Last I left you all I dropped a few pics of a veneer I made out of the original table scrap for the Samsung SSD.
I used a table router to take it down to about 4mm thick. Any less and I feared the butcher block would have fell apart.
At 4mm I'm amazed that it held together and is as strong as it is.
As to the rest of the dek I decided not to take the black finish all the way down to original wood. Instead, with more hours than I care to recall of meticulous sanding, I took it down about 75%. This left some great tigering in the wider grain pieces as well as fine speckling and nice definition of the butcher block pieces from the original table. It kind of gives the wood a burnt antique look. The veneer above doesn't reflect this as it never had a coat of the black stain prior to finishing.... slght oversight...
After sanding most of the desk down wiith 220 grit sandpaper I gave a few select pieces a good run with 300 grit to get them nice a smooth to the touch. Namely, the desktop, box face, legs and keyboard tray.
A good cleanup with mineral spirits had it all ready for stain once again. This time around I was very modest compared to the prior black finish, but I definitely wanted it much darker than natural wood. So I went with Minwax Provincial 211. It left a nice touch of gold to the sanded ribbons in the grain and a bit of light chocolate color.
After trying to match up the butcher block with the other woods as best as I could I started adding coats of Minwax Polyurethane semi gloss. I knew I didn't want to go full on gloss so I tested a bit of the satin compared to the semi gloss. I ended up going with the semi gloss because I felt like it gave better clarity to the wood grain. After the first two or three initial coats I started wet sanding lightly with 300grit paper and wiping it all down with mineral spirits in between coats. This takes care of any bubbles left from the brush and makes everything super smooth. After about 7+ coats of polyurethane I lost track... I know high traffic areas like the legs, top, face and kb tray have at least 15 coats of poly.
I'm quite pleased with the results. It feels and looks great. In the right light there is some fantastic ambering in the wood grain!
The weather has been crap for the last few days so I only have a couple night pics... but you get the idea!
As to watercooling... I'm going to jump the acrylic bandwagon with everyone else. I'll just leave with this for now.
I just pulled the trgger on an order of acrylic tube.
Hopefully 30ft will be enough to get the bending process down.
I'm unsure of the quality of tube USPlastics has to deliver so I have a 4pack of the Monsoon tubing on hand as well.
Until next time space cowboys.