Sapele Chest Lid

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Forum topic by James Gallo posted 09-18-2017 11:04 AM 748 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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James Gallo

80 posts in 2889 days

09-18-2017 11:04 AM

After gluing up and planing and sanding this panel for a lid, I noticed the outside 9” (3 boards) are quite a bit darker than the rest of the lid. I’m planning on using waterlox on the top of the lid and shellac on the inside of the ( same as I did on the chest). What would be the best way to keep the lid uniform in color?

And also on the other side of the lid are 2 uniform crossgrain streaks 4” apart, that no matter what I do, I can’t get rid of them. I’ve tried handplane, scraper, and 60 grit sandpaper.
Thanks for any input!!


-- Jg, Pittsburgh

5 replies so far

View barada83's profile


88 posts in 1964 days

#1 posted 09-20-2017 02:49 AM

I would say your best bet is just to mark it up to the nature of wood. You can scrap it and start over or spend just as much time trying to potentially fix it and make it worse. You could try some dye toner coats but you have to be very careful, it’s not really something I’d recommend unless you have a lot of experience.

-- Mike

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James Gallo

80 posts in 2889 days

#2 posted 09-20-2017 05:17 AM

Thanks Mike!!

-- Jg, Pittsburgh

View Smirak's profile


102 posts in 1296 days

#3 posted 09-20-2017 01:12 PM

Is it “in the wood” or is it “on the wood”. Meaning, if you were to run your fingernail over it, can you feel a catch? I just finished (actually in the finishing process now) a 36×72” sapele tabletop. I have a couple of areas like that where it’s a contrast in the wood. Not anything surface wise. It’s weird as sapele is pretty straight grained and you have this one spot where there’s a mark running perpendicular to the grain.

Your darker wood on the outside should “merge” into the color of all when you apply the finish. This is my first time working with sapele and I absolutely love it…

View 01ntrain's profile


259 posts in 1848 days

#4 posted 09-20-2017 01:33 PM

I have a Sapele countertop that I installed in my kitchen. It has a few of those “defects” that you’re referring to.

Trust me, when you’ve installed the finish, they will “pop” On my countertop, they look almost 3-dimensional. One of the mysteries of Sapele, I guess. A great wood to work with.

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1554 days

#5 posted 09-20-2017 01:38 PM

The lines on the underside are figure from a reversal in grain direction. They will never go away. They are totally fine.

Regarding the top:

It would be unreasonably risky to try to dye or stain the lighter wood on the top to match the darker wood.
Chalk this up to learning that you need to look at the wood before you join it.

You could rip the boards apart and scatter the darker boards among the others more randomly, if you cant stand the look of it as is. I don’t think it’s a big deal, myself, and wouldn’t mess with it.

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