quarter sawn white oak goes dark brown.........

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Forum topic by skycraftsman posted 01-05-2009 03:30 AM 1893 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 3425 days

01-05-2009 03:30 AM

Before I share my dillemna I wanted to thank you all for your hospitality in welcoming me to “The Lumberjocks”.
I have been a long time carpenter…...I had my first working tool set at age four and I have been at it since.It started with forts (I still can’t replicate the rusty bent nail holding together two sheets of rotting 1/2 ” ply) and soon was selling skateboard ramps and was on my first job sight at 9 pulling concrete forms with my uncle.I have worked several home improvement shows and ran the furniture portion of Extreme Makeover Home for two years and have several years of onsight cabinetmaking and custom mill work. I swear I will get to the point but with all your hospitallity I figured I had better say hi and introduce myself.

so here is my situation:

I am currently working on a sample of quarter sawn white oak that has me and many stumped.The sample has what appears to have many layers of color to give sort of shimmering effect as light changes.I understand this is partially a result of the “flake in the wood so this led to the application of dyes only to achieve color.That certainly did not give the necassarry warmth and luster of an almost hand rubbed finish trapped beneath an incredible build up of lacquer.So I proceeded with grain filler and some glazing as well.Needless to say I have a wide array of great samples but none of which capture the warmth as well as “shimmer” of the sample in which I was handed.When I stripped a portion of the sample I first removed a thick lacquer finish followed by a dark red than a very dark brown and finally a black base behind what appeared to be a bleached piece of qs white oak……....I know I am calling the repair shop and asking to diagnos the noise my truck makes when…….but I was hoping somewhere in this great country someone might have the secret to creating an old world finish covered with enough lacquer to make Italy proud.

any one out their have any revelations from the Lord above to my dilemna…..and did I fail to mention that this finish is going on all the walls,ceiling and cabinetry in a very large bathroom so I was hoping to do away with the lacquer and use a catalyzed varnish.

-- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding......."

5 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3732 days

#1 posted 01-05-2009 04:50 AM

Is there any way to post a photo or two? It would really help.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3888 days

#2 posted 01-05-2009 05:19 AM

I reiterate the first response in that a picture would help

sand evenly
stain evenly
apply a coat of finish
spray a few coats of finsih and scuff between coats

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3762 days

#3 posted 01-05-2009 06:46 AM

Check out this project, it has his technique discribed in it.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View skycraftsman's profile


12 posts in 3425 days

#4 posted 01-06-2009 05:23 AM

So the plot thickens.Where did I put that darn sample.Now I am fliing on faith and memory.So with that said my first order of business is raising the grain on the qswo.Anyone have the best method of raising the grain on the oak equivalent to the hairs on the back of your neck as the fingers rake the chalk board?
Thanks in advance and I look forward to presenting this project to you all.It is sure to be an “Extreme” bathroom.

-- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding......."

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4018 days

#5 posted 02-08-2009 02:04 AM

Not sure if I understand all the details but if you have a sample from unknown source you should know that every species of wood can have unique qualities setting it apart from all others of the same variety. An oak grown in a particular soil with unusual minerals present can develop a color not found anywhere else. The same kind of Oak trees that grow 100 feet apart can be vastly different in density and color depending on accessible water and minerals present in the soil. Your sample may be hard to reproduce if it was an unusual specimen to start with. I cut some White Oak sevral years ago that had a dark brown color, extremely hard and I have never seen any more like it since. You may have a tough time matching it if this is the case.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

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