I am planning to build radiator covers this weekend. I plan to stain
the wood and finish with polyurethane (I know many people do not like
poly, but I think it looks great and is very durable). Would pine be
a good choice? Pine takes the stain pretty nicely with the proper
treatment, but I am concerned about warping from the heat. Is there a
better choice for an economical (pine is affordable, oak is out of my
budget) yet durable, stainable wood. I find polyurethane to be very
durable, but I never used it in a high heat application such as
radiator covers. Any comments? As long as I am asking, what are
peoples favorite wood stocks for general purpose or your favorite
project, and how do you like to finish them?
Try maple or poplar. Both are more stable (less prone to warp) than pine, and
take stain better too. Maple, left unstained, is quite attractive, and you
might consider this. To get a good preview of what a board will look like when
varnished (but not stained), wipe it with a clean rag moistened with paint
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
I only know what I've experienced. There may be better, but. . . . . My
father-in-law made his covers from pine. They were painted, not stained.
After 40 years they did not move, warp, split, etc. Maybe the pine from 40
years ago was better, but these are still working.
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