New Power Tool: Random Orbital Sander

It's ridiculously hot, but I can't resist the call of a new power tool, so I spent yesterday afternoon in the blazing heat sanding down our (old) dining room table, which will become the (new) kitchen table when we move house at the end of august.

I bought this black and decker random orbital sander, mostly because it was 50% off in homebase, but it's also a massive time saver. With a random orbital sander (vs an orbital sander) you can sand across the grain, meaning that I did all the work with this tool, and had sanded the table by four different grades in under half an hour.
table top before
part way through

It's still nice to finish by hand, with the finest sandpaper you can get hold of, working with the grain. This only takes a few minutes, because the random sander won't have left any scuff marks, but doing it makes the surface feel like silk :0)

I chose a 'walnut' wood stain from B&M (only £3.79 and I've only used about 5% of the can so I'd definitely go for the smaller £1.59 can next time) and I painted the legs in homebases 'Caramel Cream' emulsion which we had leftover in our garage from the people who owned our house before us.

walnut stain, drying in the sun
Final job was to protect it. As it's a kitchen table I wanted a tonne of polyurethane on the top, but I only did the standard two coats on the legs as they only need to be wipeable and won't take as much abuse as the surface.

Polyurethane should really be applied in a vacuum. Without having one of those, my wet varnish kept getting flies, blossom and pollen in it. You need to sand between coats anyway, so just pick them out and try to touch up.

And here it is, the finished product!

Not bad for an afternoons work. :0)


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