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Pre treating end grain (oak)?

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Forum topic by Lumpyx posted 02-19-2013 06:03 AM 1308 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lumpyx

42 posts in 591 days


02-19-2013 06:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak finishing

Hello everyone, I’m currently working on my first “real woodworking project”, It’s pretty small and simple actually. However my question to to do with staining end grain. I have a piece of oak (15” 1×6) that’s been notched on the corners, routed, sanded, stained (2 coats), and 1 coat of spray can polyurethane, (so far, planning on 2, maybe 3). I however just noticed how much darker the end grain is than the face of the board. It’s understandable that the end grain is more porous and thus soaks up more stain the the rest of the board, however is there something I could have applied to prevent this from happening, so I could have had an even finish all around? It will be hung on the wall with only some of the sides exposed, so it’s not a real big deal I suppose, but for sake of future projects and general knowledge which course should I have taken to correct this problem? I included this picture taken from the end of the board, not sure how well you can see it though. Thanks for any help everyone!

-- "For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide."


18 replies so far

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a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#1 posted 02-19-2013 06:24 AM

Yes you could have if you hadn’t applied stain already. on end grain you want to sand it to a much finer grit( at least 600 grit ),then the rest of the project. The finer you sand the more it blocks stain. At this point all I could suggest is to reroute all of the edges and start over on them, but this time sand the end grain edges to 600-800 grit and then coat just the end grain with one or two coats of de- waxed 1lb cut shellac. Use a sample board and see how it looks to you.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Lumpyx

42 posts in 591 days


#2 posted 02-19-2013 06:35 AM

Thanks for the advice Jim, However since I’m pretty close to being finished and this was just a scrap of oak and some stain I had lying around I’ll probably just finish it up as is. However when you said to use shellac; I have never used this, does this take the place of stain or do I apply it and then stain over it?

-- "For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide."

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a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#3 posted 02-19-2013 07:00 AM

Shellac is good either way as a pre-stain or as a top coat or as a sealer to make unlike finishes to adhear to each other.
As a top coat it looks good and can be easily repaired by applying new coats even to old coats of shellac. The one point about shellec when use as say a top coat on tables or areas that can get a lot of moisture it is not as protective as say poly . Even though poly is tougher it does not touch up as well as shellac . I would suggest you do a search on Ljs on shellac to get a lot more info on it. One of the best finish experts around is Charles Neil and he’s coming out with a new book on finishing. He’s a excellent teacher and his book will be cover every aspect of finishing. You can save a lot of money buy getting on what finishes to buy instead of buying 5 or 6 $10 cans of finish every time you want to finish something. Google Charles Neil look at the things he’s built and look at the finishes on his great furniture. The proof is the finished projects. Many people offer advice on finishing but not many can show you their great finishes .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Lumpyx

42 posts in 591 days


#4 posted 02-19-2013 07:27 AM

Wow, that’s really interesting, I had no idea shellac was such a universal product, I will definitely get some for any future projects and will also be researching it to further educate myself. I will also be looking into Charles Neil’s work. Thanks for the input, much appreciated.

-- "For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide."

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a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#5 posted 02-19-2013 03:32 PM

If you buy shellac make sure it’s the dewaxed variety. http://www.amazon.com/1-Quart-Zinsser-Bullseye-SealCoat/dp/B001DT6TFC

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Lumpyx

42 posts in 591 days


#6 posted 02-19-2013 04:03 PM

When I go to work later I’ll pick up some de-waxed shellac, is there a brand you prefer over another? Have you had better results with any brand? I try to buy cheap but if it’s not going to give me as good of a finish then I don’t mind spending more money.

-- "For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide."

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a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#7 posted 02-19-2013 04:06 PM

The link I gave is the brand I use and the most popular brand.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Lumpyx

42 posts in 591 days


#8 posted 02-19-2013 04:07 PM

Awesome! Thanks again!

-- "For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide."

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shampeon

1377 posts in 850 days


#9 posted 02-19-2013 04:23 PM

You can also mix your own shellac from flakes by dissolving them in denatured alcohol. I get my flakes from Luthier’s Mercantile, which is way cheaper than places like Woodcraft for whatever reason. The flakes come in a ton of colors, and you can control the cut. The Bullseye Seal-Coat is great for premixed blond shellac. I use both flakes and Seal-Coat.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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Lumpyx

42 posts in 591 days


#10 posted 02-19-2013 05:32 PM

Is mixing your own shellac easy for someone who has never done it? It sounds pretty dang easy but is there a science to it, or is it just basically dump in and mix? Also do shellac flakes have any advantages over pre-mixed de waxed shellac, such as price, ease, or finish quality?

-- "For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide."

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1825 days


#11 posted 02-19-2013 05:39 PM

The advantage to shellac flakes is shelf-life and variety.

Mix what you need and store the rest. If finishing a project for a specific shellac color, flakes are the way to go…though it can arguably be created with aniline dyes as well.

Even so, if you use a lot of shellac for sealing and washcoating, there isn’t a reason to go with flakes. A can of Zinsser will last a couple of years itself.

Price for flakes is more expensive by comparison.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#12 posted 02-19-2013 06:02 PM

I think premixed shellac is less expansive buy the time you factor in shipping and buying denatured alcohol. It’s true that when you buy shellac flakes that you can select a number of different shades of shellac but buying the premixed is a good way to start using shellac and later on you can always buy some flakes .

Edit
you will need some denatured alcohol for clean up of brushes or spray gun if you have one .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1825 days


#13 posted 02-19-2013 06:26 PM

BTW, glue sizing is an alternative approach. Take some glue, water it down, smear it on the end grain.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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shampeon

1377 posts in 850 days


#14 posted 02-19-2013 07:08 PM

Mixing up shellac from flakes is dead simple, especially if you have a scale. Measure out how much denatured alcohol you’ll need into a sealable jar, then add the right amount of flakes for the cut you want. The flakes will dissolve over time. If you give the jar a shake every couple minutes, it’ll take less than an hour. Otherwise, you can do it overnight.

I do agree that Seal-Coat is easier and lasts longer, but you’re limited to just blonde as a color, and dyes cost money too, if you’re tinting it. The main advantage of flakes is the ability to mix just as much as you need, and the colors. I buy amber and garnet flakes, and can mix and match to get the right color. And $14 doesn’t seem too much for a bag of flakes, plus you’ll need denatured alcohol anyway.
http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=Finishes&NameProdHeader=Shellac+%26+French+Polishing+Materials

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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pintodeluxe

3393 posts in 1480 days


#15 posted 02-19-2013 07:10 PM

Rather that trying to get a perfect line of finish on only end grain, I just sand the endgrain one grit higher than the face grain.

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

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