Stain and finish between thin wooden slats (1/4" kerf cut)

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Forum topic by Markn1975 posted 03-19-2018 05:50 PM 509 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2246 days

03-19-2018 05:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing kerf cut finishing wood slat finishing gluing dilemma wooden slats intricate design wooden headboard finishing question finishing problem finishing tips glue and finish question glue and finish

I’m making a headboard for a bed on a Yacht.

It’ll be wooden tiles, an intricate design composed of 1/2” deep kerf cuts just 1/4” wide forming 1/2” wide slats.

I can make it easy enough, the question is… Do I make it by kerf cutting the gaps between the slats and leave myself with a sanding, staining and finishing difficulty? (pooling finish on the face and starved of finish inside the kerf)


Do I make a backing board, make individual slats that I then pre-finish and glue (I’d leave the glue area unfinished of course) and nail together to form the same look. The downside here is that it’ll take much longer to make.

Hopefully, I can show you the design to see what you think.

Thanks for your help either way.


-- Mark Newton. Los Angeles.

4 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2439 posts in 938 days

#1 posted 03-19-2018 07:31 PM

I really enjoyed working on the “Vessels of Wealth”.
some of these guys have more money than they do sense
and come up with the craziest of things !! your project at hand, for example.
as you said: it is your time vs the clients pocket change.
what are the squares going to be made of ??

I think if I were presented this project, I think I would route the V-grooves vs a saw kerf.
this would provide equal coverage of the finish you choose to go with. strictly a judgement call
on your and your clients part. (time vs $$.$$).
looking forward to following your project !! (plus some photos of the boat and after it is installed).


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Markn1975's profile


16 posts in 2246 days

#2 posted 03-19-2018 08:36 PM

Thanks, John, Nice to get a really useful tip right off the bat. Hadn’t considered cutting a V-Groove. Thanks

-- Mark Newton. Los Angeles.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 2244 days

#3 posted 03-19-2018 09:22 PM

Possibly spraying the finish from a low angle would help deposit finish only on one side of the grooves at a time.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Markn1975's profile


16 posts in 2246 days

#4 posted 03-20-2018 01:32 AM

Thanks, William, I was really hoping to get away with spraying the stain (if there is any) and final finish. Just a little worried that it’ll struggle to get in there you know.

-- Mark Newton. Los Angeles.

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