Making An Oak Desktop Smooth

Hi and Happy Holidays,
I love the look of oak but its surface is a little rough for a writing surface. How do you get a smooth surface from it? A heavy, clear coating that can be smoothed?
Thanks, Gary
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On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 18:12:26 -0500, "Gary Brown"

Grain filler:
<http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyIDD92
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Not just A coating, but SEVERAL coatings is what you need. With sanding between each coat. Your finish of choice can be used, but for the smoothest finish, use shellac, lacquer, or varnish; not an oil type finish, because oil finish tends to soak in instead of building a layer.
If you want, and you like the look, first apply a wood filler. That fills the pores of the oak (and oak has a lot of pores) and makes the wood flatter before you apply the finish. I like the look of the oak pores as is, so I usually bypass the filler and go directly to the finish.
Another option would be to accept the oak as it is, and use a desk blotter to write on instead of writing directly on the desk. That has the additional advantage of protecting the wood and the finish from being dented by ballpoint pens . . . .
-Don
--
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power tool in your head, no matter what you do." -- El Gato
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Gary Brown wrote:

You can fill the pores with a grain filler such as Famowood's:
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyIDB07
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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One labor intensive way would be to use a filler & finish. A quick, easy way? maybe a piece of glass.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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You do not mention how the table top is made?
How wide are the solid oak boards and what type of glue has been used? Or is it made with solid wood around and plywood or veneer in the middle? The area where you live plays a role in your table top finish. With solid oak you will never get a smooth surface as melamine. To get a surface like a refinished solid wood floor you would need a controlled owen. I am refinishing my dinner table. I am using a steel blade scrapper and hard labour. Then I will do fine sanding by hand follow by extra fin steel wood. In your case I do not have enough details to make any comment yet.
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My son does his homework at a kitchen table I just made out of red oak with no problems.
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On Mon, 18 Dec 2006 01:08:43 +0000, Toller wrote:

Actually it depends on the particular piece--some will finish up quite smooth, others won't. And it varies across individual boards as well.
--
--John
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Greetings....
There are many epoxy coatings you could use, grain fillers and the like...but I still would not use the table top as a writing surface...maybe you could get a nice leather pad for a writing on...
just another humble point of view...
DCH
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