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View Andybb's profile

Best finish to make figured maple pop?

by Andybb
posted 10-25-2018 08:03 PM


27 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3616 posts in 3748 days


#1 posted 10-25-2018 08:17 PM

I’m curious to hear what you end up using. I’ve used waterlox on curly maple before, and it came out decent but not as “popped” as I’ve seen on other projects:

https://imgur.com/a/4lH8T

I’d be curious to try aniline dyes and/or shellac.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#2 posted 10-25-2018 08:26 PM


I d be curious to try aniline dyes and/or shellac.
- bobasaurus

Your box looks great. What did you use on that?

I have transtint liquid amber but it makes it too yellow for my tastes. I also have some powdered aniline brown dye. Maybe dye it then shellac then the waterlox? Or is the shellac overkill and not going to add much chatoyance.

I just don’t seem to get the same effect as these guys even allowing for the fact that it’s different wood.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4283 posts in 2553 days


#3 posted 10-25-2018 09:01 PM

Remember to trial on some scrap pieces.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

983 posts in 1783 days


#4 posted 10-25-2018 09:08 PM

my goto is homestead early american dry dye to make figured maple pop. topped with a gloss poly

View pottz's profile (online now)

pottz

7086 posts in 1549 days


#5 posted 10-25-2018 09:34 PM

im with you about retaining the wood feel so my go to for just about everything i make is the maloof blend oil finish.you can put on as many coats as you want and it usually brings out the essence of the wood.just try some on a scrap to see if it does what you want.i also rarely use dyes or tints because i like the natural look.hopefully this thread doesn’t start another argument-LOL.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 1054 days


#6 posted 10-25-2018 10:06 PM

If you’re going to use dye, I say go bold.

:)

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#7 posted 10-25-2018 10:12 PM



If you re going to use dye, I say go bold.

:)
- lumbering_on


I like the look, just not what I had in mind for the bassinet. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

2050 posts in 2059 days


#8 posted 10-26-2018 12:51 AM

+1 Go Bold:

Click for details: Purple Zebra Musical Jewelry Box

When I am not adding dye to figured maple, I find using a ‘grain sealer’ before using Arm-R-Seal highlights grain more than Arm-R-Seal alone?
If you have dry time, BLO adds more color and best contrast. I like to wipe on 50:50 BLO:MS to reduce amount of oil left on wood before rubbing it out to even intensity, plus to reduce drying/weeping time.
Or a 1 lb cut of blonde shellac adds less color, and can improve figure.

BTW – Post sealer sanding intensity can also make difference in appearance.

Every figured board is different as to what works best, so test on scraps before deciding. :)

Best Luck!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2452 posts in 2554 days


#9 posted 10-26-2018 01:14 AM

Oh there are so many ways. Very dependant on just what look you want and how simple you want or complicated you are willing to get. I have several turned bowls and platters in my LJ projects you can lookat. If you see something you like and it doesnt have the finish schedule listed I can probably dig it up. As for close to the grain finishes my favorite is mw ob poly thinned 1:1 with ms and done just like danish oil, flood on, keep wet for ~ 10 min, wipe off. A LOT can be done buy just mixing a little dye in with the poly. Requires testing to get just the right look but otherwise very easy. More color difference can be had with a darker dye 1st, sand back, then poly over it. Its all in the details.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#10 posted 10-26-2018 01:16 AM

First tests have shown that plain BLO and plain GF look about the same with BLO maybe having the slight edge. I hate finishing and the logarithmic combos there can be.

I’m leaning towards a coat or two of brown dye, sand down with 220 to remove most of it then a coat or 2 of shellac then 3 coats of GF oil/poly. Sanding with steel wool, gray abrasive pads or 400 grit between coats. Then a wax buff. Maybe the shellac is unnecessary?

Anybody see any major flaws in that thinking??

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 1054 days


#11 posted 10-26-2018 01:25 AM



Oh there are so many ways. Very dependant on just what look you want and how simple you want or complicated you are willing to get. I have several turned bowls and platters in my LJ projects you can lookat. If you see something you like and it doesnt have the finish schedule listed I can probably dig it up. As for close to the grain finishes my favorite is mw ob poly thinned 1:1 with ms and done just like danish oil, flood on, keep wet for ~ 10 min, wipe off. A LOT can be done buy just mixing a little dye in with the poly. Requires testing to get just the right look but otherwise very easy. More color difference can be had with a darker dye 1st, sand back, then poly over it. Its all in the details.

- OSU55

Can you use a water-based poly with an aniline dye? I’ve normally just use the dye and then a poly over, but if you can mix it directly that would be ideal.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#12 posted 10-26-2018 01:28 AM

Can you use a water-based poly with an aniline dye? I ve normally just use the dye and then a poly over, but if you can mix it directly that would be ideal.

- lumbering_on

Seems like a little dye is called for to bring out the figure. From what I’ve read you use shellac over the dye because the wb poly will dissolve the dye. But since I’m using an oil finish I might not need it, but it probably can’t hurt.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2452 posts in 2554 days


#13 posted 10-26-2018 01:42 AM

Well…... wb dye sanded back unber ob poly (arm r seal, mw), fine shouldnt be a problem. As for mixing dye into ob poly it must be an ob dye. There are many types of dye available, depends on the solvent.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#14 posted 10-26-2018 01:44 AM


Well…... wb dye sanded back unber ob poly (arm r seal, mw), fine shouldnt be a problem. As for mixing dye into ob poly it must be an ob dye. There are many types of dye available, depends on the solvent.

- OSU55


Mine is a water based powder. I’m trying to use the KISS keep it simple stupid route. If anything I’d add a few drops of amber transtint to the dye mixture.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2452 posts in 2554 days


#15 posted 10-26-2018 11:50 AM

The wb dye should work, but TEST. Always test any new combination of chemicals before using them on a project. The same dye will be ok, but a significant change in intensity or different colors may not do what is expected. If an ob poly is the top coat no shellac is needed and ob poly provides a lot of chatoyance – which is dependent on gloss level. Using wb finish over wb dye, apply shellac after dye to seal it otherwise some of the dye may lift

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30475 posts in 2902 days


#16 posted 10-26-2018 01:03 PM

Maybe contact Charles Neil, he has done extensive finishing on curly Maple and is a member here.

[email protected]

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#17 posted 10-26-2018 03:45 PM



Maybe contact Charles Neil, he has done extensive finishing on curly Maple and is a member here.

[email protected]

- Monte Pittman


Actually, I used Mr. Neil’s trace coat technique. 2 coats of brown dye with a little amber mixed in then sanded off with 120 then 240 and a coat of GF. They still need 2 more coats of GF with .0000 steel wool between coats and then some wax. I’m happy and I’d say they popped.

This is the panel at the top of the page.

And this panel had a 3D look after the dye and sanding

But turned into this Martian landscape looking thing after applying the GF.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2500 posts in 4435 days


#18 posted 10-26-2018 03:46 PM

Well done

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#19 posted 10-26-2018 05:10 PM


Well done

- CharlesNeil

Wow! A “well done” from the man himself! Thanks. I was impressed at how it looked just after sanding but amazed at how it just jumped out at me as soon as I applied the GF. My wife actually had to touch it to make sure those contours weren’t actual depressions in the wood.

I wasn’t real happy with the way the jointed seams looked hence the 1/4 round moulding down the middle. But after seeing the way they turned out I might try again.

Thank you again Charles for the technique.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2500 posts in 4435 days


#20 posted 10-26-2018 07:16 PM

My pleasure

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 698 days


#21 posted 10-26-2018 08:01 PM

It’s alll in the wood !
And good research, I agree
“We’ll done”
I had 20 pieces of that wood and we used 16
Have to dig up some more of that stuff for sure
Scott

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 698 days


#22 posted 10-26-2018 08:16 PM

I should say this is special wood cut for the musical industry
These are seconds
Never seen the firsts but they must be very nice

View Rink's profile

Rink

141 posts in 602 days


#23 posted 10-26-2018 08:39 PM

Wow, I am about to play with some curly maple for a project and will definitely try this out.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#24 posted 10-26-2018 09:03 PM

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4203 posts in 1952 days


#25 posted 10-26-2018 09:14 PM

That has to be some of the most impressive curly maple grain I’ve ever seen. In the pictures it looks like you carved ripples into the surface. Looking forward to seeing the finished project.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2233 posts in 1168 days


#26 posted 10-26-2018 09:19 PM

In the pictures it looks like you carved ripples into the surface.
- Lazyman

I know, right?! I still can’t get over it. When I put the GF on for the first time it made me a little dizzy for a second before my brain recalibrated to know it was flat!

As long as I’m posting pictures here are some comparisons on my practice pieces.

The top one with the blue tape is just GF on top half then one coat of dye and GF on the bottom half. Then the bottom pic is the same as I used on the other panels. 2 coats of dye, sanded then GF. Very cool how certain parts of the wood seemed to pick up the amber more than the brown. Came from the same source but it’s more like tiger maple I think. Has that golden tiger stripe look to it.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4203 posts in 1952 days


#27 posted 10-26-2018 09:30 PM

Hah! For future reference when someone wants to know what it means to pop the grain, this should be what they see.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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