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Need your help determining what type of wood to use

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Forum topic by JoelB posted 1328 days ago 934 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JoelB

18 posts in 1999 days


1328 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi there,

I am about to start on a rather large entertainment center for my living room and would love to get some input before I start spending $$ on wood. This is the look that I am after…a deep red-wine look. The link lists that particular piece as walnut wood with red mahogany stain.

I have been reading tons of posts that seem to liken staining nice woods as a criminal act, and I’d prefer to go with as simple approach as possible to finishing my project…so I’d like to get your input as what wood/finish combination might give a color close to what is in that link without having to hang my head in shame as I finish the piece. I ultimately want a glossy finish on the piece…almost as if it was dripping wet but without the runs :)

Thanks in advance,

Joel


18 replies so far

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JoelB

18 posts in 1999 days


#1 posted 1328 days ago

Here is another example of what I am after…this was done with rosewood

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lew

9991 posts in 2381 days


#2 posted 1327 days ago

I think painting nice wood is a criminal act- staining, not so bad. Stains can enhance the grain and wood character. Gloss lacquer or gloss oil based poly can give you the shiny wet look.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1453 days


#3 posted 1327 days ago

In my personal opinion, I would go with cherry or mahogony just because they are relativley in-expensive compared to others and they both get darker with exposure to UV rays. If you go to the wood whisperers lastest blog post about half-way through the video he picks up his stool and shows you what color mahogony turn with exposure to UV rays a nice dark red color like what you are looking for. But that is just my personal opinion.

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

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jeepturner

920 posts in 1418 days


#4 posted 1327 days ago

I would go with the cherry. Cherry is nice to work with, relatively inexpensive, takes a stain well, and could patina to the look you want.
I wanted to support lew, in the comment above. Staining “Nice wood” is not criminal. Painting nice wood isn’t either, but I do not like seeing paint on most hardwoods.

-- Mel,

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patron

13001 posts in 1967 days


#5 posted 1327 days ago

alder ?

cheaper than cherry

-- 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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Chelios

567 posts in 1692 days


#6 posted 1327 days ago

I haven’t tried staining lighter woods so I can tell you by my experience…I worked with mahogany and cherry and the mahogany really took a darker looking patina like you are looking for. I did both stained and unstained and mahogany took on a darker tone in both instances.

I am interested to find out how to use stock like David suggests or poplar? That would really be cheaper.

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JoelB

18 posts in 1999 days


#7 posted 1327 days ago

Thanks for the suggestions thus far everyone. I am not so sure about the mahogany. I did a couple of desks out of mahogany (african) and then stained it rosewood color. The color of the natural mahogany was too light for me. And it started out almost pinkish-brown in color. Yes, it did darken up quite a bit in the sun, but it did not darken and redden like I had hoped…hence the stain. The rosewood stain was a welcome addition, but the open pore nature of the mahogany…well…kinda sucked for a first timer.

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miles125

2179 posts in 2631 days


#8 posted 1327 days ago

I’d first discourage the high gloss finish just from my own personal perceptions of what a classic piece of woodwork should look like. If i couldn’t do that i’d suggest sticking to a closed pore wood like Maple to achieve the look you’re after.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1676 days


#9 posted 1327 days ago

Joel,

Instead of trying to convert walnut to something it isn’t (wine red), try something thaT IS. Mahagony can be made red, it works beautifully, is beautiful, but is really pricey. Walnut isn’t cheap either and works well, but isn’t red and would be a job to get what you want. Bloodwood (Satine; Broscimium rubescens) is red, works beautifully, is strong and hard, and can be had for around $5 a board foot. Check it out on www.woodfinder.com or look at my humble project. Sanded through 600 and waxed with beeswax/bol mixture. No other finish. If you like, check out www.thewoodyard.com, or if they’re closer to you, www.viennahardwoods.com. Both have it @ around $5/bd.ft.

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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mtkate

2049 posts in 1951 days


#10 posted 1327 days ago

If you like grain – red oak is a lot cheaper than cherry or mahogany and it stains like a dream. But if you don’t want the grain… then cherry is a very nice choice. It smells really nice when you cut it (not like red oak – it almost smells like vomit to me!)

Don’t go for maple unless you are a finishing “freak”. It will drive you mad!

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RKW

326 posts in 2073 days


#11 posted 1327 days ago

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/22919 I suggest red oak and water soluble dyes. Fairly simple to do and if you play with it long enuff you will achieve what you are after. This isnt exactly the color your looking for but it was close to what i was trying to achieve at the time.

-- RKWoods

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1700 days


#12 posted 1327 days ago

IMO, fussy made the best suggestion on this board when he suggested bloodwood. I have never seen it for $5.00/bf. It is usually a bit more than that where I buy it but it is a great wood. I would use it with no stain. It has a rich, dark red look to it and most pieces have some nice grain. However, the grain is not dominate.

I believe another name for it is “Hormigo rojo”

Another, slight more expensive, option is Bubinga. It is about the same color as Bloodwood but it usually has a more pronounced grain.

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

View JoelB's profile

JoelB

18 posts in 1999 days


#13 posted 1327 days ago

Thank you all for your input. I will try to find the bloodwood at a place local to me. woodfinder.com shows that a place not too far from me has some. What a cool website…never even knew about it. It seems that the bloodwood is only available as planks…I was hoping for sheetgoods…but you cant have everything I guess. I did find 4×8 bloodwood veneer, but it was $250 per sheet which is well outside of my budget for this project. I am going to have to rethink how to make this piece.

I did see some dark stained cherry…looked quite nice.

In general…is there an online resource that shows what different species looks like with different finishes on them? I have been using google images…but just looking for some pointers.

Thanks again everyone.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1694 days


#14 posted 1327 days ago

I just did a small bathroom vanity in beech finished with Minwax Honduras Mahogany stain/poly. It took two coats and it was a bit difficult to get even coverage, but it came out great. The customer loved it, but she had to since she wants to stay in the will. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Drew

136 posts in 1726 days


#15 posted 1327 days ago

I think I would start with Sapele.

Padauk might get close to that but might start off to orange for you.

-- That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” ― Aldous Huxley

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