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Reply by Mark Kornell

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Posted on Help Finishing a Quartersawn Maple Trestle Table Top

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Mark Kornell

482 posts in 1163 days


#1 posted 599 days ago

You could try the technique used to pop curly figure. On a test piece first, of course…

Use a darkish dye – anywhere from medium brown to black – and apply it as directed. A water- or alcohol-based dye, not oil-based. And dye, not stain. After it has dried, sand it so that most of the color is gone.

The idea is that different parts of the wood will absorb the dye more than others. By sanding after dyeing, you expose the parts of the wood that absorb dye less and leave color in the parts that absorb more.

I’ve never done this on quartersawn maple, so I don’t know if there is enough difference in absorption characteristics to allow the QS figure to pop.

You may want to try repeating the dye/sand steps two or three times.

Also, you won’t really be able to tell how much of an effect the technique will have until you oil it. You are probably looking at some trial boards, or maybe a single sequenced board…

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design


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