"Well, here's the before and after of my first-ever attempt at furniture making with one of your Parota Rounds.
I made a few mistakes, learned a lot, and had a great time! And the end result, while not professional grade, is still quite stunning in my (and most importantly, my wife's) opinion.
After 6 months of seasoning in my garage to let the wood accommodate to New Mexico, I had to plane a little twist and then shave down the chink in the wood from the loader. A few years ago, I finished a Parota slab of yours for our kitchen bartop with a tung oil, shellac, poly approach. I should have researched a little more about outdoor finishes before proceeding with the tung oil on this piece. I didn't want to use shellac for an outdoor piece, and realized after applying the tung oil that I had created a big problem.
Thanks to the miracles of the internet, I was able to get in contact with Steve Smith at Smith Products, and he was a big help in guiding me through an appropriate outdoor finish. Whether it was the only finishing solution, I don't know, but in the end I feel comfortable that it's not going to peel off this year. It required me to plane off the wood to remove as much of the tung oil as possible, and the tung oil kept bubbling up after the planing, so I had about a 1 month delay there. Then came Smith's clear penetrating epoxy sealer, about 10 coats of Epifanes gloss marine varnish, and 3 coats of Epifanes matte varnish. Clearly I'm an amateur, because Epifanes is like honey and I had some issues with subtle brush marks that I'm still trying to buff out and will probably require me to eventually redo with a few additional coats of the Epifanes matte varnish.
My wife told me to cut it out for now, and just enjoy, so that's what I'll do....Bottom line, even an rank amateur can look almost like a professional when they start with an awesome piece of wood!
Pete Middlebrooks (New Mexico)