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Maple slab "pop" finish?

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Forum topic by Rink posted 05-14-2018 03:25 PM 798 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rink

122 posts in 456 days


05-14-2018 03:25 PM

I am planning to use this maple slab as the seat of a bench. In the first picture you can see it in its raw state. Not even planed and smoothed yet. I don’t know what you can see on your monitor (or your phone), but there are various different colors swirling around. The second image is the exact same picture, but I’ve used Photoshop to enhance the contrast and add a little red tint.

Is there a way to heighten the contrast with a finish to make these different colors “pop” like in the second picture? I’ve used the color tint, sand, repeat method on curly maple, but I don’t think that would work in this situation (or would it?). Any advice appreciated.


12 replies so far

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

276 posts in 949 days


#1 posted 05-14-2018 03:50 PM

Lightly wet the slab and you will get an idea of what a clear finish will do. May not need to add any tint.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

689 posts in 1159 days


#2 posted 05-14-2018 04:31 PM

Yup, go with Rob’s suggestion first, but there are a number of ways. One that seems highly favor that I haven’t had the pleasure to try yet is using NGR dyes. A quick youtube search of dyeing maple will give you some good sources.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#3 posted 05-14-2018 07:21 PM

Same method that you used for curly maple will work. A number of ways exist. The complete finishing schedule should be developed before starting. Some methods dont play well with others. Interior or exterior application? What and how do you plan to topcoat it?

View Rink's profile

Rink

122 posts in 456 days


#4 posted 05-14-2018 07:53 PM

Lightly wet the slab and you will get an idea of what a clear finish will do. May not need to add any tint.

I’ll try that first

A quick youtube search of dyeing maple will give you some good sources.

That’s how I learned how to finish my curly maple piece. I learned a lot from youtube.

The complete finishing schedule should be developed before starting. Some methods dont play well with others. Interior or exterior application? What and how do you plan to topcoat it?

Finishing is my weakest skill at this point. For instance, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a finishing schedule. I hadn’t thought about it, but I should probably finish this as if it’s going to be kept outside (It actually depends on how it looks when I’m done as to whether my wife will want it in or out of the house). I prefer a smooth, satin finish – for this piece, I don’t want one of the thick polyurethane nautical type finishes. Do you have a suggestion for a finishing schedule?

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1077 posts in 3236 days


#5 posted 05-14-2018 08:35 PM

Generally penetrating finishes do more to “pop” grain figure than film finishes. I would tend to lean toward tung oil or else a oil/resin blend. But that’s more of an interior finish. Maple doesn’t stand up all that well outside and I tend to think that no matter what you do you’re going to end up reapplying annually.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 552 days


#6 posted 05-15-2018 02:08 AM

This piece was sanded to 600gr and then sprayed with a poly
Thanks
Scott

And if it has lots of figure it could look like this

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#7 posted 05-15-2018 12:09 PM



Finishing is my weakest skill at this point. For instance, I didn t even know there was such a thing as a finishing schedule. I hadn t thought abogoing to be kept outside (It actually depends on how it looks when I m done as to whether my wife will want it in or out of the house). I prefer a smooth, satin finish – for this piece, I don t want one of the thick polyurethane nautical type finishes. Do you have a suggestion for a finishing schedule?

- Rink

Decide on in or out, and if outside will it have a roof or anything to block sun and rain, and approx where are you? The invironment it needs to live in directs the finish schedule. If out in direct sun and rain a good marine varnish will be required with annual touch ups – lot of work to maintain – or cover it up with an opaque stain which Im sure you dont want. I would not put such a piece outside.

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Rink

122 posts in 456 days


#8 posted 05-15-2018 12:22 PM



Generally penetrating finishes do more to “pop” grain figure than film finishes. I would tend to lean toward tung oil or else a oil/resin blend. But that s more of an interior finish. Maple doesn t stand up all that well outside and I tend to think that no matter what you do you re going to end up reapplying annually.

- jdh122

My wife says it can stay indoors, so my finishing options are open!

This piece was sanded to 600gr and then sprayed with a poly
Thanks
Scott

And if it has lots of figure it could look like this
- Clarkswoodworking

Scott, the figure on those pieces look great! But it’s almost impossible to see the differences in the actual finishes on a screen. For instance, the second and third pictures are much redder than the first picture – no way of knowing if you tinted the wood or if the white balance is off.

I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, most people don’t know this, and I don’t know if you do….
In the first picture, your camera probably picked up the correct white balance by using the gray rug. In the other pictures, there was nothing for the camera to latch onto to set the white balance, except possibly the little bit of white sock in the second picture. I suspect the sock wasn’t enough. If you use that gray carpet in both pictures, you would get a truer comparison.

David

View Clarkswoodworking's profile

Clarkswoodworking

289 posts in 552 days


#9 posted 05-15-2018 03:08 PM

Nope
2 different pieces
The table has a mirror coat epoxy finish
The bench was sanded and sprayed with a poly
Scott

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

958 posts in 1638 days


#10 posted 05-15-2018 07:52 PM

personally i apply some boiled linseed oil first. let dry for a few days then gloss poly.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#11 posted 05-16-2018 12:18 PM

A very easy finish is just ob poly, wiped on. Thin std poly 1:1 with ms. Apply it like danish oil – flood it on for 10-15 min wipe off, repeat a few hours later. Wet sand with ms after about 3 coats. Leave the sandind debris, it will fill the finish. You can leave a wet film or not on additional coats. I add wd lockwood dye to the poly and mix just the color I want. Can be repaired anytime with the same method. A little color added will really show the grain and the poly creates great chatoyance. If you can spray precat lacquer would work well.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3536 posts in 1806 days


#12 posted 05-16-2018 12:57 PM

Not sure that it is the best approach for popping that sort of grain but it might be worth looking at Charles Neil's videos on trace coating.

The third one, if I remember correctly, was the best one.

-- 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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