I inherited a wedge of a sawn round from a white oak tree (figures 1, 2). The wedge contains the center of the tree, and counting out I think there are one hundred and sixty to one hundred sixty-five growth rings. So it was a noble old tree when it was felled, but by no means “old growth.”
Loggy is about 1.5 by 1 foot. Side 1 had been facing up into the air, side two down into the earth. It’s in reasonably good condition, so I don’t think Loggy had been lying there for too long.
So I decided to turn Loggy into a tribute to old oak by cleaning him (her?) up, staining, and sealing him. I got a few cans of requisite prep, stain and polyurethane, as well as some oxalic acid bleach for the waterlogged side 1. I also got a simple pack of sandpaper and a sanding block, as well as a stiff brush.
I used the 80-grit paper strictly with the flat face of my sanding block to find the natural surface of each side (figures 3, 4). As you can see, there were grim divots caused by the action of the saw that cascade across the face of the wood below the “surface level.”
With my 120-grit paper I was able to start getting into the divots as well as begin to soften the edges to minimize splinters (figures 5, 6).
I spare you the images after 220-grit sanding, and take you directly to the 320-grit sanding (figures 7, 8). I was able to get into the divots and start polishing them down with the 220. I decided early on that I was not going to try to sand the entire surface down flat with muscle power alone. However, the sanding block is able to get the 220 and the 320 paper right down into the grooves and by polishing away the roughness the grain emerges. Ideally, though the surface may be wavy at the end, one will be able to see all of the grain clearly under polyurethane.
It was quite clear to me that another campaign of sanding at the grooves would be necessary, and so I leave you here after day one.