Newbie: Finishing radiator cabinet

My neighbor (who makes cabinets as a hobby) made me a beautiful oak-veneer radiator cabinet, complete with shelves on top. He finishes most of his pieces with plain polyurethane. I want more of a honey oak color. What's the best way to stain and finish a radiator cabinet, taking into consideration the changes in temperature the wood will be subjected to? (I like the idea of using water-based products, if possible. For one thing, I've never done this before; also, I don't like fumes.) Thanks so much!
Anne
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Buy a can of golden oak stain and apply as directed.
You don't say whether the poly is water or oil based. Oil based will, by itself, impart an amber tone to the wood. Maybe not enough so you'll have to do a test on a hidden part or scrap. However oil based varnish does entail require some fumes.
Water based poly is clear and imparts very little tint to the wood so if you want more color and use water based you will have to use a stain..
A spar/marine varnish is the most flexible.
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Mike G.
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Or a dye ixed in the finish.
On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 13:08:22 -0400, "Mike G"

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That too
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Right now, the wood is unfinished. (I'm not sure whether the neighbor uses oil- or water-based polyurethane when he finishes his other pieces.) If I use an oil-based stain, can I seal the wood with water-based polyurethane? Do I have to use a wood conditioner?
Anne

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WB finishes can be used over oil based products as long as the oil based stuff is fully cured. WB polyurethane doesn't have the odor oil based does and dries much quicker. Also doesn'y have the ambering effect oil does. Seems better suited for interior use. Maybe Mike can comment on the conditioner.
On 28 Apr 2004 14:37:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@angelfire.com (Anne) wrote:

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Yes you can once the stain has dried. As a matter of fact you may be better off since, when using liked based stain and finish, the finish has a tendency to lift the stain if you aren't real careful.
On oak you can probably get away without a conditioner/sealer anywhere but on the end grain. Being far more porous then the rest of the wood it'd suck stain up and get quite dark.
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