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View BethMartin's profile

Need to start picking wood for a built-ins project...

by BethMartin
posted 02-26-2009 06:40 PM


32 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15794 posts in 2965 days


#1 posted 02-26-2009 06:45 PM

Hard to tell from a distance, but it looks like mission style, which is traditionally done in QS white oak. The stain could be whatever you choose from a color chart. If you were going to hand finish, I’d recommend a satin finish wipe-on polyurethane.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2491 days


#2 posted 02-26-2009 06:54 PM

Charlie is right on with the Mission/Arts and Crafts style. Looks to be a dark oak dye or stain on the wood, and the hand rubbed finish would be perfect. The other colors in the room could probably be found in the Historic colors of either Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. Good luck.

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#3 posted 02-26-2009 07:44 PM

Thanks guys! Though, if anyone has a specific brand of stain/color to recommend, I’d be really grateful. For some reason, I am notoriously bad for selecting wood stain color – it never seems to come out close to what I think it’s going to be! And then I end up buying several colors, etc. etc. ;)

-- Beth

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2140 days


#4 posted 02-26-2009 11:11 PM

If you are not considering oak (expensive for this project, you can build it with plywood and Poplar trim. When finished, just grab a sample piece and try different stains to check wich one is closer to the picture.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15794 posts in 2965 days


#5 posted 02-26-2009 11:18 PM

Doubthead is right about sampling the stain.

You can never be sure just by looking at a can or a color chart how a stain is going to look on the particular wood you are working with. The best you can do is pick something close, and test it on a small piece of your lumber. If you are really going for a specific color, you may find that you have to buy a couple of different colors and experiment with different mixes until you get just what you want.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15794 posts in 2965 days


#6 posted 02-26-2009 11:22 PM

And I forgot to mention that application has a lot to do with final color as well. How long you leave it on the surface before wiping, whether you use a rag or a brush, one coat or two…. all these things make a difference. So even if I could tell you that the cabinets in the photo were Minwax American Walnut on white oak, you could still end up with something different if you varied in the application process.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2140 days


#7 posted 02-26-2009 11:32 PM

Also, would be better if you find a local building with this type of architectural woodwork (Public Library, City Hall, Museum, Church or a friend’s house) so you can comapare directly your stain samples with the light variations.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2460 days


#8 posted 02-27-2009 01:29 AM

Jenn and I assembled some furniture for our daughter and we wanted to match the raw wood to the stain of her crib. We took a piece of the crib to a paint store NOT a big box store and worked with the folks there and they spent a good hour with us trying different stains and combinations of finishes until we had a perfect match…they did not charge us for the time or myriad cans of finish they opened but they sure got a confirmed customer. So I would suggest find a Paint store in your area and foster a good working relationship with them. Take your inspirational photo and the vision you have for your room and let them help.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#9 posted 02-27-2009 01:36 AM

Well, I guess it helps that it would be just as hard to pick the color for the experts as it would be for me. That makes me feel a little better. I still need to pick wood though. There’s a woodworking store sorta near where I live that I’ve been meaning to check out. I need to walk in there with my picture and cry “help me”. :)

-- Beth

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2460 days


#10 posted 02-27-2009 01:49 AM

I hope you find some great wood.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15071 posts in 2423 days


#11 posted 02-27-2009 02:27 AM

Boy, oh boy, you guys are good, analyzing the wood and stain in picture.:-)

About all I would say is go a shade or 2 lighter than you think you really want. You can always darken. Dark makes a space seem smaller. That is my wife’s only cmaplaint about the wood work and cabinets in our house. It was all dark walnut stain. The kitchen looks twice a big with the golden glow of oak. (No, I didn’t build them, too much of a project for my time back then. I would build them today.)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2491 days


#12 posted 02-28-2009 07:52 PM

Beth, if you’re looking for the oak look without the price, and you aren’t set on having the Quarter Sawn white oak “flake” in it, you can make the piece from Ash. (the poor man’s oak). It’s relatively cheaper than QSWO and a little cheaper than flat sawn. It takes a dye real good, so you can get the color about the same. Charlie is right on about the plywood, although hardwood ply is expensive, too. Just use 1/4” for the panels.

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1765 posts in 2837 days


#13 posted 02-28-2009 08:12 PM

Hi,

can you post a closer pic?

Traditionally, the woodwork in the millwork in these houses were made of something other than oak. Ash, gumwood, douglas fir, pine, etc. They would be stained dark though. I recommend the book Shop Plans for Craftsman Interiors.
http://craftsmanplans.com/Book%203%20TOC_4.htm

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3061 days


#14 posted 02-28-2009 08:23 PM

See if you can find a local hardwood supplier. The guys that supply the cabinet shops. Oak in not an expensive wood. 1/4 sawn oak is a little spendy, but just getting a portion of it for the visible areas looks really good. The labor is the expensive part. I pay just about the same for ash or poplar as I do for oak. Which is only about a 1/3 more than pine. If you try to get your wood from HomeDespot or most lumber stores you will be paying a premium. Pay the extra to get domestic plywood. You will save in the long run. Minwax Early American is a good looking stain for this kinda project. Some stains hide the grain (which is what many prefer even if they don’t know it) and some highlight the grain. Minwax will highlight it. The importain thing is to get colors YOU like! That project would look good in just about any wood. My guess is that might actually be a stained fur or redwood. Which was used in many of the homes built on the west coast.

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#15 posted 02-28-2009 08:26 PM

Thanks, everyone. And John, thanks for that book recommendation, I think that’s exactly what I need. I’m going to the woodworking store today…maybe they will have it there. I’ll let you know what I’ve picked for wood. Hopefully I will get some soon! I’ll be able to get started as soon as I can haul my father-in-law’s table saw to my house. :)

-- Beth

View PirateOfCatan's profile

PirateOfCatan

57 posts in 2147 days


#16 posted 03-05-2009 01:37 AM

It sounds like you might have a few colors of stain already. The best way to see what stains are going to look like is to apply them. They also make gel stain, which is thicker than liquid stain so it does not penetrate as deep (which helps avoid blotches on poplar if you go that route). “General Finishes” makes some that work nicely and can make poplar look like more exotic woods. I second the advice on going to your local paint store, I love the staff at mine.

At Borders or Barnes and Noble they sometimes have woodworking books in the bargain area. For six dollars I got the Encyclopedia of Woodworking. The reason I got it was for the 16 pages of wood species. I find it vary handy to have 33 samples with loads of information about them on hand. Other books have similar sections and would be worth a look.

Good luck on your built-ins.

-- P.O.C.

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#17 posted 03-29-2009 04:09 AM

So after perusing what is available, I’ve decided to go with cherry, as it’s dark and I can get it in both boards and plywood at my local lumberyard.

Wish me luck! I’m going to start a blog here so you all can egg me on. :)

-- Beth

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2475 days


#18 posted 03-29-2009 06:36 AM

people will probably recommend against cherry. it doesn’t take stain easily, and it isn’t cheap. Also, it isn’t dark right after you work it. It needs to be exposed to direct sunlight for a while for it to start to darken. This may end up being problematic since you will stain it the color you want, and then it will continue to darken. Obciously you can do what you like, but I think there are better and more affordable options.

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2475 days


#19 posted 03-29-2009 06:38 AM

also, to clarify, when i say it doesn’t stain easily, what I mean is it tends to be really blotchy. You’d need to seal the wood before staining and that is another step/cost.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15794 posts in 2965 days


#20 posted 03-29-2009 04:01 PM

Cherry is a beautiful wood, but it is about the last thing I would recommend if you are looking for a very specific color. Because of its tendency to change color with light exposure, how your project looks when its finished will not be how it looks 10 years from now,

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View unknownwoodworker's profile

unknownwoodworker

219 posts in 2450 days


#21 posted 03-29-2009 05:37 PM

Charlie was right the first time. It looks like lightly stained QS White Oak, a craftsmen sytle favorite. Charlie knows his S _ .

-- ??? My mistakes heat the house. It's very warm in here. ???

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#22 posted 03-29-2009 06:13 PM

Hmmm…okay you’ve all given me something to think about. I didn’t know that it changed color like that.

My issue is that I don’t like the grain pattern in oak. And I can’t get walnut in a plywood. The guy at the hardwood store recommended Alder or Cherry. The Alder ply was 145.00 while the Cherry ply was 108.00. So Cherry seemed more sensible. They had Peruvian Walnut which was lovely and naturally the right color, but I’d have to put together my own panels and I’m not really set up to do that and it would be $$$. Maybe I should call around some more? Perhaps there is another hardwood store that would have more varieties of plywood?

So maybe I should think about the Poplar option again? I think I’ll just start by picking up some various boards and some stain. Does Alder have anything weird about it that I should know about?

-- Beth

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1765 posts in 2837 days


#23 posted 03-29-2009 07:00 PM

I don’t care for red oak. Which I am guessing you have experienced Have you looked at white oak? It is a different beast entirely in plain or quartersawn….

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2140 days


#24 posted 03-29-2009 07:07 PM

But…....Im working now on a small Coffe table, Cherry wood….....this is a fantastic wood to work with, in all aspects, joinery, using handplanes and chisels, gluing…...when it receives light with the days, the color gets darker, about the same color of that oak room in your pictures…...perhaps a posibility is to live it without an stain and simply apply Tung oil.
Regarding the construction of the Drawers unit, I have been trying to find a project from another member, but with no luck, to suggest you a better construction way for the unit. Plywood is not so stable, it gets crooked with temperature changes…...

Slices? what about TANDEM?

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2140 days


#25 posted 03-29-2009 07:12 PM

This is an interior I saw, in cherry, I think is gorgeous! The floor is Walnut.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View GuyK's profile

GuyK

356 posts in 2826 days


#26 posted 03-29-2009 07:37 PM

Beth, just my 2 cents. Go with the cherry, it is great to work with as Moai has mentioned. It does blotch when stained if you don’t use a undercoat ( 50% Dentnatured Alcohol and 50% Zinssers Sealcoat ) first. After sealer dries, sand with 320 grit sandpaper ( lightly, you don’t want to remove all the sealer ). I think if you try General Finishes Black Cherry waterbased stain, you will come close to the stain color in photo.

-- Guy Kroll www.thelandsathillsidefarms.org

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#27 posted 03-29-2009 08:17 PM

Is there any reason why maple isn’t being suggested? I was just at the lumber yard. The options for wood that comes in both boards and plywood is red oak, poplar, maple, cherry. Seeing as I’m probably going to end up staining something, I should probably just pick a grain pattern that I like, right? I don’t like the red oak grain, cherry has got its darkening issue, poplar is just ugly, and the maple has got a lovely swirly whirly grain, especially on the plywood. Why have I not considered maple? I guess I was thinking I couldn’t get it the color I wanted. The guy at the lumber yard was all, “oh no, the maple will stain up just as dark as the oak”. So I picked up a maple board and a dark walnut stain sample, and from a quick little test, I think I won’t have any problems getting the right color. And it’s cheaper than cherry. :)

-- Beth

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#28 posted 03-29-2009 08:23 PM

Oh, and Moai, those drawer slides are neat! I should find out if I can get them nearby.

-- Beth

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15071 posts in 2423 days


#29 posted 03-29-2009 10:52 PM

I worked on a hospital that was all done in cherry. The color was consistent. They must have undercoated then stained. Will cherry with that treatment still darken more than the stained color?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15794 posts in 2965 days


#30 posted 03-30-2009 12:48 AM

Beth, Maple is an option…. the only problem is that is does not absorb stain very readily, and thus is hard to get the color just right.

I think you are on the right track about getting a few different types of wood and some stain, and start experimenting to see what works best for you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2125 days


#31 posted 03-30-2009 01:01 AM

I’ve been doing some reading about making maple dark, and how tricky it is. So I’ve ordered a couple of dye colors to add to my experiments. :) I will post them when I have some pics.

-- Beth

View odie's profile

odie

1680 posts in 2587 days


#32 posted 03-30-2009 01:02 AM

My next door neighbor has a brand new craftsman style house. The whole interior is done in alder. It is unstained and it is breathe taking.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". http://woodstermangotwood.blogspot.com/ (my funny blog)

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