How to simulate English Oak

I'm getting ready to embark on a major project down in the basement. I'm going to create an "English Pub". I want to create the "English Pub Oak" look on the walls using raised panels and the bar area. Does anyone have a recipe for finishing red or white oak to simulate this old look?
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Think "asphaltum". Or you could just smoke a few thousand cigars and a million cigaretters and pipes in the "pub" after it's built.
charlie b
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"Steve" wrote in message

If we're talking the dark oak I've seen in English Pubs, then General Finishes "Java" gel stain, with repeated applications, would likely get you very close for an off the shelf product.
Try it on some scrap.
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Minwax "Jacobean" stain seems a good one.
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Steve wrote:

How old is your "English pub" ? Do you mean Victorian interior trim, or an older timber-framed building with visible framing?
Victorian interior trim was usually mahogany, but there's some in oak. Treat it as general USA 1900 Arts & Crafts or non-conformist church trimming and you won't go far wrong. Use more mouldings and lots of bevelled, frosted and engraved glass and mirrors though.
If you're after Ye Olde World Tudor Looke, then go easy on it! There's a lot about and it looks awfully fake, even discounting the true horrors that appeared in the '70s.
Use any timber you like, it doesn't need to be oak and you can't tell that it's oak. If any of the timber figure is visible and not just solid black, then use ash. (OTOH, I think decent white oak is probably easier and cheaper to get in the USA than decent ash, comparable to European f. excelsior).
Don't finish it with a chainsaw, adze or steam shovel. We've all seen this, it never looks other than rubbish. If you want it to look like adze-finished boards, then use a scrub plane with a deeply crowned iron and take short strokes. If you want to learn to use an adze as well as a medieval carpenter could, expect several years' apprenticeship. Don't use a broad axe to finish it either -- might look good for Colonial US repro, but here in England we finished our timbers along the grain, not across it.
Joinery should be pretty authentic, which means mortice and tenons. Peg them with oak treenails. It's important to use these, even if they're non-functional and don't reach as far as the biscuits.
Joinery in period was highly competent, but lazy. It was well done where it mattered, often not done at all where it didn't. In really old buildings you'll see lots of secondary timber supporting a plastered wall that's far from straight and was worked flat on only one or two surfaces. Frames were never "built around a tree", but plenty of unshaped trunks found their way into frames and they've still got the bark on them today.
Pubs weren't built as pubs, but evolved into them. Small rooms in a timber framed building had non-structural dividing walls (if it's framed, they're nearly all non-structural) removed to make large rooms. It's fairly common to see a beam or plate in the middle of a ceiling that now contains a row of small mortices where a row of small vertical timbers previously marked out a now-removed wall (I'm not going to claim if they're girts, bents or whatver in a trans-atlantic ng). Nice touch to reproduce, if done well.
Chamfer the edges with a spokeshave. Use stopped chamfers, but only rarely would a lambs tongue stopped end appear on work of this type. Don't use a plane as it's hard to do the stopped ends and it takes longer than a spokeshave.Don't use a drawknife unless you're already very good with it, and the timber is up to it.
Don't tar it and feather it. Don't paint it. Ammonia fuming is still the best (on oak), or even ammonia washing if you want it really black. If it's not oak, then use a dark brown dye stain, then maybe a thinned grey stain afterwards. The brown should be consistent, the
Finish it with Danish oil, which is a reasonably authentic compromise that still wears tolerable well.
Consider hiring a wide brush sander (I use a 4" Makita that's $500 too much for me to buy outright) and patinating the crap out of it afterwards with abrasive plastic filament brushes, oils or wax. Use a back-and-forth towelling motion with a length of denim or canvas with pumice on it to put wear-polishing onto the corners of the bar. If you have a lot to do, find a pair of old wooden ring handbag handles and sew them on - your fingers will thank you.
The infill between should be rough plastered and painted with white emulsion. A limewash plaster is best, for the right texture. Whitewash is authentic rather than paint, but this rubs off onto customers.
Fireplace design is crucial. It's not a real pub (an old one anyway) without an open fireplace. Fake and non-functional (i.e. looks perfect but isn't lightable) is better than working gas or missing.
Real pubs in England serve uncarbonated beer at cellar temperature, through a handpump and into a straight glass that's big enough to hold a pint and its necessary head. Anything else, especially the use of tankards of heavy faceted glass with handles on, is a matter for a religious war. Pewter tankards _especially_ are only used by the sort of chaps who'd call you "Squire" and would be played by Graham Chapman in Monty Python sketches.
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Wow! Thanks for the info. Actually, I'm thinking more along the Victorian lines than Tudor. There's some wonderful examples of the Tudor style in Stratford upon Avon as well as many, many other wonderful small villages. I recently cut down three black walnut trees on my property and was thinking about using that for the work. I agree that the main thing is to go dark. Walnut may be better used for another project. Oak is quite plentiful here and I thought that fuming may be the way to go. I'll look into all the suggestions giving here.
I lived over there (in the Black Country) for 3 years in the late 80's and made it an ambition to try to visit every pub in the country. My local was the Crown in Stourbridge. I had a wonderful time and made many friends. I still stay in contact with many of them. My wife and I still get over there every other year or so. I became quite a "real ale" fan so I know exactly what you're talking about regarding the Pewter tankards. I want to at least simulate the hand pump tap so I can "pull" myself a beer. BTW, I already have the flue set up for the fireplace. The last time we were there, we photographed every pub we were in in preparation for this project. I'm really looking forward to this project.
Thanks again for the info.
Steve

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On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 00:59:07 -0500, "Steve"

Thermwood/Valspar has some new finishing schedules that are fairly nice. They are all inclusive, that is, they include stains, toners, shading agents, sealers, and final finishes. They sell them as a set. I think one of them was distressed antique oak that might be appropriate.
Each schedule has a corresponding DVD that gives a step by step, including the aging and distressing steps. You might want to check it out.
Frank
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Does that have a formal product name???
I can find nothing like that http://www.valspar.com
Frank Boettcher wrote:

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On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 21:54:46 GMT, Pat Barber

Try: http://www.woodworkerswholesale.com/Articles.asp?ID 9
I haven't used them yet, saw them at the Atlanta show late last summer, picked up some of the DVD's and have watched them. At the show, they had some furniture pieces that had been finished with several of the schedules. They looked very good.
Frank

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I was also at the IWF and I missed this product completely. That is a pretty nice deal for $100.
I got to give that a try....
Frank Boettcher wrote:

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I need to find a local supplier. Those hazmat fees are going to be a "killer" in the final cost.
Frank Boettcher wrote:

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Something interesting:
I can find no other supplier of these products and I know that can't be right.
The Valspar site shows "nothing" when searching on Thermwood and Thermwood doesn't show up on any google search as a finishing company.
Frank Boettcher wrote:

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On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 21:00:54 +0000, Pat Barber wrote:

Did you read the Thermwood site? You might want to before you go on.

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