Here are a couple of projects I finished this weekend:
I also posted a couple of pics of the table over at a.b.p. woodworking
with a question: Does anyone have a method of toning down light sapwood
in a mostly-heartwood board?
That router bit case is much nicer than many jewelry cases. I bet it is
even nicer than Rob Lee's! No brass inserts??
I could not help but wonder. Does the contents of this routerbit case cost
more than is what in the wife's jewelry box?
Also, if the router bit case is this nice, what does the shop bench look
I was REALLY looking close at those brass inserts from Lee Valley. LOL!
The wife doesn't blink an eye if I give her a $500 bracelet, but just
let me try buying $500 worth of router bits and see what happens!
Actually, a nice bench is something I'd like to tackle one day. My
current one is just of the general 2 x 4 construction workshop variety,
with a cheapo woodworking vise stuck onto one end.
Wow. Charlie. Talk about nice work. I like the table - but the box
everyone is talking about here is gorgeous. Really nice design and
choice of woods to highlight it.
Personally, I like the kind of contrast that certain sapwood patterns
provide. I am not >>personally<< that fond of large pieces that are
homogenous in appearance. I see so much plywood in case/carcass
construction these days (even in tops) that some solid woods look a
lot like plywood to me in certain presentations.
Sapwood gives a great opportunity to have a contrasting trim,
highlight area or accent, showing off real, solid wood.
Most attempts to mute the transition of sap to heartwood are performed
with diluted stains, different toners, or even thinned glazes. I
haven't had that much luck with them, and don't like the end result of
muddied grain, unnatural coloring, or being forced to change the color
of the whole piece to accomodate an off color area.
BUT... I understand if you have to tone it down a bit, it happens. My
best luck has been with spraying highly diluted dyes. As always
practice on a piece you can sand off and try again, if you need to.
You need to almost airbrush the dye on, and it is easy to do. I use
Behlens SolarLux, and like it a lot. TransTint etc., have fading
problems, but so far I have had none at all with the SolarLux product
and it has been completely compatible with every finish I use.
To start, I find the color of SolarLux I am thinking will be the best
match for the wood I am trying to match, and start there. Thin the
dye with anhydrous alcohol, 1 part dye to 3 - 4 parts alcohol. I load
mine into a cheap auto touch up gun, and hit it with medium pressure,
medium fan. Mist on the sap area. Wait ten - 15 minutes (dry to the
touch) and spray again. You coats should be really light, and you may
need 4 or 5 coats to get the match you want. But doing it this way
you can dial in the color as close as you eye will let you.
Don't be fooled by the powdery appearance of the diluted stain on your
test piece. After misting 2 -3 coats, try a little top coat finish on
the test piece, and see if it matches the test piece (with sample
finish applied) you are trying to match. The top coat will clarify
the dye and define the final color.
If you are adjusting color in a table top or flat area that has an
offending board, remember that your dye application will require less
material at the start of the sapwood area as opposed to the middle of
the sapwood area. Misting on the coats of thinned product will allow
you feather in the color transition, making the dye almost
It probably sounds harder than it is. If I have good color tones with
me, I can hone in a good match with test finish in an hour (with a
fast drying topcoat - not poly).
Not all woods are the same, and with some woods that drastically
change grain pattern and formation from the heartwood to sapwood, your
success with this method will vary. I don't know anyone else that
does it this way, but it works for me as it maintains the clarity of
the wood grains.
Really liked that router box!
Anytime. I tried to give a detailed explanation so that if you did
try it, you would have all you needed. I wasn't trying to scare
you... I should have said, "So easy a caveman could do it!".
Don't let the details throw you off.
If you get in a bind, ping me on this NG.
Keep posting your projects. They look great.
Cherry & Spalted maple?
All brass hardware
Half blind dovetails
Units stack snuggly
Pieces will never leave the shop
Nope - no going overboard herem on this
Shop Furniture Project.
AND now you can do a silver chest since
most of the design work and process has
been worked out in your prototype.
Actually, I thought the picture of the _open_ case would reveal the family
jewels ... but, nice solid gold "display" router bits in that box!! ;)
I learned to generally try to make it a feature and highly visible, front
and center, instead of dulling up a walnut finish trying to hide it.
Seems the more you try to hide it, the less satisfying the end results is.
Funny story, Swingman.....after trying a couple things and not liking
the results, I decided to convince myself that the color variation was a
"feature" of the wood. As a few days went by working on the project in
my spare time, I began to like the way the sapwood looked mixed into the
heartwood, and I decided I really had been too critical at first.
Then, when it was finished, I called in SWMBO for her final approval.
Her first comment: "Oh , that's pretty!" Second comment: "Why is that
wood kinda funky looking?"
I'm constantly in awe of the things I see here. Beautiful work.
There are times when I hesitate to click on links because I know I'll
see things I will never have the skills to do, but click anyway and I'm
You don't know that. When this group is working right, we are learning
from each other. I think you should always look, and always see
projects you would like to try yourself. You learn by doing - if you
are just getting started, you actually don't know how good you will be
when you zenith.
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