Use a polyurathane ( I used a Minwax Semi-Gloss ) to seal and protect the finished coffee table. Apply the 1st coat of polyurethane to the entire table. Once dry, add a second coat to the table top. I only generally do one coat of poly on the base. Once the second coat has dried take a sanding block with 400 grit sandpaper and lightly sand all areas you've poly'ed. Then take a clean damp rag to remove the dust and prepare for your final coat of poly.
The next important hand tool for the woodworker is an accurate tape measure. Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run.
Solid wood will at all-time remain a top selection where furniture is concerned. It is a particular resilience; sturdiness and texture in time enhance and add coziness and warmth to any home. It is clear that it might be considered Rudimental and rustic, in some occasions the bold contrast among a solid piece of wood and a modern interior design scheme is to be desired.

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Always be on the lookout for usable wood. You might be able to salvage some. You can use a metal detector to find nails and screws. You don’t need a full fledged metal detector. I use a pinpointer made by Garrett. If your wood has some woodboring beetles you can still use it if not eaten too badly. A healthy dose of cyfluthrin will take care of them.
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I think it depends on the type of woodworker you would like to become. Are you more interested in traditional “electric free” carpentry or are you drawn to the ease and convenience of modern machinery? Also, I think you should take into consideration what kind and how much shop space you have available. I have worked with all the modern machines for years now, and are just presently finding personal satisfaction in traditional woodworking. In fact, last night I built my very first bookcase with just a few “powerless” hand tools. So in all, I would suggest some personal reflection…What type of woodworker do you want to become?…and from there garnish your shop appropriately.
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