Quarter Sawn Oak Table Advice

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Forum topic by Logan Windram posted 03-16-2013 06:40 PM 1872 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Logan Windram

347 posts in 3917 days

03-16-2013 06:40 PM

So, my original plan was to build this table in QS Oak for the base, 1Inch Walnut on top…. I spent forever going through the Walnut, and I just could find enough stock that was serviceable to achieve the show piece I wanted… So I decide to grab some 6/4 QS oak for the top…. But I want to get that top the dark chocolate brown… Anybody got a process for it? I plan to use coats of oil poly on the top to protect, it’s a dining room table… I assume fill the grain, stain, poly…. Not 100 sure though

I don’t use oak to often as a lot of my pieces are milk painted and sealed with poly….

As always, thanks in advance… And safe cutting…

8 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5199 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 07:18 PM

If you have the room to build a fume tent, that would be the way to go. That way the color will be a little more than surface deep, and will hold up to dents and dings better. You’ll have to get all of the sap wood out, it won’t darken. My second choice would be using aniline dyes. Top that with several coats of 100% tung oil, to seal the dye (which is water based), then you can follow with the poly for the top coat.

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Logan Windram

347 posts in 3917 days

#2 posted 03-16-2013 08:48 PM


what do you do in a fume tent?

are aniline dyes indoor safe to use? also, are the products used to fill the grain able to be dyed? I was considering trying Timbermate, believe is waterbase, does that affects using dyes?

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5199 days

#3 posted 03-17-2013 11:59 AM

The tent is for ammonia fuming. It needs to be either fairly airtight or done out doors.

The aniline dyes are indoor safe. They are water based. If you’re going to fill the grain and use a water base dye, I would use a oil base grain filler. Don’t use them very often, so I can’t give you a brand. If the filler isn’t easily dissolved by contact with water, after it’s dry, you may not have any problem with the dyes. You’re going to wipe or paint it on and wipe it off, so that will get most of the water. Wiping across the grain will disturb the filler the least. You may want to experiment on a scrap. I would use a filler that’s the color you’re trying to achieve with the dye. You could also use an alcohol base dye, which won’t react with the filler. I use water base dyes because they are the most color fast.

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Lee Barker

2172 posts in 4305 days

#4 posted 03-17-2013 01:35 PM

Couple of comments, Blarge.

I recently dyed black the seat of an old oak chair. Water soluble. No filler. Pics here.

My experience with ammonia fuming, in my memory, left me with more gray than brown. The fumes are reacting to the tannic acid in the wood, which is an iffier process than dyeing.

Experiment, experiment, experiment.

I have no comparison, but have been very pleased with Lockwood dyes purchased from Tools for Working Wood.

I think this will be a stunning piece.

Will you be blogging this project? I’m more than a little curious about how the QS characteristics will be revealed in the dye and finish.

Forgive my pontificating: I find building a table to be a slightly unusual process: It clearly divides itself into two parts, base and top. We quite naturally start with the base which is always more complex than the top. Great care and energy go into the early part of the work. In the end, no one sees it (unless the legs are parson type).

Then we move to the top which appears quite a bit less complex (therefore faster) and yet when it is done, everyone sees all of it.

the pontification light is now off.

I commend you for your planning and mindfulness.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3785 days

#5 posted 03-17-2013 02:55 PM

I’ve had good luck with this stuff

I also really like the transtint dyes. They take some experimenting, but leave behind a much clearer color, that lets the grain show a little more.

Best of luck!

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 03-18-2013 06:58 PM


great addtions, thank you.

The chair seat looks great, I am thinking about making my top Italian Oak, so a dark brown with an expresso tint… the bottom I might leave natural, or Lockwood has some nice very close to natural oak dyes that would warm up the color justa bit to compliment that, “in your face” table top…

Its funny you mention it, or should I say “Pontificate”, I always start with a top of a table or side table. Why? Well, if I have a specific space or it is a custom piece, I can take the top to the final showplace, pop it on some sawhorses and see how much the table overall size needs pared down, or if it just right… often times that helps because I want to see how much chair space there is for people to get into and out of their spot, and if someone is entertaining, does it provide walking space? I know this can be done with standard clearances and schematic design, but I am a “feel” kind of craftsman… making changes int he process as I go, thereby there is a alot of flexiblity.

I think I will blog it… I am giving the lumber a few weeks on my racks to do what it does, then I wil begin the rough cuts, then wait another week before I get to it…. I can’t imagine QS White Oak is going to move too much, but then again, wood has a mind of it own…

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 3917 days

#7 posted 03-18-2013 07:05 PM


They sell the Gel Stain at Rockler, I think I will pick some up. I might also pick up that Wood Dye to see how it compares to Lockwood dyes… What better way, like Lee said, to see what is best that to experiment, experiment, experiment…

View pintodeluxe's profile


6542 posts in 4268 days

#8 posted 03-18-2013 08:01 PM

Here is Rodda #19 oil based stain on QSWO. The sky is the limit for picking a color with oil based stain. Just make up some sample boards until you find the one that is right for you.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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