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lodgema View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 11:21am
I have recently returned after a long absence to the world of woodworking. My first project was to build an arts and crafts style side table. The top of this table has fully rounded edges (made using two passes of each edge on a router table with a quarter-circle router bit). 

As part of the final finish I decided to try out using a medium-oak stain followed by several coats of danish oil. This was first attempted by (fortunately) using a trial piece of wood made in the same manner. 

I never got to the oiling stage with this as, despite finely sanding the trial piece of wood, when I applied the stain it turned the end grain edges very dark. The other edges were perfectly okay.

Any ideas on how I can avoid this happening? Is more, and yet finer, sanding the answer or does the very nature of end grain with its porous qualities mean I'm flogging a dead horse here?

Any suggestions will be very welcome!

Thank you,
Mark
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Ian Thorn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian Thorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 12:51pm
I think the dead Horse you could try a sanding sealer on the test piece then a light sand say 220 then stain it may work . The end grain will always soak up the stain & therefore be darker . you could also try mixing the stain and oil as a test .

Ian
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lodgema View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lodgema Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 1:24pm
Many thank Ian for your reply.

I've never used sanding sealer before but am more than willing to give it a try. What I built was a trial piece; the final piece will have an oak top which I understand from reading various articles on the internet does not suffer as badly as other timbers with porous end-grain.

Any personal preference as to what brand of sealer I should use, or are they pretty much all the same?

Mark
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Claude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Claude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2019 at 8:23pm
Originally posted by lodgema lodgema wrote:

... the final piece will have an oak top which I understand from reading various articles on the internet does not suffer as badly as other timbers with porous end-grain.
...

Hello, Mark.  I'll have to disagree with you about oak.  I've found that oak end grain will soak up stain and become darker.  As Ian suggested, try it on a piece of scrap of the same piece of oak.    I'd recommend using a sealer on the end grain as well as the face grain, then using gel-type stain.  If the surface feels rough after applying the sealer, take a brown paper bag, crumple it up, then use it to "sand" the surfaces of the wood.  The brown paper has just enough roughness to remove the small fibers raised up by the sealer.  Try this on your test scrap after the sealer dries...

Claude


Edited by Claude - 16 Apr 2019 at 8:26pm
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Robson Valley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robson Valley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2019 at 1:31am
Oaks can be divided into two groups.
a) The Red Oak group of species have open pores (vessels) in the wood which run the height of the entire tree.
Those 'pores' can suck up enormous quantities of finish or stain.
As others advocate, you need an oak pore sealer which is applied like a thin paste to plug the pores then sanded back.
b) The White Oak group of species have the pores naturally plugged and thus a water-tight seal.  These woods are used for all sorts of fine cooperage for wines, sherries and whiskeys.
= = =
I suspect you have red oak, by far the more economical of the two.
The paste oak sealer is a real chore to apply but the finished result is something to be most proud of.

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lodgema View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lodgema Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2019 at 11:59am
Thank you both for your replies, very much appreciated.
I guess, Claude, that the adage about Google not always being the font of all knowledge has proved correct in this case!
Robson Valley, would I be correct in saying that 'red' oak wood is the European variety whereas 'white' oak wood is the American one; the latter of which I was contemplating using from a cost point of view?
I came across a very well-written article online by Jeff Jewitt of FineWoodworking on the topic of wood finishing that is making me rethink my whole approach to this, including ditching the idea of staining. One of his suggestions was using a pre-catalysed lacquer which I could try out given I have access to a professional furniture spray booth.
Whatever route I finally go it seems clear that an awful lot of testing will be required upfront, including the use of sealers.
Once again, thank you all for taking the time out to guide me in this.

Mark
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