Texas Star Table Inlay

My daughter wanted a Texas star table for Christmas. I had a round oak table that needed refinishing, so I decided to inlay the star while refinishing the table top. I started out by constructing a regular pentagon using a trammel point compass and a bit of basic geometry. After laying out the star I used my router and a straight edge to remove area inside down to a depth of 3/16 inches. The trick is to remove material along an edge and work across the star point to ensure the router base has a stable surface to ride on.

After finishing the routing I re-sawed basswood into 3/16 inch thick stock to create 10 half star points. These were sanded to fit inside lines drawn from the center to the points on the perimeter between the star legs.

After sanding the basswood pieces to fit within each star point and numbering their orientation, transtint dye was used to color them.

Next I mixed marine epoxy and placed it into the bottom of the routed star recess. The dyed basswood pieces were placed in their respective places and held in place with lead weights while the epoxy cured. Afterwards another batch of epoxy was mixed to fill the slight depression between the basswood inserts and the rest of the table top. This also filled in any gaps along the edges and between the star point sections.

After the last batch of the epoxy cured, and was sanded to remove the amine blush and make sure the surface was level, polyurethane was applied.

Here is the table top after 8 coats of polyurethane. I used a clear gloss polyurethane to reduce amount of yellowing produced by each successive coat. I used a satin polyurethane for the top two coats.

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