sawdust chronicles challenge #8: still one more update

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Blog entry by BigTiny posted 10-28-2010 08:11 AM 1197 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: another update Part 8 of sawdust chronicles challenge series Part 9: Oh well, better luck next time. »

Greetings all.

Well, finally got the camera back from the wife, only to find I hadn’t installed the software to use it on our new computer. Took me ages to find the disk. Oh well. finally back in business.

There are two photos here, one of the completed cubes for the top. The other is of a couple of pieces from the same flitch of cherry veneer, one raw and one about a minute after wiping it with a sponge moistened with a 1 to 50 by volume solution of lye in distilled water. Quite the difference, eh? It gets glued to the substrate along with a narrow ebony trim and an ash border about an inch and a half wide tomorrow.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

8 comments so far

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3918 days

#1 posted 10-28-2010 12:35 PM

Beutiful Big Tiny. I wasn’t aware that lye and distilled water did anything to wood that you would want. I would like to know more about this process when you have time.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 10-28-2010 01:49 PM

Love the cubes! Slick trick with the lye!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3282 days

#3 posted 10-28-2010 02:20 PM

Well, I learned me something new this morning. Thanks for the heads up Tiny. Makes me want to go experiment now.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4298 days

#4 posted 10-28-2010 07:02 PM

I’ve been following this with interest Big. Nice to see it coming together so well. Very exciting!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3094 days

#5 posted 10-29-2010 10:29 AM

For those interested in the lye treatment, I used a solution of a teaspoonful in a cup of distilled water. If I have the theory right, it reacts with the tannin in wood to do the same thing a lot of normal age and light exposure does, namely to darken those woods containing tannin in higher levels, like cheery, mahogany and oak. It has little effect on non tannin bearing woods like maple and poplar. I applied it with a small sponge, about the same amount as a thinned coat of shellac or like you’d wet wood to raise the grain.
The effect is fairly thin apparently, so you should do most if not all your sanding before using the lye. The one good thing is that the wood will darken as much as it ever will, so you don’t have to worry about it darkening more in the years to come. You can use lower concentrations for lesser effects, but it may continue to darken with time if you do, much like the untreated variety.
As with any chemical, extreme care should be taken when handling lye, as it is both caustic and poisonous. The dust can destroy your lungs. At the very least I would recommend rubber gloves, dust mask and eye protection. Getting the safety sheets on these things is also a good idea.

If you want to try this, please be very careful doing so. We can’t spare any LJs.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3062 days

#6 posted 10-29-2010 11:24 AM

Great information as usual.

Chaps now installed. Thanks again. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3094 days

#7 posted 10-29-2010 12:00 PM

Hi Jamie.

You’re quite welcome. Sharing ideas and skills is what this place is all about. I’be never logged on here without learning something. If I can contribute in some small way here, it’s just a partial payment for all that I have gotten from the LJ gang.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3139 days

#8 posted 10-30-2010 06:45 AM

Thanks for the information.
Now I feel I need to make one.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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