Finishing problem - blotchy maple

Ok, I am working on a rocker and I am applying a finish to the rear splats that are rounded.
I've made them out of maple - curly - and applied a Watco finish to the fi rst three. Ugly blotchiness. I read to use the Minwax stain conditioner, so I bought a small can and applied it to a test piece. I applied the conditi oner and then applied the Watco. Still the same problem.
Everything is sanded to 220.
I'm next thinking of using a thin coat of shellac first then applying the W atco. Question - is this the best course of action? Of course, I'll try it on a test piece first. I know I'll end up with a lighter color then what I had before, but that will be ok.
Any help is most appreciative.
Thanks in advance.
MJ
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On 10/3/2013 9:38 PM, MJ wrote:

dewaxed shellac.
The watco is oil right, I didn't know oil splotched. Stain yes, dye yes, oil... didn't know that.

--
Jeff

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so I bought a small can and applied it to a test piece. I applied the condi tioner and then applied the Watco. Still the same problem.

OK, staining Maple is pretty much impossible. The wood is just not really a menable to any "staining" technique. You can "dye" it a little easier but i t is still difficult. With the many steps technique below, you can get exce llent results. I have studied this extensively.
Options. 1. Tone it. This is a technique of adding color to the film finish (lacquer , shellac, poly). Minwax has a product call Polyshades that uses this conce pt. Kind of hard to get good results because it shows overlaps. The best wa y to do this technique is to use a shade lighter than you want and build a few coats to get your color. This will not accentuate the figure, it is jus t a way to sort of add some color.
2. Use Dye. I have detailed this here before, even recently but can't find the post. Here is how to dye curly maple - Use Transtint dye mixed in water - Wet the whole piece with clear warm water, let dry and lightly hand sand off raised grain hairs. - Wet piece again then apply black water based dye. Wetting first helps to make applying dye very easy and it goes on evenly. Dying dry wood is really difficult to get even coverage. I try to keep the whole piece wet until I am dine adding the round of color. - After dry sand of 95% of black dya it the remaining dye accentuates the f igure (curl) - Wet the piece again and hand sand off the raised grain once dry - Wet the piece then dye with vintage maple water based dye - Note, at this point you will be sure you have ruined the piece. Dye witho ut shellac or lacquer, etc. looks like crap. - Then oil with Tung and let dry a week. - It will look pretty good now - Then shellac or lacquer, whatever - It will look great - Then wax. Clear wax for a fresh look, brown or black wax for an antique l ook. - It will look fantastic Examples of this technique
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/images/stories/curly/1.jpg
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/images/stories/curly/2.jpg
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/images/stories/curly/3.jpg
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/images/stories/curly/4.jpg
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/images/stories/curly/5.jpg
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Dang, it *does* look great. Almost like koa :)
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On 10/4/2013 12:14 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Beautiful ... maybe because I'm colorblind, I would have said cherry, not maple. That's how purty it is. Excellent!
The header on my ewoodshop.com website below is a mixture of stained and toned maple, in a mix of old and new cabinets that I did in a kitchen remodel last year:
http://static.squarespace.com/static/50b1628be4b094e977034bdb/t/514cc537e4b0e29595fb7716/1363985724435/download.png?format 00w
One of the trendy magazine things the past year or so in kitchen cabinets is actually the blotchy maple look, maybe because it is so easy to effect. ;)
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Wood Shop: www.e-WoodShop.net
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On Fri, 04 Oct 2013 10:14:20 -0700, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

I've had pretty good results by adding dye to dewaxed shellac and applying it with a piece of old t-shirt wrapped around some cosmetic pads.
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No. There is no reason to apply Watco (oil) over shellac because Watco is a penetrating finish and it can't penetrate the shellac. Oh, OK, Watco has a tad of varnish too but not enough to even think of using it as a top coat; it would wind up all sticky if you did.
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I have done a fair number of curly maple pieces. What I have found is that any cut surface that are lightly sanded will come out blotchy. I must use sandpaper to tame the wild cross grain. Sometimes I start out with 36 grit. End grain is next to impossible. When I turn maple bowls I do segmented turning to avoid end grain.
Some of my maple pieces are at http://ray80538.home.comcast.net/~ray80538/Woodwork/woodwork.html
I use maple because I got a batch of about 150 board feet for $50. I am still working on it.
wrote:

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Ray ...
That is an amazing collection of work. Thanks for sharing!
Larry
On Saturday, October 5, 2013 7:21:05 AM UTC-5, Ray wrote:

so I bought a small can and applied it to a test piece. I applied the cond itioner and then applied the Watco. Still the same problem.

it on a test piece first. I know I'll end up with a lighter color then what I had before, but that will be ok.

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Check out Charles Neil ...
http://www.cn-woodworking.com/
He knows more about finishing than anyone I've met.
I've got no financial interest etc ....
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