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Forum topic by Bobby posted 11-26-2014 11:46 PM 1298 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bobby's profile


108 posts in 4059 days

11-26-2014 11:46 PM

Hi all…

I am so sorry for posting my question here but I really couldn’t figure out where I should put it. Thanks for your understanding.

I have made a “hall table” or “sofa table” which is going to be a gift to my dad this Christmas. It is made out of solid birch and will not be stained – just varnish.

I am now in the process of making the two drawers. I am using half-blind dovetails. I want the tails to be dark for contrast (and to make sure they are noticed) when the drawers are opened.

I thought I was using a real time saver not to mention making it look like a near perfect job by dabbing the end-grain with dark walnut colored gel-stain before cutting the dovetails. I’m sure that the results I’m looking for will be there once I’m done. But how long is it going to take for the stain to dry??? It’s been a day and a half now and it is still kind of wet to the touch. Is there anything I can do to help speed up the drying process? I don’t want to go any further until it is dry as wet stain can really make a mess if you’re not careful with it.

Thanks in advance

8 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


7702 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 11-27-2014 01:47 AM

What is the temperature and humidity where you are keeping this while it dries? I have found in the winter with the shop at 50F at it lowest and no more than 70F with some forced heat most things take extra time to dry.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4584 days

#2 posted 11-27-2014 02:50 AM

I have mostly the same questions Woodbutcher has. You might try rubbing some Japon dryer on it if it’s a oil base finish.


View woodnut's profile


393 posts in 5059 days

#3 posted 11-27-2014 04:40 AM

The way I use a gel-stain is to mud it on thick wait a few minutes (depending on how dark I want it) them wipe it off and let dry. Should not take long for yours since you are using on end grain. Hope this helps

-- F.Little

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3521 days

#4 posted 11-27-2014 11:59 AM

If your situation is your shop being colder, than try to wipe off all excess and the sticky film with a really absorbent towel, such as paper shop towels. Then you can wipe it with Japan Drier, or even denatured alcohol. It should be dry after the alcohol dries.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Bobby's profile


108 posts in 4059 days

#5 posted 11-27-2014 02:52 PM

Thanks for the replies, gentlemen. Very much appreciated!

I’m happy to say that after 2 days/2 overnights the stain has finally dried and I can now get on with the project. I was just baffled over why the drying time was so long. It is a water based stain that in ordinary use dries in a couple of hours.

A couple of you guys got my interest about “Japan Dryer.” I have never heard of this before and it sounds like it could be useful. What exactly is this? Does it go under a brand name? Where might I get this?

As usual, you guys here are great!!!


View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4584 days

#6 posted 11-27-2014 03:37 PM

Japon dryer comes in many brands,it’s kinda like buying paint thinner you really don’t care what brand it is.


View firefighterontheside's profile


21359 posts in 2863 days

#7 posted 11-27-2014 03:39 PM

Don’t think you can use japan drier on water based stain. You may use alcohol though as it is miscible with water.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Bobby's profile


108 posts in 4059 days

#8 posted 11-28-2014 12:38 AM

Japan drier, huh? hmmm… that’s what I love about this place… I’m always learning something new.

There was a big snafu on my project this afternoon that forced me to have to remake the 2 drawers. Talk about bad luck, huh? Wait for over 2 days for stain to dry and within 5 minutes have to start all over again. sigh I will give the alcohol tip a try this time around, though. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks again

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