Morris Chair Project! #11: Got the chair stain!

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Blog entry by Beginningwoodworker posted 08-25-2010 11:26 PM 2428 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Morris Chair is close to finishing! Part 11 of Morris Chair Project! series Part 12: refinish mom morris chair! »

I got the morris chair stain in the last few days. The pictures dont do it any justice.

Got a few questions, why dont oak stain evenly.

13 comments so far

View lew's profile


12960 posts in 4396 days

#1 posted 08-25-2010 11:42 PM

CJ, Sometimes depending on how the red oak was cut (flat, rift quarter) it will take stain a little differently.

Also, I have noticed that red oak is very difficult to remove any glue squeeze out. The deep grain and pores really hold onto the glue. If you use a wet rag to remove glue, it will dilute it and then it gets sucked down into the pores/grain. I usually let the squeeze out alone for about 15-20 minutes and then use a sharp knife or chisel to lift it off. This way it doesn’t get smear into the grain.

Don’t know if this helps.


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

View degoose's profile


7265 posts in 3995 days

#2 posted 08-25-2010 11:56 PM

Now it is all coming together.. nicely done…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View jack1's profile


2139 posts in 4667 days

#3 posted 08-26-2010 12:34 AM

You’re doing really well. As you continue to work with red oak you’ll really get to like it for its other features especially routing edges and the flexibility if you ever make some slats for a different type of chair. It’s my favorite wood.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3521 days

#4 posted 08-26-2010 12:54 AM

One thing instrument makers (violin family) do is we put a thin layer of clear liquin over the wood first, then we apply stains and polish. I realize that this is counter intuitive to what everyone is doing, but this technique does two things.

1. It keeps the porous wood FROM soaking in all the color. If you’ve seen wood that seems to ‘bleed’ color? It looks ‘muddy’ to me. This stops it from doing that.

2. Because of layering, it allows the depth of the wood to come through. If you’ve ever studied the back of a violin you see all the flame and it appears deep? Yes, it is quarter sawn which does lend itself to the flashy grain appearance, but it wouldn’t look like that using the stain-on-wood technique. Violins are traditionally constructed of Acer pseudoplatanus maple. The beauty of the wood is what folks cherish.

So, by sealing the wood, then evenly applying thin translucent layers over that, depth is achieved.

I liken it to the jet-black paint job on a car – you know, the one you can shave in? It’s a mirror finish.

I’m sure the technique can be adapted to oak. FWIW

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View woodpeckerbill's profile


205 posts in 3914 days

#5 posted 08-26-2010 01:25 AM

If you don’t mind a suggestion….sand down the stained areas. Get some oak grain filler. Use it as directed. When dry, sand it smooth. Stain. When dry, apply tour finish. Do not be dishearted. You are doing a really bang up job on this chair.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3836 days

#6 posted 08-26-2010 01:36 AM

CJ, you are making excellent progress. Thats going to be a really nice looking and comfortable chair when its finished. Great job!

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 3494 days

#7 posted 08-26-2010 02:09 AM

Great looking chair. that’s coming out great.

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4414 days

#8 posted 08-26-2010 02:47 AM

When glueing up your projects, have a small bucket of warm water and a clean rag in it. Ring out the rag and wipe all your joints when clamping. Keep water clean and change often. I never have had any problem with oak. You need to lightly sand where water was used as it raises the grain. Your chair is coming along nicely. It looks like it is very well built.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4427 days

#9 posted 08-26-2010 03:58 AM

Hey Charles,
Your project is really moving along! I think these guys have nailed you question on staining. Careful with the glue and keep a bowl and sponge handy. It saves a lot of sanding.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3949 days

#10 posted 08-28-2010 04:33 PM

This is coming along rather nicely Charles.

I noticed in the last pic it appears you are using the Minwax Polyshades. I myself have had very little luck with the product. I use their regular water and oil based stains frequently on red oak at work with great results. I stay away from the polyshades though. As Jarrod suggested, don’t use too fine of a grit when sanding. I go to 220 max on some projects.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4313 days

#11 posted 08-28-2010 04:51 PM

Ok, I may redo the finish.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3814 days

#12 posted 09-02-2010 02:36 AM

Hey, Charles:

I’M learning a LOT from all the comments on your project. Really glad you’ve been posting, all along !

Looks great ! Thanks for keeping the blog coming !

-- -- Neil

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3874 days

#13 posted 09-02-2010 03:33 AM

Looks great, one thing I learned about oak the hard way is when you wipe off the glue with a wet rag and let it dry, the areas that got wet will get black spots that look a lot like mold, it will take a lot of sanding to get rid of it, so don’t get it too wet, the best thing is to do what lew said and let it sit for a while then use a knife or chisel to lift off the dried glue. this has happened to me the last few times i have used oak, not sure what it is. Chair looks really good.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

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