Back-tracked, spoke to several people, got some advice from The Woodwhisperer (Thanks, Marc!), and have a test board that looks promising. Color isn’t quite right, but you’ll get the idea…
What I learned so far:
- Gel stains are good because the do cover so evenly
- Gel stains cover so evenly over waxy or de-waxed shellac – Norm’s process doesn’t work here
- The 1/8” masking tape does well to cover the inlay during staining, but comes up easily afterward. (Thanks again, Marc!!!)
- Stain must be worked into the edge of the tape, but this leaves excess stain along side of the tape – a very thin line that will be noticeable if not removed
- It’s difficult to use cloth or rag to remove the excess stain without leaving an “edge” along side of the tape where too much stain has been removed and the finish is “lighter” than the rest of the workpiece.
- The tip of an exacto knife will clean the edge, but you have to be careful you also don’t pull/scrape too much away, as it can leave a distinct lighter line along the edge of the tape. (don’t know if this would be very visible unless REALLY looking for it)
- Pulling the tape off, you’ll see that there is still a bit of a hard line at the edge of the tape, we’ll see how this fares out
- The tape MUST overlap in the corners, if not, you end up with a line across the miter
- I suppose you might be able to miter the tape, but that would be difficult to get exact
- This has to be done with care – you want the tape to be tight against the inlay right up to the mating corner tape, and THEN go up and over. Otherwise, you’ll end up with stain under the tape in the minuscule gap where the tape “slopes” up from inlay to top of the tape on the mating corner.
About noon today, the stain should be about dry, and I’ll look more closely at that edge along the inlay, and see if there’s work needed there.
I’m hoping the exacto knife will keep there from being a raised edge that might have to be worked. If that DID work, then I’m ready to start with the Arm-R-Seal wiped on.
-- There are many tempting parking places on the road to success