Finishing Curly Redwood

Any advice on finishing curly redwood? I picked up a nice piece because I liked the look. I don't have any project in mind yet but wanted some suggestions on how to finish it.
The curl is absolutely beautiful but with the open pores is seems like it would be easy to get the pores filled with sawdust and lose a lot of its beauty. Also, how will the color age? Will it darken, turn gray, what?
Any advice would be appreciated.
TWS
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oil will pop the grain nicely, and laquer will hold it for a pretty long time. it will eventually go gray whatever you do.
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On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 17:49:28 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

I've worked with a lot of redwood and had pretty good luck with it keeping it's color after sealing it..
No idea what "curly" means, but it sounds interesting!
About 12 years ago, I built a set of 4 drawers out of old pallet slats for chisels, etc... the budget was zero... I made the drawer faces out of a couple of old 6" redwood fence pickets left over from a fence project in the past... sanded the hell out of 'em, routed a mickey mouse edge around em and gave them 3 or 4 coats with rubbing poly.. I still use the damn things and now that I have a few bucks for wood and have drawer faces in the shop of poplar, oak, etc., those damn redwood faces are the ones that everyone comments on... "is it mahogany? Cherry?" I just say that if I tell them, I have to kill them to preserve the secret..
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wrote:

I posted a picture of the piece on ABPW.
It is a beautiful piece of wood. It is so nice I hesitate to use any of it for experimentation but it will probably come to that. I'll probably resaw a slice off of it to play around with a couple of finishing techniques. It is 2 1/8 inch thick so I do have some 'spare' thickness (unless I want to make a bowl - hmmm, I wonder...)
TWS
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I saw that.... I think I'd mount it in a lucite block and just look at it every night on the way into the shop.. *g*
I'd hate to change the way it looks now, but it will probably look incredible when you're done..
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Why would you not do you experiment on some other redwood? I know there are sources out here in California that could send you samples of reclaimed/recycled redwood, if you can't get some closer to home.
BTW, the redwood/copper gate on Woodworks seemed to have been finished with an outdoor version of a General oil/poly, if the can graphics can be believed. Oiled redwood looks great!
Patriarch
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 05:49:36 GMT, patriarch

That's good advice as far as coloring and durability but IME highly figured woods tend to have their own 'personality' with respect to finishing. Since the grain reverses so much on this piece I expect that I'll have more open pores to deal with and I don't want to lose any of the luster by 'muddying' it up with sawdust, wrong finish, etc.
Your other suggestion on ABPW about resawing to veneer is a good one. I may consider that. I generally don't 'do' veneer but this curl is so dramatic that 4 way bookmatching would be outstanding. It gives me another reason to invest in tuning up my BS - of course this may mean more tools ;-)
Thanks for the advice.
TWS
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 05:49:36 GMT, patriarch

So does a Waterloxed redwood mantle. www.diversify.com/wood
LJ, who hasn't let any magic smoke out of items this weekend.
----------------------------------------------- I'll apologize for offending someone...right after they apologize for being easily offended. ----------------------------------------------- http://www.diversify.com Inoffensive Web Design
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

There's a picture of a cabinet I made from curly redwood on my website at:
http://www.intergate.com/~lard
and it's not an "ad-supported" site any more :-). No popups!
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 09:23:32 -0800, Larry Blanchard

very nice... and the gap between the doors is even!!
I've never heard of curly redwood (or curly "anything" wood).... where does it grow??
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcast.net wrote:
There are some immense redwood burls that could be called curly. It is a beautiful wood.
Dick

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wrote:

I've seen really nice redwood burl in Northern Calif. and Oregon, but never anything like that Curly Redwood... it's beautiful, for sure..
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

I would have been more inclined to call what I had "tiger" redwood, since the figure was mostly stripes diagonally across the grain. But I've never seen that term used for redwood.
--
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Nice work, and what a gorgeous piece of wood! A couple of years ago I happened across a lovely piece of redwood that I turned into a rustic "bowl" (more like a miniature "trough") based on a Swedish design I had run across on Drew Langsner's website. This picture doesn't do it justice (horrible lighting), but it gives you an idea of the grain:
http://www.swt.edu/~cv01/redwood01.jpg
As to the original question of finishing -- I finished it with Tried & True's beeswax/oil finish and was very pleased with the result. The piece has darkened nicely since that picture was taken. (FWIW, T&T is my favorite finish for bowls and such. It applies easily, goes a long way, and really enhances the beauty of the wood without putting a barrier between you and the wood.)
BTW, that redwood was probably the most difficult piece of wood to carve that I have ever encountered. The grain reversals combined with extreme difference in hardness between the growth rings made for a helluva time.
Chuck Vance
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On 16 Nov 2004 05:53:17 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@txstate.edu (Conan The Librarian) wrote:

Chuck, thanks for actually answering my original question ;-) When you say that it darkens does it change color at all or simply turn darker. My biggest concern was having the wood turn gray.
I see your point about the problem of carving. I tried to scrape the surface to see how well that worked. One section was good but then there was tearing/opening of the grain where the grain reversed. I did sand down one surface and wiped it off with mineral spirits to see how it looked and it still looked great so I guess progressively fine sanding and cleaning out the pores with an oil finish is the best bet. I liked another poster's suggestion to cut it into thick veneer. This really begs for mirroring into bookmatched pieces and is thick enough that I'll be able to get quite a few pieces out of it. Now I only need to figure out which project...
BTW, I'll try the T&T, I've heard good things about it.
Finally, very nice bowl. Thanks for posting.
TWS
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TWS wrote:

You're welcome. I'd almost forgotten what the whole point of the thread was as well. I started to post something about what great prices Lee Valley offers us Amurrcans. ;-)

Not the slightest hint of gray, just a richer, darker shade of rusty brown. (Of course this piece isn't exposed to the elements.)

Sounds familiar. I used a spokeshave (LV's low-angle) for some final shaping of the outside of the bowl, and it did a fine job. But everywhere I tried using scrapers and gouges, I wound up with some ugly tearout.

Just between you and me ;-), I wound up using sandpaper to smooth out some of the rougher areas inside the bowl. I *hate* sandpaper, but there were some areas that simply wouldn't respond to anything else.

It's definitely worth a try. Especially for non-heavy-use projects.

Thanks, and glad if I could be of some help. Good luck with whatever you decide to use it for.
Chuck Vance
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Redwood goes gray, in exterior use, as a result of the natural oils in the wood being dissipated by rain, wind, etc., and then affected by sunlight.
In interior use, with a modicum of surface treatement, redwood will darken somewhat, towards red-brown, with the application of 'tincture of time'.
We used redwood for 'open' shelving -- those screw-on-the-wall tracks w/ adjustable metal support arms -- simply sanded smooth, and then rubbed with a block of canning paraffin. 30+ years later, not a -hint- of gray, even on the shelves that got several hours of direct sunlight a day.
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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 10:51:55 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

Cool! This is just what I needed to have the confidence to do something significant with this piece. Thank you.
TWS
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TWS wrote:

I built some mudroom furniture out of reclaimed redwood. It was my neighbor's deck and there is some sapwood which is spalted in parts. I used BLO which popped the grain nicely followed by several coats of gloss water based poly and one of satin. Looks good and is holding up well so far.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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