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Forum topic by mstang1988 posted 539 days ago 1333 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mstang1988

6 posts in 542 days


539 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: finish

I’ve been planning on building a dining table and through accident found a wood and finish my Fiance and I really like. The problem is… it’s toasted birch and the wood is difficult to work with (splinters/cracks/splits easily). I’ve looked at black walnut but because it’s steamed at the vendors around here it looks much more washed out then the toasted birch. What wood and finish can I use to get close to the toasted birch? The dark wood in the picture linked is toasted birch in it’s natural color.


11 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#1 posted 539 days ago

Use walnut. Trust me.

BTW, I could be wrong about this, but I think “toasted” birch is just a marketing term given to some engineered products or perhaps a stain color.

Walnut finishes to look exactly like that picture. I’d use maple and walnut.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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pintodeluxe

3272 posts in 1415 days


#2 posted 539 days ago

Most hardwoods can be stained to that color. White oak is good for tables, especially when it is quartersawn.
A walnut gel stain should do the trick. Just steer clear of cherry if you plan to use an oil base stain.

Walnut is that color naturally.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#3 posted 539 days ago

No doubt, Willie. But I wouldn’t stain it…that just leads to problems, especially since the two woods are adjacent to each other. You’d certainly want something naturally dark, hence the walnut recommendation.

It’s not so much of “Can I do this?” but rather one of “Should I do this?”

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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mstang1988

6 posts in 542 days


#4 posted 539 days ago

In my experience Walnut hasn’t been as dark. I think this picture better shows the color. I’ll see if I can pickup some black walnut the next time I’m out and take a side-by-side snapshot. I would say the toasted birch is even darker then Peruvian Walnut (which is darker then American Walnut). If somebody has 8/4 Peruvian Walnut I would give it a try but haven’t seen reasonable prices.

View inchanga's profile

inchanga

117 posts in 714 days


#5 posted 539 days ago

A combination of black walnut and white oak or maple would give you the contrast you need and produce a supereb finish. I don’t understand why your wood vendor is steaming the walnut…

-- chris, north wales http://salemchapelfurniture.co.uk/

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1116 days


#6 posted 539 days ago

First off, “toasted” is a method that some guitar builders are starting to do to their necks, especially maple necks. Toasting is an oven process where the wood is stabilized with high and dry heat. It actually “toasts” the wood, hence the term “toasted”. It is so hot, the wood darkens. Paul Reed Smith, the third largest builder in this country is using it a lot. The wood comes out as you describe, hard, brittle, not receptive to much of anything. But for a guitar neck already shaped, this is ideal, as it hardens the wood and allows the wood to better support the strong pull of the strings with the help of the truss rod inside. Also, over time, temp and humidity, much less movement.
This is the first time I have seen it applied to plank wood, but I guess it makes sense if you don’t want anything to move.
The big thing with toasted wood is it becomes really hard to stain it, since the wood has been pretty much hardened and tight. I think you might get away with a decent oil stain on the lighter wood, or a gel stain as suggested above.
One thing, you should not have to worry about movement of the the toasted wood.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1390 posts in 963 days


#7 posted 539 days ago

Most commercially kiln dried walnut is steamed as part of the process to make the color, especially sapwood, more uniform with the heartwood..

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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mstang1988

6 posts in 542 days


#8 posted 539 days ago

Perhaps I confused you guys, re-reading my post I can understand why; I’m not looking to make that exact table. I’m looking to make something similar to http://www.littlejackhorners.com/images/examples/customtable.jpg but with wood and a finish close to the toasted birch. Walnut in the store isn’t nearly as dark and seems to have a less uniform color. I’m looking for the uniform color and the dark/richness. I’m sure it can be done with a stain, just trying to figure out exactly how to do it.

View huff's profile

huff

2785 posts in 1887 days


#9 posted 539 days ago

If you like the look of walnut but would like it more even and darker then you could do a toner in the finish for the walnut part of the project.

Cosmicsniper can give you more information on that and I think that could be a good way to achieve the look you want from the walnut.

If you don’t want to stain, but want a darker contrast then walnut you could use Wenge. A couple tables built using Wenge and Curly Maple.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1760 days


#10 posted 539 days ago

Good point, Paul. I’d forgotten all about that in the context of guitars, but I’m fairly certain that the wood he was referring to isn’t actually toasted.

@Mstang1988 – Unfinished walnut is pretty dark when applying even the clearest of topcoat finishes. You can get it just about as dark as you want by adding oils, dyes, or stains. Color variation can vary from board to board. It’s not hard to pick a board quite uniform in that regard, even one that’s pretty dark to begin with. My favorite qualit of walnt is the depth of finish. Even straight lacquer topcoat can provide incredible chaytoyance, much more than any birch you can imagine.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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mstang1988

6 posts in 542 days


#11 posted 538 days ago

Thanks guys! I’ll make a few test runs with Walnut and see what i can do.

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