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Hi - Newbi here. Been searching the forums but didn't find an answer to these

I noticed on a pine box with mitered corners the rounded corners are much darker when stained. Is that due to the wood type or something I did wrong? I admit I didn't prep the wood with sanding sealer or wood conditioner as I wanted the stain (Red Sedona) to be rich. I have a small amount of Claro I want to use for a box to give my granddaughter and though I won't be staining it I do want the grain to wrap around without dark areas.

Question #2 - A Woodsmith tip on TV said you can use clear box tape to hold mitered corners square instead of clamps. Has anyone tried this? Does it apply enough pressure?

Thanks
 

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When you round the corners you are exposing the end grain. The end grain absorbs more of the stain and will be darker unless you seal that area before staining.

Some like to use the wood conditioner along with gel stains.
 

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The tape method is the way to go! I have used it successfully many times for boxes, picture frames, and so on. For a box, for example, I lay out a long piece of tape, sticky side up, and carefully align the box sides, in order with inside surfaces facing up, on the tape with the mitered edge of each side piece butted up against its neighbor. Then I carefully wrap up the tape to bring all of the miters together. Done correctly this pulls all of the corners into tight registration. I usually add more tape and/or rubber bands to pull the corners even tighter, as necessary. Works well for me and is much easier than working with clamps. Hope this is useful to you.
 

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What interpim said is correct. The good news, though, is that I don't think you'll have a problem with your walnut because it is fairly dark to begin with. I've done walnut boxes with rounded mitered corners, and never noticed a color variation.
 

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Finish sand the rounded corners to a finer grit than the rest. So, perhaps 320 grit for end grain and 220 for the box sides. Stain doesn't penetrate as much as you go up. Sanding sealer (thin shellac) and gel stain works too.
 

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John, Intrpim and Charlie pretty well covered the finishing tips. You won't have problem with woods like walnut, and Rowdy gave you a good tip on how to use the tape for the miter corners. It does work well, just make sure your corners are butted up tight and square before you bring the miter corners up to meet one another. Good luck with your boxes and we hope you will post some pictures for us. Welcome to Lumber Jocks.
 

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The thing to do John in order to get an even color is to pre-wet the end grain areas. If they are wet they won't be able to absorb so much stain. If it gets to light a stain, then just repeat until you get the hue you want. It's a good idea to try it on a test piece first to get an idea how wet it should be.
 
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