Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Kip » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 03:49:27



I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
without radically changing the light color of the wood?

All suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

TIA

Kip Powers
Rogers, AR

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Patriarc » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 04:16:20



22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com:

Quote:
> I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
> harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
> New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
> figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
> without radically changing the light color of the wood?

I've had some success with dewaxed shellac.  Light, cheap, fast, slightly
yellowing, which accentuates the figure.  May not work for your project.

Oil-based finishes will tend to darken, IME.  YMMV.

The maple we get here in California is often/usually Big Leaf Maple from
the Northwest.  Softer, darker, spectacular figure is possible.

Patriarch,
still learning turning...

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Georg » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 04:55:25



Quote:
> I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
> harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
> New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
> figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
> without radically changing the light color of the wood?

> All suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

Two methods of wood finishing, scatter and shine.  Shine is best for figure,
because the light either returns directly to your eye through the finish or
glares back from its surface(incidence=reflection).

Lots of folks talk about oil "popping" the figure, but it's usually an
illusion caused by the initial presence of a continuous film which fades as
the oil soaks in.  Unless you've burnished the wood, or will,  don't expect
much from oil alone. Go for something which will form that continuous smooth
surface for you and keep it there.  As already mentioned, oils have a bit of
color of their own, which you may use to enhance that plain vanilla color
and warm it up a bit, or try to stay as true to what you have as you can.  I
like resin in my oil, because it gives me the continuous smooth film that
allows the best of the wood differences to show.  Urethane, alkyd, phenolic
are all out there, urethane probably the most color neutral.  Keep it thin!

If it's for show only, tough to beat shellac, which is pretty much all resin
once the *** is gone.  Hard, takes a good gloss from the rag or buff,
and very transparent. Oil-based finishes may build as fast or faster, but
they're thick, because of the cured oil and the mechanical bond between
coats, and that can give you some scatter within the finish.  NEVER use
satin varnishes which have built-in scatter if you want the wood to flash,
and never wet sand slurry into the grain for the same reason.  The particles
in the varnish, or the irregularly shaped dust you stuff into pores which
would diffract and give contrast will scatter and obscure.

Lacquer is a skill I've never pursued, but a guy with a sprayer can make a
nice neutral finish which is all solids like shellac.

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Georg » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 05:37:36



Quote:
> Lots of folks talk about oil "popping" the figure, but it's usually an
> illusion caused by the initial presence of a continuous film which fades
> as the oil soaks in.

Follow my own while I wait out the tornado warning.  Might as well show a
couple examples. Soft maple, linseed to darken, no finish.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d160/GoodOnesGone/Linseed.jpg

Linseed to darken, shellac over, French Polished.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d160/GoodOnesGone/ShellacOverhead.jpg

Shellac only, wood was fresh, not aged.  Also soft maple.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d160/GoodOnesGone/Firewood-One.jpg

Enjoy.  No mammatus clouds, and the thunder's moving east.

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by l.vander.. » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 05:55:13


Hi Kip
Kip I use pure tung oil (i get it from Lee Valley) a lot, reasons are,
simple wipe on and very food safe also.
Tung does not yellow as much as most other finishing oils used. and
the finish is easily renewed if damaged, unlike lacquer etc.
It does take a little longer than some of the other finishes, you can
get faster curing tung, also from Lee Valley, but you loose the food
safety.

Have fun and take care
Leo Van Der Loo


Quote:
> I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
> harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
> New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
> figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
> without radically changing the light color of the wood?

> All suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

> TIA

> Kip Powers
> Rogers, AR

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Prometheu » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 17:41:09


Quote:

>I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
>harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
>New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
>figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
>without radically changing the light color of the wood?

You may not believe it, but I've found that the most dramatic thing
you can do to make the grain in Maple pop is to sand the ***out of
it.  Go up to 1500 or 2000 grit, and it will look like polished glass
before any finish touches it.  After that, any clearcoat will do.
 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Mike Pauls » Thu, 12 Jul 2007 23:54:28


If you want to pop the figure in a dramatic way, use a darker dye
over the whole piece and then sand most of it off for a spectacular
result.  Spray can shellac makes a good sealer that won't smear it, and
then apply your favorite clear finish.
 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Mark Fitzsimmon » Fri, 13 Jul 2007 03:30:10


For popping grain I like to first sand to 600 grit, polish with
buffing compound, then apply shellac and oil mixture as described for
french polishing, alternately dipping the buffing cloth in shellac and
oil (tung or linseed or watco)
 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by hwah » Mon, 16 Jul 2007 10:45:48



Quote:
> I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
> harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
> New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
> figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
> without radically changing the light color of the wood?

> All suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

> TIA

> Kip Powers
> Rogers, AR

Kip - If the light wood color is very important,  I use a water based
finish,  high gloss will pop the figure.

To  emphasize the figure, I have had good success with applying a
light wood dye like minwax golden pecan, and then sanding   again
before applying the finish - -it darkens the grain pattern a bit, and
the sanding returns the highlights.

Good luck!

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Kip » Tue, 17 Jul 2007 01:04:20


Thanks to all of you for your ideas and suggestions!

Kip

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Darrell Feltmat » Wed, 18 Jul 2007 09:37:53


Toller, here is some info on turning a hollow form, which is applicable to
turning a vase as well. I use the same tools for vases although I also use a
hook tool.
http://aroundthewoods.com/hollow1.shtml
and here is a vase
http://aroundthewoods.com/wip0301.html
I hope these help answer a few questions.

--
God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS
http://aroundthewoods.com
http://roundopinions.blogspot.com


Quote:

>> I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
>> harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
>> New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
>> figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
>> without radically changing the light color of the wood?

>> All suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

>> TIA

>> Kip Powers
>> Rogers, AR

> Kip - If the light wood color is very important,  I use a water based
> finish,  high gloss will pop the figure.

> To  emphasize the figure, I have had good success with applying a
> light wood dye like minwax golden pecan, and then sanding   again
> before applying the finish - -it darkens the grain pattern a bit, and
> the sanding returns the highlights.

> Good luck!

 
 
 

Selecting Finish toEmphasize Figure in Wood

Post by Steve Russel » Wed, 18 Jul 2007 22:32:43


Hello Kip,

Good to hear from you! I hope you are doing well... You may want to take a
look at the oil finish article below for some information on oil finish
layering to enhance the grain on your project.

http://www.woodturningvideosplus.com/oil-finish.html

If you want to preserve the light color, you could pre-seal the wood before
adding your finish, or use a light/clear finish like a water based finish,
or a clear solvent based finish. Shellac can do wonders to pop the grain and
allows you to use just about any finish on top. Take care and best wishes to
you and yours!

On 7/10/07 1:49 PM, in article


Quote:
> I've recently gotten some maple (called hard maple here in Arkansas-
> harder than red maple but not as hard as the sugar maple you get in
> New England) that has some really great striping and crotch feather
> figure.  What's the best finish to use to make the figure "pop" out
> without radically changing the light color of the wood?

> All suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

> TIA

> Kip Powers
> Rogers, AR

--
Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

Steven D. Russell
Eurowood Werks Woodturning Studio, The Woodlands, Texas
Machinery, Tool and Product Testing for the Woodworking and Woodturning
Industries

Website: http://www.woodturningvideosplus.com

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