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What is with this on my maple board?

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Forum topic by 1tacoshort posted 03-13-2018 02:27 AM 1924 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1tacoshort

26 posts in 1082 days


03-13-2018 02:27 AM

I’m preparing to finish a maple board for a kitchen project and I noticed an odd “figure” (for lack of a better term)—I’m pointing to it in the picture. It’s only visible when I wipe the wood with liquid (I spent some time raising the grain and sanding it down) but I’m concerned that the finish will bring it out. I’ve tried sanding the holy crap out of it but it’s still there. Is this a figure in the wood and expected or is it a defect that I need to address before putting a topcoat on it?

Thanks!

-- Wade


15 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10756 posts in 1690 days


#1 posted 03-13-2018 03:08 AM

Looks like medullary rays. If it is, absolutely nothing you can do. Maybe not. Can’t tell grain direction.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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AZWoody

1415 posts in 1427 days


#2 posted 03-13-2018 03:22 AM

Looks like a fingertip. Maybe you need a SawStop…

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HammerSmith

193 posts in 287 days


#3 posted 03-13-2018 03:29 AM


Looks like a fingertip. Maybe you need a SawStop…

- AZWoody


lol Woody! I can’t see it either…

But Wade, if you think it might show up, then it probably will. Trust your gut man…

I used to work with a guy who had a cool saying for stuff like that.
...”It’s just part off the inherent beauty of a natural product”..

What does it look like if you wet it with lacquer thinner?

-- ~Jim

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TheFridge

10756 posts in 1690 days


#4 posted 03-13-2018 03:30 AM



Looks like a fingertip. Maybe you need a SawStop…

- AZWoody

It’s not a real project until you cut a finger off or bleed on it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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HammerSmith

193 posts in 287 days


#5 posted 03-13-2018 03:34 AM



... Is this a figure in the wood and expected or is it a defect that I need to address before putting a topcoat on it?

Thanks!

- 1tacoshort

If it’s a figure in the grain, then it will definitely “try to be” darker when you stain it… But if you’re just using a clear coat, then I wouldn’t worry about it..

-- ~Jim

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5986 posts in 2469 days


#6 posted 03-13-2018 03:42 AM

If any of your friends are that anal and picky, tell them that it adds to it’s rustic charm. Honestly that little variation in the grain is natural and should not cause you to loose sleep. A trusted carpenter once told me that wood is an imperfect material to work with. You have to learn how to work around those imperfections. My best mentor, a man widely considered the best finish carpenter in my area told me that the a good carpenter is one who can hide is mistakes to the point no one notices them. That I have found can be a little challenging at times. Your very small grain variation is truly insignificant. Try turning the board over. Maybe the back side has less variation.

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1tacoshort

26 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 03-13-2018 03:55 AM

ROFL Woody. It is kind-of hard to see, there.

I thought (hoped) it might be medullary rays. I’m all for showing the natural features of the wood and bringing it out is the finish is wonderful. I was just making sure that I wasn’t screwing something up.

Thanks, everybody!

-- Wade

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WDHLT15

1792 posts in 2680 days


#8 posted 03-15-2018 12:37 AM

It is quartersawn and what you are seeing is called ray fleck.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5094 posts in 2555 days


#9 posted 03-15-2018 01:47 AM

Normal quarter sawn maple figure, expected and predictable. You will be able to sand it out when you sand entirely through the board and reduce it to a pile of sawdust.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

193 posts in 287 days


#10 posted 03-15-2018 02:20 AM



Normal quarter sawn maple figure, expected and predictable. You will be able to sand it out when you sand entirely through the board and reduce it to a pile of sawdust.

- bondogaposis

LOL!!!

I’ll never try to stain maple again either.. I made that mistake once, never again!

But it’s fine under a clear coat… It’s “the inherent beauty…” :)

-- ~Jim

View mpsprunger's profile

mpsprunger

27 posts in 2064 days


#11 posted 03-20-2018 08:26 PM

maple doesn’t take stain well. The pores are not very big (pores in oak and pine are very large and will drink it) those veins you see are indicative of maple and will not sand out,

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

595 posts in 1673 days


#12 posted 03-20-2018 08:40 PM

Almost everything is darker than maple anyway, why would you stain it? To me, maple is used where you want a really light wood, because bleaching woods to be lighter is WAY harder than staining them darker.

That being said, I think that the vast majority of projects where stain is used, would have been better without stain.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1721 posts in 778 days


#13 posted 03-25-2018 04:12 AM


Normal quarter sawn maple figure, expected and predictable. You will be able to sand it out when you sand entirely through the board and reduce it to a pile of sawdust.

- bondogaposis

LOL!!!

I ll never try to stain maple again either.. I made that mistake once, never again!

But it s fine under a clear coat… It s “the inherent beauty…” :)

- HammerSmith

Using Shellac or a sanding sealer will close off the most open pores allowing stain absorption much more evenly. Another thought is to bag the stain, and start to dye. Maple takes dye well. Experiment with some scrap, until you feel confident of what you will get, and ALWAYS raise the grain with water, or denature alcohol, and then sand it down, before the application of colorant. Maple only appears difficult to color, with a practiced approach it is really easy.

-- Think safe, be safe

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HammerSmith

193 posts in 287 days


#14 posted 03-25-2018 05:04 AM

Normal quarter sawn maple figure, expected and predictable. You will be able to sand it out when you sand entirely through the board and reduce it to a pile of sawdust.

- bondogaposis

LOL!!!

I ll never try to stain maple again either.. I made that mistake once, never again!

But it s fine under a clear coat… It s “the inherent beauty…” :)

- HammerSmith

Using Shellac or a sanding sealer will close off the most open pores allowing stain absorption much more evenly. Another thought is to bag the stain, and start to dye. Maple takes dye well. Experiment with some scrap, until you feel confident of what you will get, and ALWAYS raise the grain with water, or denature alcohol, and then sand it down, before the application of colorant. Maple only appears difficult to color, with a practiced approach it is really easy.

- therealSteveN

Thanks SteveN! I read about using dye, but I never tried it myself. I hear it works real good!

I only tried to stain maple once, and a lot of it was plywood… I even used that “pre-stain conditioner” and everything… it was a blotchy mess, I’ll never make that mistake again. It took a long time to fix… ;)

-- ~Jim

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1tacoshort

26 posts in 1082 days


#15 posted 03-25-2018 05:31 PM

My oak regimen involves raising the grain, dye (for the amber), stain (for the brown), shellac (so the topcoat won’t honk-up the stain), and several layers of urethane top coat. Maple is going to be a snap without the dye, stain, or shellac!

-- Wade

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