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  1. #1
    Member
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    Dec 2005
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    Winfield, Missouri, USA.
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    RE: Introduction and Question about finishing birdseye maple

    Welcome to the forum.

    You have some nice looking wood there. Maple is one of the woods that tends to blotch when you stain it. It is fairly tight grained so some parts of the wood take up more stain the others. That is what causes the blotching. The way to help prevent blotching is to take a 1 lb cut of shellac and seal all of the wood before staining. That way it will help even out the stain. Pre cat lacquer will work over any stain that does not have a sterate in it.

    Others will come along with more advice. Have phun.

  2. #2
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    Dec 1969
    Location
    Minnesota.
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    4,589

    RE: Introduction and Question about finishing birdseye maple

    Welcome to the forum!

    Yup, shellac is the ticket. Put a light coat of BLO on first and allow that to dry. Shellac on top of that. Not sure why, but that combo really makes the grain pop. Stain on top of the shellac then finish as desired.

    You near Ft McCoy?
    Keystone

    One of the Original Charter Members. Circa 2000

    No longer here. Can now be found at WoW.




  3. #3
    Member
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lindale, Texas, USA.
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    RE: Introduction and Question about finishing birdseye maple

    If you want to darken the wood before finish, the Transtint is the way to go to get even color. You're going to have thin it before application. It can actually be thinned with either water or solvent thinners. Keep your scrap pieces and make lots of samples with different concentrations to see what you like. You might also consider using it to tint your topcoat. You might also consider just using a clear topcoat. Figured Maple has some awesome chatoyance (sp?) when you put a clear finish on it. It goes away the darker you get.

  4. #4
    Member
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    Dec 1969
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
    Posts
    18,751

    RE: Introduction and Question about finishing birdseye maple

    Welcome, Andrew!

    If you want to darken it slightly... then I'm inclined to think you'll want to use a garnet shellac... possibly over a tinted linseen oil or Danish oil - Watco makes tinted Danish oils. Depending on the Watco you use, you may need to back off on the shellac color... so I'd try a couple of different Watcos & shellacs till you get the appearance you want. I think a stain will be over the top, unless you want the color to be deeper than I think you do.

    Experiment with scrap - as always - first with untinted oil & super blonde shellac, then toy with tinted oils & darker-colored shellac.

    -- Tim --

    Member of the
    Robert "Limey" Bolton Memorial
    International
    Volunteer Mentorship and Assistance
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  5. #5
    Member
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Maine, USA.
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    RE: Introduction and Question about finishing birdseye maple

    These are good suggestions.

    If just going for an "antique maple finshed" look, I'd go with the garnet shellac, as Tim mentioned, then a clearcoat.

    If going for something darker or different, I'd finish much the same way Keystone suggested with a few coats of blonde shellac to prevent blotching, then some stain, then a clearcoat.

  6. #6
    Member
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    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kemah, Tx., U.S.A..
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    283

    Have you considered a redesign?

    If you really want the BE Maple to jump out at you it should be used as an accent in contrast to a darker wood.
    Keep in mind that I am a "no-stainer" and I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is just something to ponder.
    If it were mine, I would make the end frames of a darker wood such as walnut or mahogany and the insert panels out of the BE Maple. The front and rear rails of the same dark wood and the vertical slats of the BE Maple. Then I would put a clear finish on it such as lacquer or polyurethane.
    Not only will this save a lot of time but the added savings on the wood conditioners, shellac, BLO and stain could be used toward the purchase of the darker wood.

    Just a thought.

    Tony B
    Tony B

    TheTexasWoodWorks.com

  7. #7
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    Sep 2004
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    Maine, USA.
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    RE: Have you considered a redesign?

    >Not only will this save a lot of time but the added savings
    >on the wood conditioners, shellac, BLO and stain could be
    >used toward the purchase of the darker wood.

    Sounds like he's already got the wood he's using for the project. :)

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
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    Kemah, Tx., U.S.A..
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    Sorry Rhull

    I thought I was addressing the OP MrClean and not you. My mistake.
    Tony B
    Tony B

    TheTexasWoodWorks.com

  9. #9
    Member
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    Sep 2004
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    Maine, USA.
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    RE: Sorry Rhull

    No need to apologize. It was pretty clear you were replying to the original poster.

    While using an alternate wood for some of the parts, I agree that you could achieve a less expensive project, and a different look. It just sounds like he's already bought the wood and done a lot of the woodworking for this project, so pursuing your idea wouldn't really save him any money. Also, this may be the look he's going for, and the expense may not be a concern for him. Making an heirloom crib without concern for the cost may be a higher priority (it was for me when I made the crib for my son 3 years ago).

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wayne, Pa..
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    383

    RE: Introduction and Question about finishing birdseye maple

    I remember seeing a video years ago on bringing out the figure in bird's eye. If I recall correctly dark grain fill was applied which will go into the eyes but not do much else to the maple since it is so closed pored...close pored?

    Darkening a bit can be done with stain or dye and enhanced with a finish like shellac or coloring added to lacquer.

    Good luck with project and baby. Congrats.

    John
    John


    Did you ever think that maybe the crumb just wanted to steal our wirecutters?

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