Good stain for hard maple


Been trying to find a good stain that will color hard maple to a darkish honey color. Have tried some MinWax, Formby's and all give a nice even color but way too light. I'm looking for almost the same darkness as a lot of "early american" pieces. I've never used gel stains - before I go out and spend more $$ on testing would this work? Any other suggestions?
Thanx,
Vic
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Honey color and early American??
Sounds like a job for shellac. http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/shellac3.htm or http://www.woodfinishingsupplies.com/shellac_board_samples.htm
(These links show wood types with shellac types photos)
Phil
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Bingo! Thanx Phil - I had mixed some Kushi seedlac to try but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Garnet also seems a good possibility but I'll have to order some.
The links are great for eyeball comparison - thanx again!
Vic
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Vic Baron wrote:

Someone published a link to aniline dies a while ago... Some with some nice colouring specifically for maple.
Anyone recollect the link?
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Will
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I have used the General brand gel stain and the results are excellent...only consideration is whether you need to use a pre-stain treatment...I used both on red oak and the color is very consistent..

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The sanding of the hard maple needs to be done with a 150 -180 grit and this will help to darken your finish.The hard maple doesn;t let the stain penetrate. Try different snading grits before you spend more money. Have Fun!

color
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this
Good point! Hadn't really considered that.
Thanx!
Vic
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Vic Baron wrote:

Hope this helps with some info...
http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/tech_dyes.htm http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/TransFastdyes.htm
http://www.woodfinishsupply.com/PLaniline.html
Table done with aniline dye... http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/fea9.html
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color
OK, if you sand it to death you will harden the surface, and it will reject pretty much everything pigment-based. Gel stains, colored shellac or colored varnishes will hold pigment stain on the surface. They will also reveal ugliness when chipped. Dye works.
What I've come up with is patience and linseed oil. The honey maple color we admire is pretty much a product of both, after all. I do a 2:1 thinning of warmed linseed oil, run to refusal, surface dry after twenty minutes. Next run, a day later is 50/50 with special care to wipe. Finish is with a linseed-based varnish, or for soft colonial, just oil and wax. The natural ambering of linseed seems to be enough, and it only improves with age.
Works even better with a little dye for instant age. Chips scratches reveal less white, too.
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One thing that opened up a whole new world for me for matching stains or creating them is the use of tint colors, the universal kind that come in tubes or small plastic bottles. I had to match walnut on an original door panel of a Dusenberg coupe, so I bleached the wood to neutralize the purple. The original had an orange-red tone, so I found the best combination to be red oak Minwax with some medium yellow from the tube. And its best not to go with anything until you've seen a sample under whatever finish you're going to be using.
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