Unevenness in the finished product after time.

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Forum topic by scrounger posted 08-01-2010 02:53 PM 951 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 3284 days

08-01-2010 02:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have had some of my projects change after some time in that the finished surfaces feel uneven. This is happening when I use maple, cherry, and walnut adjacent to each other. All species had been cut and stacked in a good dry area for probably two years. Before finishing it is sanded smooth and it feels great, looks great, but in some instances a couple of months later I can feel a difference in the surface. It is as one species is shrinking or else one piece swelling. It is not something you can see however. It is quite frustrating and was wondering if any of you guys are experiencing the same thing. Thanks, Dave

-- Dave, Southern IL.,

3 replies so far

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3542 days

#1 posted 08-01-2010 03:12 PM

i didn’t have that problem with my inlay boxes ,

until i started using hardwoods and exotics together .

even when only 1/8” to 1/4” thick and stable ,
after about 3 months they started to ripple some .

i’ve had to take some back ,
and sand through the finish ,
and flatten the inlay again .

refinish , and we’re good to go .

i’m learning to let things sit for months first ,
then sand and finish .

it adds more time to the process ,
but is less embarrassing than taking it back later .

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

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108 posts in 3284 days

#2 posted 08-03-2010 04:02 AM

This is so true David and I thought I had let this set long enough. Well, we never stop learning in this wood working business. I will keep trying.

-- Dave, Southern IL.,

View swirt's profile


3429 posts in 3173 days

#3 posted 08-03-2010 05:23 AM

Its the beauty and challenge of wood. All wood “breathes” as the humidity changes (pretty much seasonally). Different woods inhale and exhale to different degrees. The more access the wood has to air the more it will swell and contract, so putting on a thin oil finish will not prevent the changes as much as several layers of poly will. Coating all surfaces reduces it more than just coating one surface.

Choosing woods with similar expansion/contraction coefficients helps too. I think the woodwisperer advertised that his iphone ap has lists of that information on it.

-- Galootish log blog,

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