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Building a workbench with a 3" white oak butcher block style top. Would like to leave the top a natural color. Last night I glued on the finger jointed skirt which is a contrasting. dark stained 1 3/4" wide white oak. The problem is after getting the top all clamped up I realized it had creaped up above the rest of the top just enough that I now know it will have to sanded back down level with the rest of the top. Thi s of coarse will have to be restained. I am concerned about how I can restain a clean line between the two boards? I'm thinking that even with masking tape the oil stain will bleed under and on to the adjacent board? Any help on how to stain a clean llne and keep it just on the skirt board? Kind of like Charleton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea!
 

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You could rout a shallow channel along the joint using an edge guide, and fill it with a colored epoxy or bondo, Then when you restain the edging, the inlaid border would act as a barrier to prevent creeping of the stain.
 

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I vote with Charlie M on doing a groove to prevent "creep", although filling it with epoxy or bondo might create staining problems on either side of the groove as it cures.

When I made this piece a few years ago, I ran the solid oak band pieces for the top down the TS cutting a small (1/8" x 1/8") rabbet on the inside edges. The rabbets trapped the bleed over when I stained, and a fine tipped marking pen colored the groove black before I put on the finish.

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You might try the tan-colored paint masking tape (3M coms to mind) from an automotive supply. It keeps even lacquer from bleeding into adjacent areas. Try on scraps first. Make sure that the scrap has the same finish, of course. It may bleed, anyway, due to the texture of the wood. Good luck!
 

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I doubt if automotive tape would help very much on wood. Unlike wood, auto bodies aren't very porus and properly applied tape will stop surface bleedover. On wood, even the best application of tape can't stop bleeding under it.
 

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Sawkerf, I've used Inlace, fiberglass resin, and epoxy in that way, and never had a problem with colors bleeding. You have to overfill the groove a bit, then sand the entire surface smooth after it has cured.
 

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Charlie -
I used epoxy to fill the holes in this table top made from recycled redwood and had some staining issues. Maybe it was due to the softness of redwood. Not a problem, however, since the discolorations were part of the "charm". - lol

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Frog tape does prevent creep but it is designed to work with latex paints. This will not help you in this case since you are using an oil base stain.
 

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Doesn't some of this depend on the stain you use? I have been fairly successful using the gel stains without significant creep under masking tape. But any very fluid stain or dye is not going to be stopped by tape since the absorption is through the wood pore structure.
 

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The wood itself can wick stain even if it has finish on it.

For instance, if you pre-finished the area that you did not want stained then went on to stain the unfinished bands. The pores of the wood itself can potentially wick the stain under the finish.

Charlie's suggestion provides the best barrier if it works with the overall look of your project.

I use the green tape often as a remodeling contractor and it works great for paint but stain is a different animal. The tape can be had at any Sherwin Williams store and I do believe Home Depot carries it but I am unsure about Lowe's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow guys, I do appreciate all the feedback. I am fairly new to the forum and serious woodworking but enjoy and learn every day in the shop. CharlieM, I haven't done any inlay work. Are these colored epoxys special to for woodworkers or regular epoxy you color some how? Would they hold up to the rigors of a workbench? I would think the epoxy would hold up better than bondo. My last experience with bondo was on my '65' Impala , 'Spot' (Red primer, grey primer, black primer etc.. First car, I tried to fill some of the swiss cheese with bondo and most of it fell out the first winter. Wouldn't the epoxy, or fiberglass , or any inlay have to be sanded? That would put me back to square one, in that I'd be sanding the adjacent skirt stain off again? I must be missing something.
I did do a test today with green tape. Heated it a little with a hair dryer and burnished it with a piece of rounded steel to help seal better. Still bled through slightly in the pores as many here have mentioned. Actually not bad though. Thought it would pass the 10' rule but I would still no it wasn't right.
Sawkerf, what is the white inlay in your table? That is really beutiful. Both pieces great for that matter!
 

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Fiberglass resin is probably the easiest stuff to work with… just the regular stuff you can find at the hardware store. It comes in a can, with a separate tube of hardener that you add right before use. You can mix in crushed stone of any color (from a craft store or online), and it will hold up better than the rest of the workbench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sorry Charlie, Sometimes I'm a little slow late in the day. Does the stone color the resin also or just leave the fleks in it? Is it pretty much self leveling or would you trowell it out with something? If you strike it off level will it pretty much stay at that level or shrink down slightly when dry, like alot of other fillers? Would you just run it in the grove with something like a mustard bottle? I have worked with this type and know its incredibly sticky, gooey, stuff. Dries like a rock!
 

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You can use enough stone in the mix so that the stone is really the filler…. the fiberglass is just the binder. That way, the inlay will look like whatever the stone color is. It's very messy to apply. You just sort of jam it in with a putty knife and leave it proud of the surface. Don't try to level it with the surface,because you'll end up with some voids. It will look like hell while it's curing, but it cleans up beautifully when you sand.

In the box below, the miter keys are actually fiberglass with black crushed stone:

 

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I have a similar problem. Built an end table of Sapele and did some inlay work on the top. The Sapele was very dark before planning and I expected it to have darkened up quite a bit three months later, but for some reason, it did not. Now I have a very light brown table with walnut and Holly inlay. I'm thinking a dense double sided tape stuck to the underside of a steel straightedge and clamped along one side of the banding would allow me to get a good coat of garnet shellac along that edge, and continue doing one edge at a time. My concern is that the low viscosity of the shellac will bleed under just about anything. Probably go a bit heavy on the flakes when making the mixture. At least the alcohol will dry fast and stop the penetration quickly. Am I making any sense???
 
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