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My girlfriend wanted one of those $3000 fancy outdoor tables for the backyard, so I built this one for $200. I used some catalpia that my buddy Dan Hudock (hudockshardwoods.com) had buried in the lumbar pile for the top. Only took 26 mortise/tenon joints to get that style I wanted. It has seemed to handle the crazy hot/wet summer here in Phila so far. Finished it with Spar varnish, that goes on like cold maple syrup! The trestle style legs are white oak, finished with same spar crap. We eat outside all the time now and enjoy it.
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I have used thick spar varnish to fill cracks and crevices. It levels nicely and doesn't have the fumes like epoxy.
This is a well-designed and well-constructed table. The finish is entirely appropriate for this application, though I would agree that spar varnish does work more easily when it is thinned (slightly) with mineral spirits. Well done!
For outdoor varnish you can't go wrong with that spar crap.
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