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Staining Birch..Need some advice.

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Forum topic by dunk posted 08-13-2010 04:45 PM 1462 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dunk

14 posts in 2313 days


08-13-2010 04:45 PM

I am new to the forum so i hope I did this right.

So you finishing gurus here is one for you.

I have made a puzzle out of 3/4” Birch. Client wanted it tray style. So I made a continuous cut around the perimeter to form the tray.

So now I have a 3/4” high x 1/2” thick frame. I made one the other day as a test and stained it Black Walnut as customer wants it as dark as possible, but not ebony.

My problem is the end grain takes on so much stain it is nearly black while the remainder of the Birch, although it accepts stain rather well, does not get nearly that dark.

Someone said use a thinned mix of pva and water to seal the end grain, however on projects past, if I have glue residue from squeeze out, that area will not accept stain at all.

I’m quite hesitant to try it as I really do not want anymore time invested in this project and if it is accepted my client wants 10 total.

I’m just going to tape off the edges and stain the top face on this one…very carefully with a wipe on watco stain. I need to get it in the mail today as promised.

Thanks for any help, it is appreciated!

-- When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.


10 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3338 days


#1 posted 08-13-2010 06:18 PM

A glue size works so so , a 1/2 lb cut of shellac works well on end grain , and it quick

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3289 days


#2 posted 08-13-2010 06:34 PM

Charles’ recommendation for shellac is a good one that I routinely use. Another method of limiting the amount of stain that end grain will absorb is to sand the end grain to a higher grit. If I stop at 150 grit on a project I will sand the end grain to 220.

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

View dunk's profile

dunk

14 posts in 2313 days


#3 posted 08-13-2010 07:41 PM

Thank you for the quick response. I will get some shellac prior to completing the rest of the order. Do I have to spray the shellac or can I brush it on?

-- When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1610 posts in 3338 days


#4 posted 08-13-2010 08:09 PM

ust use a cloth and a index finger to wipe the shellac on the end grain, the suggestion from Scott is also an excellent idea, always sand end grain much finer than flat grain , a quick burnishing after the 220 with some 600 helps alot as well

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3209 days


#5 posted 08-13-2010 10:33 PM

Charles nailed it .. Shellac the endgrain, you might try dye instead of stain, since the birch doesn’t stain real dark and/or use gel stain.
I’m a big fan of waterbased stain for getting color, then the stain is more for contrast in the grain.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3209 days


#6 posted 08-14-2010 03:39 AM

Meant to say I like water soluble dyes…either powder or transtint

I actually don’t like waterbased stains, mostly lack of experience with them, but also laziness, once I know how to get to the color I want with trans tint and oil based stain, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel ‘Just to see’ how to do it with the latest Waterbased finishes from Mohawk or General Finishes.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View dunk's profile

dunk

14 posts in 2313 days


#7 posted 08-18-2010 04:52 PM

So I took some advice from this forum and another and tried the shellac. Worked pretty well. Thanks for the help. I’ll also sand the end grain to a higher grit.

-- When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

View KB1's profile

KB1

28 posts in 2620 days


#8 posted 08-20-2010 08:15 AM

shellac advice was excellent. Purchase Zinnser’s “SEAL COAT” for pure shellac then thin it down. I’m sure you “Nailed” this project. KB1

-- KB1KnoB

View Dano46's profile

Dano46

80 posts in 2637 days


#9 posted 08-20-2010 10:40 PM

Scott Bryan pretty well gave my suggestion, except I always used 280. Seals that end grain smooth as a baby’s butt.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View dunk's profile

dunk

14 posts in 2313 days


#10 posted 08-25-2010 04:58 AM

It turned out great but..

-- When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

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