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3 Girls & A Woodworker #5: Questions about Walnut and Scrollsawing

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Blog entry by John_G posted 04-19-2011 03:14 PM 2536 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: My very first Wood Gloat Part 5 of 3 Girls & A Woodworker series Part 6: Planer.... What should i do......???? »

I’m about to begin a scrollsaw project with a piece of 3/4” Walnut. My question is when i was sanding down the walnut ahead of time i noticed that it has “pores” or “open grain” or something in it. Is this normal for walnut, or is it something that will get compeltely sanded out if i spend enough time at it?

Thanks Jocks…..

-- John Gray



15 comments so far

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1349 days


#1 posted 04-19-2011 03:33 PM

The open pores are somewhat normal if the grain isn’t 100% parallel with the board. I’m in the process of making a shelf with walnut quasi-breadboard ends and ran into the same thing. Unfortunately for mine, the grain pores acted like hangnails..

You could always use pore filler, but I like the look of the open grain. How you chose to finish it might fill in the pores for you.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5655 posts in 2084 days


#2 posted 04-19-2011 03:48 PM

I don’t think the pores will sand out.
If the pores are objectionable, use a grain filler.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3133 posts in 1331 days


#3 posted 04-19-2011 03:58 PM

Use paste wood filler with some pigment in it. If you use it plain it could lighten the wood. All that I have used was a cream color. It should give you a glass smooth finish. Use it for the base to make a rubbing stain. It will fill and stain.

View John_G's profile

John_G

146 posts in 1347 days


#4 posted 04-19-2011 04:01 PM

the pores aren’t honestly a problem with me, i just wasn’t sure if this was a natural thing with the wood or if i needed more sanding. I don’t mind the look of it at all, and once i put some sort of finish on it, probably a spray laquer it’ll be fine….. thanks everyone…..

-- John Gray

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1349 days


#5 posted 04-19-2011 04:21 PM

Walnut appears very similar to mahogany to me.. Similar grain characteristics..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View William's profile

William

9034 posts in 1498 days


#6 posted 04-19-2011 05:52 PM

All the walnut I have has this open grain. I still have used it for scroll saw projects with great results. Go for it!

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View John_G's profile

John_G

146 posts in 1347 days


#7 posted 04-19-2011 07:27 PM

Awesome, thanks william…. What do you use for finishing it???

-- John Gray

View William's profile

William

9034 posts in 1498 days


#8 posted 04-19-2011 08:53 PM

I’ve used lots of stuff. My favorite finish for anything though is shellac.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1349 days


#9 posted 04-19-2011 08:54 PM

Danish Oil on walnut is my favorite

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View John_G's profile

John_G

146 posts in 1347 days


#10 posted 04-19-2011 09:56 PM

Well i plan on making two so maybe i’ll try both Shellac and some Danish oil….. only prob with the oil is getting it on everything. Guess i could fill a pie tin and submerge it in it. Unless danish oil comes in a spray….

-- John Gray

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1349 days


#11 posted 04-19-2011 10:01 PM

Danish oil is easy to work with and hardening, so let it set for a day and its dry. Lately I’ve been brushing it on right on my kitchen counter with a plastic sheet under whatever I’m working. Cleans up easy.. I just pour some in one of those ham or turkey containers (the cheapo tupperware) brush on with a foam brush.

I keep it flooded for 15 minutes, then wipe the excess off, flood once more, and then keep wiping off every 30 minutes or so as the wood weeps some of the oil back out. After about 2 hours, its set.

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View William's profile

William

9034 posts in 1498 days


#12 posted 04-19-2011 10:30 PM

I had never used Danish oil until the other day. My brother does construction work and gives me left over stuff all the time, one of these “stuff” being a half can of Danish oil from a while back. I finished my mallets it a few days ago. Now this is the first time I’ve used the “stuff”, but it turned out great. I may try and use some more of the “stuff” in the future.
Now these mallets were made out of mahogany, but these two woods are very similar, so I’m sure it would have similar results on walnut.
Sorry for all the “stuff” references. I just got finished watching George Carlin’s “stuff” routine on YouTube.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1349 days


#13 posted 04-20-2011 03:08 PM

FYI, they just started carrying it at the Brockport Lowes.. Looks like its cheaper there than the Woodcraft store in Henrietta

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Dave's profile

Dave

11168 posts in 1496 days


#14 posted 04-20-2011 04:57 PM

You can use pumice and blo with some shellac and it will fill nicely. This is one step of french polishing.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

286 posts in 1972 days


#15 posted 04-20-2011 06:12 PM

You can also fill the pores by applying danish oil with wet/dry sandpaper. Basically, the sawdust and Danish oil form a slurry that fills the pores; it’s similar to a french polish. I use it a lot when I turn open-grained woods.

James

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