Getting an even stain on curly maple


Actually, this question is more generic than just curly maple, but that happens to be the wood I'm using for this project.
Okay, I had some cherry. We sanded it nicely, cleaned it up, then put wood conditioner on it before staining it. (Yes ... I know ... some people would ask WHY stain cherry?). We could see the conditioner being absorbed better in some spots than others.
Upon staining it, it was very splotchy. Extremely so. We attributed the splotchy look to the uneven absorption of the wood conditioner. That assumption may or may not have any relevance to the real cause.
So I had some nice curly maple on hand, and started to redo the project using that. It's been sanded down very nicely, 60 grit, 90 grit, 120 grit, 150 grit, then 180 grit. It's a smooth as glass right now.
We just put wood conditioner on it, and again we can see an uneven absorption.
So ... what's the best approach to getting a nice even stain on curly maple? Is there any particular stain that applies better than the others? We're open to using pretty much anything as long as it looks nice and warm. Could be transluscent, solid, or even just a nice toning of some sort.
Any suggestions?
Jack
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I believe you are in for it............. Trying to get even color on a figured wood doesn't emphasize the figure. I used two different stains on curley maple. The darker one 1st then sanded it well and then the lighter stain. Had to experiment a bit with different stains to get the look I wanted, but it was gorgeous!
Jim
"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

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mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

I suggest toning instead of staining.
Use a colored film finish, like a colored lacquer or colored shellac. It won't be absorbed at all into the wood, so it won't be blotchy.
You can buy oil-based, water based or alcohol based analine dyes to mix in with a nominally clear finish.
--

FF


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On Wed, 14 Jun 2006 16:45:50 -0600, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

Oh man. I can forgive the cherry staining, but curly maple? Now you're going too far. Cherry's ok I guess, but Maple deserves more respect than that, you heathen!
Have you considered something like amber or garnet shellac? Nothing stopping you from putting something else over it if you need to, and it will bring out the figure better than any kind of stain.
But don't stain it. It will be blotchy, and look like junk.
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Oh man - you really have to look at some of the beautiful guitars turned out by Terry McInturff. (mcinturffguitars.com). There's some colors that I might not order if I were to ever order another custom guitar, but as for stain over quilted maple - he's got some beautiful stuff.
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Did you put the conditioner on and stain right after without letting the conditioner dry?
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 07:22:32 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

:)
It was sorta tongue-in-cheek. That being said, it's a bear to stain evenly- I won't even attempt it anymore.
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Ah, that's exactly what another friend told me. He suggested I try a couple variations of shellac to see which gives us the best effect.
Thanks!
Jack
Prometheus wrote:

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Where are you? I will buy some regular maple and trade you; how much should I get?
Steve
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Heh ... live in Los Alamos. With our history of atomic research, they really should come up with some wood that glows in the dark here.
Steve Peterson wrote:

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Heh ... live in Los Alamos. With our history of atomic research, they really should come up with some wood that glows in the dark here.
Steve Peterson wrote:

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"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote in message

Well, the grain being as convoluted as it is, it'll look uneven for the first couple of coats, but I'd dye it and then finish, personally. Talked to my SiL yesterday, who was putting finish on their bed that we made here (do you realize how BIG a king size is?) , and he was a bit concerned that the cherry was taking the finish unevenly. I told him to get the second coat on first. Called today, and is pleased. He just wouldn't believe my daughter, who told him that "dad makes cherry stuff all the time, and this is how it looks."
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George wrote:

You will.

Stain and dye are two different ways to color wood. Stain is finely divided solid pigment in a base that will stick it to the wood. Proper use of stain is to rub it into the wood and them wipe off the excess by wiping in the direction of the grain. This will leave the pores of the wood filled with the pigment and will minimize the 'muddiness' associated with stained wood. If the first application of stain is done that way, subnsequent applications will have no effect because with the pores having been filled by the first application all of the new stain will be wiped off during the second. Staining also kills the chatoyance (iridescence) of figured wood like curly maple.
A dye is a liquid that will penetrate slightly into the wood. It will not obscure the grain at all and does not reduce the chatoyance.
Some people will dye figured wood then scrape or sand down to remove the wood from the parts where it has penetrated the least. This can highlight the figure. The same can be done with stain, but with the loss of the chatoyance.
Toning, that is use of a colored film finish will not highlight the figure nor destroy the chatoyance but of course a dark finish will generally obscure the grain altogether.
Woods can also be colored by using chemicals that react with the wood. I forget what this is called. Sodium hydroxide (lye) is the easiest to get and use. DAGS this newsgroup for how. It darkens cherry quite well and also affects maple, pine, Doug Fir and sassafrass. You may or may not like the affect on those others. The strength of the color change depends on the strength of the solution.
--

FF


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On Wed, 14 Jun 2006 16:45:50 -0600, "mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net" <"mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net"> wrote:

Read FWW #135 - "Pop the Curl in Curly Maple" by Jeff Jewitt. His 2-step method with the dyes really works well; the figure stands out beautifully and the iridescence of the wood will amaze you. It's not all that hard to do either (important to a finish challanged w-worker like me...)
Cliff
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