Working with Padauk?

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 07-24-2010 03:02 AM 5631 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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464 posts in 2485 days

07-24-2010 03:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: padauk

I was able to get a good price on some 8/4 Padauk so I decided to get enough to make another rocking chair. This will be my second Maloof inspired rocker, Hal Taylor edition.

What advice do you have for working with Padauk?

13 replies so far

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 2860 days

#1 posted 07-24-2010 03:12 AM

Be aware that it splinters pretty easily, that sanding dust tends to stain any adjacent light colored woods like maple, that some say it does not glue well because it is oily (not in my experience though), and that some have reported allergic reactions to padauk dust. That is all I can think of at the moment.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View yellowtruck75's profile


464 posts in 2485 days

#2 posted 07-24-2010 03:46 AM

What can I do to combat the oily surface and make it more usable when it comes to glueing?

View Edziu's profile


150 posts in 2469 days

#3 posted 07-24-2010 03:48 AM

I’ll second that I have never had a problem gluing it. Just use your standard Titebond II. It machines very well and is about on par with walnut in terms of density. I love machining it, and it sands to a nice finish.

I will also second the point about mixing other lighter colored woods with it; unless you are thinking about spraying your finish, don’t intermingle with any lighter woods.

About that color. Look into finishes that advertise a UV inhibitor (General Finishes High Performance Poly, for one), because you’ll watch that gorgeous orange change into a dull brown if it’s anywhere near sunlight, and has nothing to protect it.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2619 posts in 2527 days

#4 posted 07-24-2010 03:56 AM

I seem to recall hearing about wiping the joining surfaces of padauk with acetone to clean up the oil before gluing up, but I could be wrong. I heard the same thing with Bolivian rosewood, but never wiped with acetone, and have never had a problem. The truth is out there, somewhere…

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 2860 days

#5 posted 07-24-2010 04:04 AM

I have read about wiping with acetone before gluing, but have never tried that. I have used Titebond III successfully without an acetone wipe.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2592 days

#6 posted 07-24-2010 04:29 AM

Please allow me to share with you the benefit of my VAST woodworking knowledge.

Errrrr. Actually, I’m pretty good at Googling things ;-)

I’m halfway through a jewelry box that DOES use a glued-up padauk top … that I had NO problems with … and did NOT use acetone on ;-)

-- -- Neil

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3310 days

#7 posted 07-24-2010 05:42 AM

I work with Padauk quite a bit. It’s not oily and can be glued with normal wood glue. Wiping it with acetone is not necessary. It does tend to darken over time. I’ve had pieces actually change to almost walnut in color. I suspect it depends on the amount of UV exposure that causes this because I have some projects where it is still brilliant. Like others have pointed out, if will bleed horribly into adjacent lighter woods when sanding, especially figured maple. Bloodwood also does this, but not as great as Padauk.

The only oily wood I have worked with is Cocobolo. Most of the other exotics machine and glue up like any domestic wood.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Woodwrecker's profile


3910 posts in 2993 days

#8 posted 07-24-2010 07:20 AM

I bet it’ll come out great!
Can’t wait to see it!

-- Eric, central Florida

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2492 days

#9 posted 07-24-2010 02:56 PM

From my experience, Padauk color darkens and it turns to a dull brown over time. You can slow it down by keeping it out of the sun and/or using a finish with UV protection, but you cannot stop it. It is not a question of “if”. It is a question of “how long”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Woodbutcher3's profile


387 posts in 2304 days

#10 posted 07-24-2010 03:04 PM

I have used ArmorAll to wipe it down before finishing to keep the UV effects of sunlight.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2477 days

#11 posted 07-24-2010 03:47 PM

I haven’t had the pleasure of working with Padauk specifically. I have worked with several rosewood species. I have not had any trouble with gluing. All I do is wipe it down with a little bit of laquer thinner immediately prior to gluing.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View yellowtruck75's profile


464 posts in 2485 days

#12 posted 07-25-2010 01:31 AM

Glued up my headrest today and there was no issues with the glueing. The only disadvantage that I have fund is that the surface is much more slick and glued joints tend to slide around.

The joint lines o my headrest are virtually invisible which will make a very interesting finished chair.

View paratrooper34's profile


865 posts in 2370 days

#13 posted 07-26-2010 12:04 PM

I used Padauk to make a game board on my bar top. I took no pre-gluing measures at all and after two years on the bar top, no issues. I used regular old white glue.

Padauk definitely has some crazy grain though. I had a heck of a time getting it smooth with hand tools. For the bar top, I sanded it smooth and no problem there. But my smooth plane never could get it right with the grain variances. It is a very nice wood though, very tough and turns a nice brown color when finished with linseed/tung oil.

-- Mike

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