I usually leave Maple alone and just produce white pieces with clear
lac or slightly yellowed with NC lac. However, in a batch of 4/4 and
5/4 Maple that showed up for a project, one 8" x 8' 4/4 piece has nice
curly figure on the whole board all the way through.
So I pulled this piece aside and I think I have a project in mind where
this can provide a nice table top for a console/couch/hall table.
So what pointers can anyone give me for accentuating the figure? I'm
willing to try a very subtle finish or even go dark if that's the best.
I plan on running some tests first of course but just looking for
ideas. I suppose dye would be bad because it's to even and I want
something that will provide more contrast... no?
The wood will provide the contrast. What you're seeing is light returning
to your eye at different angles. Dye won't change that, only the color.
Pretty common technique to use something light yellowish brown or a dilute
real brown. Just don't mess up that reflection with a satin finish that
scatters the light randomly. Nice smooth transparent finish will do fine.
Strange that this should come up again today. I'm putting the finishing
touches on a bathroom vanity, in soft maple. There is such nice figure in
the wood that I've gone with a dewaxed superblonde shellac, and will top
coat it with a water-white finish, to provide a modicum of protection
against bathroom chemicals.
Except for one part, where I'm using a burnt sienna dye stain, to provide
some contrast. The quilter in the family suggested that we needed some
Where are you getting your maple? I'm in the East Bay, too, and finding
another supplier never hurts.
Thanks for the info.
This batch came from "Hardwoods" http://hardwoods-inc.com /, they have a
Livermore location. I work out of a cabinet shop and the owner told me
he was using these guys as his new supplier. I order through his
business to get his discount and have it delivered with his shipments.
He was really happy that these Hardwwods guys were beating everybody's
prices... until he noticed the $35 freight charge on every order. They
do have good prices. They had #1 Pine for the price I pay for #2 at
Higgins. Their Baltic Birch was $18 something where everyone else is
Now the owner tells me to go back to ordering from Higgins or PALS.
Honestly, I like to go to PALS in Oakland and hand pick when I can but
that means a Saturday for me and sometimes I can't wait, so I just
First use a dilute black dye then lightly sand it when it's dry. Then
use a brown dye (antique maple or something of the sort). Boiled
linseed oil over that then rubbed out shellac or laquer. This may
exaggerate the figure beyond what you want but for some projects it's
(remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
Have you seen this one?
I have used variants on this several times with success. You can cut way
down on the aniline and it still works well. Here's an example of one I
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.