Author Topic: Magic  (Read 17329 times)

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Offline Al

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Magic
« on: May 07, 2008, 07:46 PM »

My wife decided that she liked cherry better than red oak for nightstands.  Unfortunately I had both almost complete.  I tried several different stains, using a grain filler to try to reduced the strong grain in red oak.  Although I sanded after applying the grain filler, it seems that the grain filler penetrates the pores very well, even better than the grain.

The closest that I can come to the color of cherry is a stain called Cabernet by Valspar.  While it has the red, so far I haven't been able to get it dark enough unless I'm staining the end grain.   Then it's perfect.

Do any of the magicians in this group have a clue to what my problem is and/or to suggest a work-around.

Al

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Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Magic
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 07:59 PM »
Sure, no problem. Get some poly, then put it on cherry, done. Sorry, finishing isn't my area (and neither is humor).  :D
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 08:15 PM »
Brice,

You're 100% correct............. on both counts.

Al

Offline Scott W.

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Re: Magic
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 08:32 PM »
Al,

You need to use dye, not stain. Stain does not really get darker with more applications, Dye does.

Hint: If you really want the cherry look, put some yellow dye down first (yes yellow  :)) then put down the red/cherry.

As always test on a piece of scrap.

Scott W.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 08:56 PM by Scott W. »
PA, USA

Offline onap

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Re: Magic
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 05:58 AM »
I 've a lack of understanding, English is not my native tongue:
What is the differnce between dye and stain?

Thanks for your help

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: Magic
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2008, 02:51 PM »
dyes get deep into the cells of the wood

stains lie on the surface of the wood
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Offline Per Swenson

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Re: Magic
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 04:31 PM »
Trans tint dyes.

You can dye just about anything.

We even dye epoxy.

 Transtint is both water and alcohol soluble.

Like me ;D

See here.  http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/TransTint.htm

Per
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Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: Magic
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 10:07 PM »
Keep in mind that some "dyes" are not colorfast (will fade in short order....esp. if exposed to sunlight)

Check the box......(or jar)

But the difference is incredible when using dyes with the right clearcoat.......almost to a 3 dimensional look.
Los Angeles, California

Offline ccmviking

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Re: Magic
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 10:09 PM »
      I use the transtint liquid dye in denatured alcohol (you can get it in gallons at Lowes).  You'll need to find what recipe works best for you but it doesn't usually take much dye.  I spray it, just make sure you fog the piece evenly, but basically the more you spray it the darker the piece will get.  If you're trying to get the end grain to match, you'll need to seal it first (using a toner).  Anyway dyes are definitely your answer to this problem.  Read some of Jeff Jewitt's work on the subject.

Chris...   

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 10:43 PM »
      I use the transtint liquid dye in denatured alcohol (you can get it in gallons at Lowes).  You'll need to find what recipe works best for you but it doesn't usually take much dye.  I spray it, just make sure you fog the piece evenly, but basically the more you spray it the darker the piece will get.  If you're trying to get the end grain to match, you'll need to seal it first (using a toner).  Anyway dyes are definitely your answer to this problem.  Read some of Jeff Jewitt's work on the subject.

Chris...   

Chris,

The only toner I've ever used is in my HP Laserjets.  Can you clue the clueless?  I need a quick education before I have to listen to any more bitchin'.

Al

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2008, 10:46 PM »
dyes get deep into the cells of the wood

stains lie on the surface of the wood

I wish I knew that before buying all those quart cans of stain.  You guys are giving me a quick education.

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2008, 11:42 PM »
One more question for you gurus.   Using stain, it seems the thing stained most is the grain.  It instantly goes almost black (or very dark brown).   Although Crystalac says to stain first and then use their grain filler, it would seem more logical to apply the grain filler first and then to stain (or as advised......... dye) the red oak.  Is there a way to minimize the grain?  In other words, to get the Red Oak grain as subdued as the Cherry grain.

Thanks for all the help, guys.  You're keeping me out of the dog house.

Al


Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: Magic
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2008, 02:51 AM »
as monte said, some dyes are not colourfast

generalisation          water based dyes are less colourfast than alcohol ones 
Bromley, Kent. UK

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Magic
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2008, 08:45 AM »
This is a little off topic but it does fit into finishing and also magic. Might be fun to try on scraps of different woods. I've used it to age cherry.

Many years ago an article appeared in Fine woodworking magazine on the use of lye to age cherry and other woods. I have used it in two projects and the process is like magic. Spray on using an old spray bottle, watch it change before your eyes. If anyone is more interested in the process, I'll add more details.

Peter

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2008, 03:37 PM »
This is a little off topic but it does fit into finishing and also magic. Might be fun to try on scraps of different woods. I've used it to age cherry.

Many years ago an article appeared in Fine woodworking magazine on the use of lye to age cherry and other woods. I have used it in two projects and the process is like magic. Spray on using an old spray bottle, watch it change before your eyes. If anyone is more interested in the process, I'll add more details.

Peter

Pete,

Please do add more details on this aging process.

Al

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Magic
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2008, 08:21 PM »
Al,

I will be happy to.  It may have to wait till tomorrow though.  I want to do photos at start, 3 minutes, 10 minutes 30 minutes.  I've never posted photos so it will be an experience.

The jist of the article was that a guy who was in the furniture refinishing business (second generation I believe) accidentqally spilled drain cleaner on his cherry countertops and discovered accidentally a way to accelerate the aging process for cherry that his family had been looking for to make newer furniture look more like older cherry furniture.

I had a project that came up for a repeat client of mine that used cherry, and remembering that article from many years back I looked it up.  I use a lye solution in the water purification process for my 4 salt water aquariums so I tried that out.  The concentration is lower than what the author used but 8 tablespoons to a gallon of water works.  Red Devil granulated drain cleaner is what I use.  It is getting harder to find.

Using normally precautions for dealing with a chemical that will dissolve your body, it is as easy as spraying windex on a window.  It will normally change to green and then will develop what is like a natural patina - not a stained look.  It will not affect sapwood.  It will affect different woods in different ways.

Al that I can say is that I did work for one customer, he loved it, his neighbor saw it and hired me to do the same.  I will try to find some photos to follow.

This process is not a replacement for dyes or stains.  This deals with the natural chemicals in the woods and does not bring forth the uniform results of a stain or dye.  Both of these clients understood that and wanted to see the natural variations.

I'll follow back tomorrow with more.

Peter

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Magic
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2008, 09:28 PM »
Ok, thanks, Peter, I'm looking forward to your pictures.
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline ccmviking

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Re: Magic
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2008, 10:46 PM »
Al,  You can spray your stain and get a similar effect.  I don't know what you have so it's hard to say for sure but you can try it.  You just don't want to wipe on it before you top coat.  Hey a toner is basically a watered down top coat to help seal the grain (especially end grain).  At least they way I do it is that I will even mix some dye into some heavily diluted top coat (I use U.S. Cellulose / AMT / Chemcraft's LC825 Conversion Varnish) for my top coat.  It's the toughest stuff I've ever used.  Not that I've used everything but darn it works good.  basically you have to seal the end grain so that it doesn't soak up a bunch of stain.  That way you'll get a more even appearance.  It's not really that tough, you just got to get in there in get after it.

Chris...

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2008, 02:00 AM »
Al,

I will be happy to.  It may have to wait till tomorrow though.  I want to do photos at start, 3 minutes, 10 minutes 30 minutes.  I've never posted photos so it will be an experience.

The jist of the article was that a guy who was in the furniture refinishing business (second generation I believe) accidentqally spilled drain cleaner on his cherry countertops and discovered accidentally a way to accelerate the aging process for cherry that his family had been looking for to make newer furniture look more like older cherry furniture.

I had a project that came up for a repeat client of mine that used cherry, and remembering that article from many years back I looked it up.  I use a lye solution in the water purification process for my 4 salt water aquariums so I tried that out.  The concentration is lower than what the author used but 8 tablespoons to a gallon of water works.  Red Devil granulated drain cleaner is what I use.  It is getting harder to find.

Using normally precautions for dealing with a chemical that will dissolve your body, it is as easy as spraying windex on a window.  It will normally change to green and then will develop what is like a natural patina - not a stained look.  It will not affect sapwood.  It will affect different woods in different ways.

Al that I can say is that I did work for one customer, he loved it, his neighbor saw it and hired me to do the same.  I will try to find some photos to follow.

This process is not a replacement for dyes or stains.  This deals with the natural chemicals in the woods and does not bring forth the uniform results of a stain or dye.  Both of these clients understood that and wanted to see the natural variations.

I'll follow back tomorrow with more.

Peter


Pete, you really got my attention.   I will find the Devil tomorrow and I can't wait to see your photos.

Al

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2008, 02:04 AM »
Al,  You can spray your stain and get a similar effect.  I don't know what you have so it's hard to say for sure but you can try it.  You just don't want to wipe on it before you top coat.  Hey a toner is basically a watered down top coat to help seal the grain (especially end grain).  At least they way I do it is that I will even mix some dye into some heavily diluted top coat (I use U.S. Cellulose / AMT / Chemcraft's LC825 Conversion Varnish) for my top coat.  It's the toughest stuff I've ever used.  Not that I've used everything but darn it works good.  basically you have to seal the end grain so that it doesn't soak up a bunch of stain.  That way you'll get a more even appearance.  It's not really that tough, you just got to get in there in get after it.

Chris...

Chris,

You lost me on the first and second line up until "Hey a toner".  "........ get a similar effect"???   to what?    What I have that is causing me headaches is a nightstand made of Red Oak that my wife wants to look like Cherry.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I was even thinking of painting the darn thing as I couldn't get any stain to give the darkness of cherry.  I'm not a fan of painting anything indoors.

Al

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Magic
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2008, 07:15 AM »
Al,

I recently did a crown molding project in an office reception area where they wanted the old banker look as I call it.  Really dark cherry everything.  This incidentally was the office of one of the clients that I used the lye solution for their home.  Anyway, with the only moldings available in time and within budget being white pine, I starting looking for a stain.

I selected the same exact stain that you did - Valspar Cabernet.  By the time I went to buy it two days later - Lowe's had quit selling it and none was to be found.  I went to Woodcraft and used their General Finishes Georgian Cherry Wiping stain.  It ended up with the dark red color.  It has a urethane in it so in so it does act like a toner to some degree - it doesn't soak in like a pigmented stain.  I used it because I wanted to minimize the blotchiness tendencies of the pine.  Plus being a wipe on stain you can get more control over color.  If you try this product remember to stir well so that the stain and the urethane mix well.

If you want to try the lye "trick"  please try on scrap and remember that it will age cherry to look like older cherry.  It will not age oak to look like cherry.

Good luck.

Peter

Offline ccmviking

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Re: Magic
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2008, 08:43 AM »
Al,

I'm just referring to layering your stain to increase the darkness.  One of the issues with regular stain is that you wipe off more than what stays on.  When you use dye's, etc. and spray your finish you are laying on thin layers and letting it dry on your material.  You can get a darker color this way.  It doesn't look the same as a gel or conventional but IMO you can get a more even, darker color with less blotchiness.

Chris...

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Magic
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2008, 12:01 PM »

If you want to try the lye "trick"  please try on scrap and remember that it will age cherry to look like older cherry.  It will not age oak to look like cherry.

Good luck.

Peter

Ammonia will darken oak.

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2008, 04:30 PM »
Al,

I selected the same exact stain that you did - Valspar Cabernet.  By the time I went to buy it two days later - Lowe's had quit selling it and none was to be found.  I went to Woodcraft and used their General Finishes Georgian Cherry Wiping stain.  It ended up with the dark red color.  It has a urethane in it so in so it does act like a toner to some degree - it doesn't soak in like a pigmented stain.  I used it because I wanted to minimize the blotchiness tendencies of the pine.  Plus being a wipe on stain you can get more control over color.  If you try this product remember to stir well so that the stain and the urethane mix well.

Good luck.

Peter

Pete,

Your mention of the blotchiness tendencies of pine leads me to think that the blotchiness can be compared to the wild grain of red oak and so this Georgian Cherry Wiping Stain would minimize the boldness of the grain of red oak.   Do you agree?

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Magic
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2008, 08:45 AM »
Al,

Sorry that it took me so long to get back.  I am not an expert by any means in finishing, but here are my thoughts on your situation.

I think that you will have an impossible task in getting your red oak to look like cherry.  You may achieve the coloration that you want and obscure the grain through various means, but the fact is that oak is an open grain Wood and cherry is a closed grain wood.  The cell structure is just different.

To obscure the grain and get the coloration you can use toners, dyes, seal the wood with thinned shellace before staining, etc.  Anything to limit the absorption of the product being applied.  In my limited experience, the longer the time a stain, dye, etc takes to dry, the more pronounced those pores or the grain will be accented. 

The results I achieved with the previously mentioned wiping stain was due to the fact that it was thick (limiting absorption) and also had a urethane which made it sticky.  Trial and error is regrettably part of the finishing end of a project.  Maybe that is why I love the natural color of wood and don't mind the variations in a piece versus those who want the evennous of color of a manufactured piece or kitchen cabinets.

I will on the other hand try to get some shots of the lye results this evening after work.  I don't have shop space, so I am at the whim of the weather, and it has been wet and dreary here.

Peter

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2008, 06:03 PM »
Pete,

My wife liked the color and results of the wiping stain.  It minimized but didn't hide the grain.  I guess she's happy enough to live with that.   I didn't use a grain filler although I'm going to test that given a little bit of free time.  I really don't expect much difference although it probably will level the finish more than just applying the wiping stain.

A saleman at Rocklers had a small can of the stain which he wiped on some scrap oak.  I was sold immediately.  Now I have 3 or 4 quart cans that'll last longer than me.

Al

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Magic
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2008, 06:58 PM »
Al if you are using Oak, grain filler will not only make a difference it will make a HUGE difference for the positive. Especially if you want it to look like cherry or any closed grain wood.

CrystaLac clear grain filler is the shi*! The easiest to use at any stage in the finishing process, either before stain or after depending on the look you want.

Crystalac

Nickao
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 06:58 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Magic
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2008, 10:23 PM »
Al,

If the wife is happy,  god bless you.  Finishing is all about experimentation in my honest opinion (sorry for the fact that i spell things out versus using things such as imho).  I haven't forgotten about the lye trick.  Ran late today and then my wife surprised me with a Bday present - not Festool Green - Blu Ray.

Will follow up as soon as I am able.

Peter

Offline Al

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Re: Magic
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2008, 08:13 PM »
Pete,

I'd like to say that you should educate your wife that there is only one color you like........ Festool green............ but then I can't throw bricks in any direction.  I retired 5 years ago but started working for my younger son about a month ago for two reasons.   I'm short 13 quarters for Social Security.  I have a nice pension but I robbed the cradle and don't want my wife to ever be a burden on our sons.  Hence, going back to work.  But, as always, there are alterior motives.  She can't  about what I spend for tools or anything else.  She's worked as a bartender for almost 30 years and I never asked her how or where she spent her money.  I'm retired with a pension so, what I make doesn't go into the checkbook............ it's Bob Marino money............. and I see a Kapex in my very near future......... like July.

Al

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Magic
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2008, 04:19 AM »
Al,

Here is my first attempt at posting photos.  Here goes...

Natural Cherry
7812-0

Application Equipment
7810-1

Cherry 5 minutes after spraying
7814-2

Cherry Next Day - dry
7816-3

Lyed Cherry With Finish
7820-4

Natural Cherry with Finish
7818-5

Hope that this works.

Peter