. DO NOT use a sealer. This formulation is designed to penetrate into the wood and maintain the look of the natural wood. To use a sealer defeats the purpose of the finish.
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I was going to follow your advice, Karl! (Who am I to not do so?). It was just for future projects which may use maple or other woods that may need a sealer.
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Han
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