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Maple Splines in Walnut box

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Forum topic by RichLagrand posted 05-30-2015 05:27 PM 900 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RichLagrand

13 posts in 608 days


05-30-2015 05:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: splines spline finishing joinery danish oil walnut maple

I’m making a splined miter box to hold the ashes of my grandson’s cat. The box is made from walnut and I’ll be using maple splines.

The plan was to finish the box with a dark walnut Danish oil, but now I’m trying to figure out how to keep the oil from getting into the maple splines. The contrast between the maple and the walnut is a key feature that was requested.

One thought I had was to cut the splines to rough size, then soak them in a dilute shellac, hoping that enough shellac will soak in to block the stain from soaking in after I flush cut and final sand.

The other option would be to deliberately leave the splines proud but I’m not a big fan of that idea for this particular project.

Suggestions?

Thanks

-- My ultimate goal is to become smart enough to outwit wood! (at least most of the time.....)


10 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 906 days


#1 posted 05-30-2015 06:34 PM

I would use a “natural” oil, rather than “dark walnut”—that will give you the best contrast, IMHO.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1417 days


#2 posted 05-30-2015 06:38 PM

I am not certain that this would work, so I would recommend making a small test piece before going ahead. You could make the box with the splines left loose for final sanding to get them to the proper dimension. Take them out (mark the locations and orientation) and put a coat of the dark oil on the walnut. Then glue the splines in place and finish with clear Danish oil. The issues I can imagine would be having the splines not end up perfectly flush and having the clear oil leach some of the stain out of the walnut.

Have you checked the contrast between the woods with just clear oil? One other possibility, if you can find it, is to use “tropical” walnut. It gets very dark with clear oil finishes. much darker than other walnut.

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RichLagrand

13 posts in 608 days


#3 posted 05-30-2015 06:46 PM


I am not certain that this would work, so I would recommend making a small test piece before going ahead. You could make the box with the splines left loose for final sanding to get them to the proper dimension. Take them out (mark the locations and orientation) and put a coat of the dark oil on the walnut. Then glue the splines in place and finish with clear Danish oil. The issues I can imagine would be having the splines not end up perfectly flush and having the clear oil leach some of the stain out of the walnut.

Have you checked the contrast between the woods with just clear oil? One other possibility, if you can find it, is to use “tropical” walnut. It gets very dark with clear oil finishes. much darker than other walnut.

- Kazooman

Thanks – Not gluing them in until after they’ve been trimmed and sanded flush was one option I have considered. Where I get stuck on that idea is plucking them back out of the slots after they been made flush.

Do you think a thin coat of poly over the walnut would be effective against leaching?

-- My ultimate goal is to become smart enough to outwit wood! (at least most of the time.....)

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RichLagrand

13 posts in 608 days


#4 posted 05-30-2015 06:51 PM



I would use a “natural” oil, rather than “dark walnut”—that will give you the best contrast, IMHO.

- jerryminer

Thanks – I already (prematurely…...I’m new at this and hadn’t thought it through yet) applied the dark walnut Danish oil. I guess I’ll see how close back to the bare wood I get when I do the finish sanding and go back to the natural walnut (I have natural, medium and dark in stock).

And of course…..I have enough stock on hand to redo the entire box if necessary. It’s not that big of a deal since I prepped more wood than I needed.

-- My ultimate goal is to become smart enough to outwit wood! (at least most of the time.....)

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#5 posted 05-31-2015 12:12 AM

You have already applied the Danish oil to the finished box? Or just to the walnut before gluing the splines?

If you soak those splines in shellac, glue won’t bond to them.

If I were doing this project, I would finish the whole project with rubbed on shellac/DNA (1:1 ratio).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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RichLagrand

13 posts in 608 days


#6 posted 06-01-2015 12:29 AM

I decided to go back to zero by gluing in the splines, sanding it all down to raw wood and then applying the natural Danish oil. That worked like a champ.

Thanks again for all of the inputs. I’m a bit of a newb when it comes to these kinds of projects. Previous experience has been pretty much on the DIY Homeowner spectrum.

The finished product:

-- My ultimate goal is to become smart enough to outwit wood! (at least most of the time.....)

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#7 posted 06-01-2015 12:38 AM

And it turned out very well!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3688 posts in 1730 days


#8 posted 06-01-2015 12:43 AM

I have to agree! That’s a really fine looking box. You did a great job.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 906 days


#9 posted 06-01-2015 01:26 AM

Nice job! Glad we could help. Thanks for posting the pic.

View RichLagrand's profile

RichLagrand

13 posts in 608 days


#10 posted 06-02-2015 06:02 PM

Thanks – Overall I’m pretty pleased with the result.

-- My ultimate goal is to become smart enough to outwit wood! (at least most of the time.....)

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