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Forum topic by GaryK posted 11-29-2009 08:39 AM 2018 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GaryK

10262 posts in 2684 days


11-29-2009 08:39 AM

I am making a project for the first time using cherry.
I usually use dye but that doesn’t seem to work too well on cherry, so I went out and bought some Minwax Red Mahogany stain.

I haven’t used stain in at least 10 years so I followed the directions on the can. Apply, wait and then wipe off extra.
Then wait 8 hours before doing anything else.

I was going to use a water based poly, but the directions on the can said not to use it for Red Mahogany Stain. No other color, just Red Mahogany. So I used an Olympic oil based Poly.

That was over 24 hours ago and it still is tacky to the touch.

My question is: Can I ever expect this stuff to dry in my lifetime?

I hate finishing!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX


26 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2518 days


#1 posted 11-29-2009 03:38 PM

Patience!!! :)

Normally I run into situations like you are describing this time of year when my shop temperature is down, especially at night when I am not running a heater in there and I use a straight application of poly. One of the things that you can do, if it is still tacky, is to wipe it down with a clean cloth dampened with mineral spirits to speed things up. This will remove any residual poly and stain that are still on the surface of the wood and the polymerized poly will be unaffected by the wash. Once it is dry you should be able to lightly sand the finish to remove any dust nibs or brush stokes and be ready for the next application.

I am not sure why it was recommended to not use a water base poly over the stain. There should not be any incompatability between the two media once the stain has cured. The only thing I can think of is that there may be some “bleeding” of the stain into the topcoat. But this can be handled by putting on a shellac seal coat before applying the water base poly.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2914 days


#2 posted 11-29-2009 04:01 PM

I recall having a similar issue with oil based poly over red mahogany stain on maple once. Eventually it cured, but it took several days as I recall.

When I work with stain, which is rarely these days, I find I get the best results by wiping it on sparingly, and using multiple coats, if necessary, to get the color level I want.

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

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Tony

978 posts in 2726 days


#3 posted 11-29-2009 04:20 PM

Hi Gary

I have come across this problem, that certain finishes with certain colour stains take longer to dry than others (the same carrier), I can only think that the different pigments used have different chemical reactions on certain finishes. In my case it was definitely not humidity related, as I had several projects all finished the same way at the same time, the only difference between them was the colour of the stain used (temperature was 68°F, RH 45 – 50%).

Eventually after 3 weeks, the project was hard enough for sanding – the second coat of finish was dried in 12 hours, even on the problem piece.

I have come up with a fool proof way to get that rich cherry colour and balance the colours without using a stain.

Basically sand the project to about p180 – then apply 2 to 3 coats of clear Osmo polyx oil, sanding between coats. The final sanding is to P600 or P1000 depending on the level of shine you want to achieve – I then use a cherry coloured paste wax apply 1 or 2 coats buffing in between. you can see the effect in my cabinet project.

I know this does not answer your immediate problem, but worth considering for the future

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

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Dan'um Style

13096 posts in 2679 days


#4 posted 11-29-2009 04:57 PM

my secret with Minwax red mahogany is to jazz-it-up with Japanese dryer …

As far as your situation… I agree with Scott, give it more time

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2601 days


#5 posted 11-29-2009 05:34 PM

I would never stain cherry. Not at all helpful to your current situation I know, I just couldn’t bite my tounge any longer.

-- http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/

View gbvinc's profile

gbvinc

629 posts in 2642 days


#6 posted 11-29-2009 05:38 PM

Turn up the heat and give it more time…or show your wife all the cool sales going on down at the local mall, then when she heads out, bring it in the house to dry and then look VERY innocent when she returns home.

Doesn’t really work in my house, but who knows, it might for you.

;-)

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2684 days


#7 posted 11-29-2009 06:40 PM

Well, I just checked it this morning now 35 hours and it’s still as tacky as it was last night.
It’s above 60F in the shop and the outside humidity is 80%, but it’s not that humid in the shop.

I will wait another day before I try Scott’s idea of mineral spirits to speed things up.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Autumn – No, it’s not the Wooten desk. I will use my tried and true dye and/or potassium dichromate on it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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a1Jim

112364 posts in 2273 days


#8 posted 11-29-2009 06:59 PM

Hey Gary
I have used water base poly over Red mahogany with out problems but it’s always best to follow directions.
The first time I tired it I did a sample to see what would happen because finishing rules always state don’t use water base over oil, but I’ve done it on a few oil products and got away with it. I usually just use all of one or the other either both oil base or both water base I normally prefer water base products. The areas were I’ve had the most problems is when the base coat was not thoroughly dry. Unless you just start over your only choice is to wait it out like most of the post have said.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2684 days


#9 posted 11-30-2009 05:46 PM

Well, it’s now been on 60 hours and it’s finally showing some progress drying. Maybe 40-50 dry.

It only took me 2 days to build the thing and it looks like three days for the first coat to dry. How pathetic is that!

The wait goes on!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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patron

13110 posts in 2037 days


#10 posted 11-30-2009 06:07 PM

gary ,
over the years , i think that chemical company’s and their p.r. depts.
have shifted the finishing stuff from pro to instant .
how many adds are there that show a woman ( no offense ladies ) ,
getting out of work in her dress cloths ,
and putting a finish on a chair by dinner time ?
the target market and users has gone from time tested ,
to instant use !
lots of misleading advertising .
we’re looking for a piano finish ,
but most will accept brush marks and some dust in their projects ,
because they ’ did it themselves ‘

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mynoblebear's profile

mynoblebear

722 posts in 1803 days


#11 posted 11-30-2009 06:21 PM

Heat and time should solve the problem.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind, http://mynoblebear.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7813 posts in 2748 days


#12 posted 11-30-2009 06:43 PM

Yep… looks like Heat & less humidity makes a big difference…
... and if no change in humidity, MORE heat… else takes a lot longer to cure.

Glad it’s showing promise…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2684 days


#13 posted 11-30-2009 06:52 PM

I really don’t think it’s the weather. I did the pie crust table just a few days before I did this project. It dried in hours.

I think it’s the Olympic poly that I used. It’s the first time I used that brand. I used Minwax and Varathane prior to that.

I will try it on a small piece of wood and bring it into the house to see what difference it makes.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2518 days


#14 posted 11-30-2009 07:28 PM

Gary, I looked at the Olympic poly msds and there really doesn’t seem to be any solvent in it that would take this long to evaporate.

I have used Cabots, Varathane and Minwax oil base poly and never had any take this long to cure. I have found that with open pore woods like oak the cure time is extended but usually this is on the order of 24 hours rather than overnight as I usually experience when putting on a coat of undiluted poly. But cherry is not an open grained wood like oak so it should not have this problem.

For some reason, it sounds as if the poly is having difficulty forming cross linkages with oxygen. Temperature could be one reason but, after 60 hours, this would have to be extreme for it to affect the reaction. I am sure a straight application of poly would cure out here in a shorter time frame than you are experiencing and the night time temps are getting into the low 40s right now so my unheated shop gets a little chilly.

I put some straight Cabot’s poly on a couple of drawers that I am finishing this morning at around 7 and, while they are a little tacky, I could apply another coat now (5 hours later) if I wanted to push it. So it does sound to me like it is the Olympic poly.

Out of curosity I will get some the next time I am in Lowe’s to try it out and see if I experience the same difficulty that you are having.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2726 days


#15 posted 11-30-2009 08:02 PM

2 1/2 days and still not touch dry – just think how long it will be before it hardens enough for sanding before the next coat.

I think you still have to look at the stain, rather than the poly being the problem – the stain is causing the retardation of the poly, I am sure of it. Try the poly on another test piece without the stain and see how long it takes to dry. Try the poly with another type of stain (brown, rather than golden) and see if the problem persists.

I found that Golden oak was the worst (longest to dry), then Mahogany, with the best results from Walnut colours – all the same stain manufacturer and same carrier. Note all the stains were dry and colour fast after 3 hours, but were left for 24 hours before the first sealing coat was applied.

The application of increased heat and less humidity, circulated with a fan did not reduce the curing time.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

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