Finish for figured maple...?
#8
I'm getting ready to apply finish to a small case of drawers. The case is cherry and I'll probably use some homemade 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 poly/linseed oil/mineral spirits on the cherry. (It's worked well for me in the past.) The drawer fronts are figured, tiger maple. I won't be using any stain or dyes, but I would like to accentuate the figure as much as possible. My inclination is to use the same stuff that I'm using on the cherry, but I thought I'd ask the question here before I got carried away. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Regards,
Mike B.

One thing is for certain though. Whichever method you use, you can be absolutely certain that you are most assuredly doing it wrong.
                Axehandle, 2/24/2016

Do not get in to much of a hurry buddy... Arlin, 5/18/2022
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#9
Search for Jeff Jewitt's articles about finishing curly maple. The basics are to dye it, sand back so the dye is removed from the fields but still in the curly part. Repeat as needed. That way the curly part gets more pronounced as it's dyed 3-4 times whereas the field is only dyed once. He uses dye but I wonder if BLO only would work. For your regimen I don't think the entire finish should be applied and sanded, just the part that imparts color, BLO. Save the poly for the final coat.

Test board is a good idea.
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#10
Moving right along, I did a test on some maple scrap. Four sections: shellac, thinned poly, my 1/3 homemade, and Minwax Antique Oil Finish (which is probably very similar to my homemade stuff). The last two made the figure pop more than the first two - probably due to the linseed oil they both contain. I will allow the test board to dry, then do another coat of the 1/3 mix and the Minwax. Then, if I still like what I see, I'll use one of them on my drawer fronts.
Regards,
Mike B.

One thing is for certain though. Whichever method you use, you can be absolutely certain that you are most assuredly doing it wrong.
                Axehandle, 2/24/2016

Do not get in to much of a hurry buddy... Arlin, 5/18/2022
Reply
#11
(08-09-2022, 09:54 AM)PossumDog Wrote: Search for Jeff Jewitt's articles about finishing curly maple. The basics are to dye it, sand back so the dye is removed from the fields but still in the curly part. Repeat as needed. That way the curly part gets more pronounced as it's dyed 3-4 times whereas the field is only dyed once. He uses dye but I wonder if BLO only would work. For your regimen I don't think the entire finish should be applied and sanded, just the part that imparts color, BLO. Save the poly for the final coat.

Test board is a good idea.

Thanks, good suggestion. I need to test BLO by itself on a test piece and I'll do that before making a decision. (Should have done that on my first test instead of the thinned poly.) And, I'll do a couple of repeats. Makes sense that if it works for dye, it might also work for just BLO.
Regards,
Mike B.

One thing is for certain though. Whichever method you use, you can be absolutely certain that you are most assuredly doing it wrong.
                Axehandle, 2/24/2016

Do not get in to much of a hurry buddy... Arlin, 5/18/2022
Reply
#12
(08-09-2022, 10:08 AM)rectangle618 Wrote: Thanks, good suggestion.  I need to test BLO by itself on a test piece and I'll do that before making a decision.  (Should have done that on my first test instead of the thinned poly.)  And, I'll do a couple of repeats.  Makes sense that if it works for dye, it might also work for just BLO.

Any oil will highlight the grain.  Darker oils like BLO will add some additional contrast.  

John
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#13
Wink 
For an intense look you can use an oxidizer. Mix a tablespoon of lye in a pint of warm water with a couple tea bags. Shake and allow to sit for a few hours. The mixture will raise the grain a bit, and will kick up the contrast while giving the maple a warm tan color. DO NOT get this mixture in your eyes!!! (We string instrument makers have been using this for many decades--be sure to experiment on scraps first.) Seal with material of your choice. Any oil will help highlight the figure.
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#14
(08-11-2022, 10:11 AM)BassMD Wrote: For an intense look you can use an oxidizer...

Thanks for that, I'm going to make a note of this technique and try it on a future project. Meanwhile, I've done a test board with four sections: BLO one, two, three, and four coats. 24 hours between coats. The three and four coat sections are slightly darker than the first two. The tiger figure looks good in all of them. On my original test board, "Antique Oil Finish" was the winner. It must be mostly BLO.
So, I'll do 3 or 4 coats of BLO on my maple drawer fronts, then shellac and wax. The cherry case will get the 1/3 mix BLO,poly,mineral spirits.
Thanks to all for the help...
Regards,
Mike B.

One thing is for certain though. Whichever method you use, you can be absolutely certain that you are most assuredly doing it wrong.
                Axehandle, 2/24/2016

Do not get in to much of a hurry buddy... Arlin, 5/18/2022
Reply


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