Tim, what is the best finish for maple? I realize "best" is subjective. I
bought some honey amber dye -- and was going to try that on this cherry and
maple music stand I"m building. I'm trying to really highlight the figured
maple, since it really is only on the 4 legs and the vertical rails of the
I was thinking hit it with a light concentration of the dye, then either
shellac or spray it with lacquer. The only problem is, there are cherry
parts to this, and I wasn't sure if I should try to do something else to
them. Honey Amber dye on cherry doesn't sound good at alllll....
Either that, or I'm leaving it completely natural and using boiled linseed
I personally favor the light, natural look for maple. BLO or other oil
finish will bring out the grain and warm it up nicely. I currently am
favoring oil with shellac if I want more protection and some gloss. My
current maple project will get danish oil and maybe shellac.
For the combination of maple and cherry I would think that BLO would
give you perhaps the best overall look - especially as the cherry
darkens with age. I have never worked with cherry, so my opinions
there are rather suspect.
using the Denatured alcohol as a conditioner is fairly common from what I
here, paint thiner can be used to, it's been my experience that wood
conditioner, like minwax's, works a little better, and you don't have to
work as fast, but at 4x+ the cost I don't know if it's worth it
Cox West wrote:
First project I ever made was Poplar. It worked easily enough,
but I remember being disappointed with the appearance - too bland.
Until I put the stain on it... Livened it up really nicely.
I just went & looked at it again - still looks good to me.
On Sat, 11 Dec 2004 18:59:37 -0800, "Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"
HD does not sell any in expensive wood.... !
But I use Poplar more then I like because the projects I am making
(for my wife) have to sell at a price point so darn low that I there
is no way to use even expensive lumber like number 2 common pine....
But if you put on a sealer...then use a gel stain you should be able
to have it look pretty good... I am in the process right now of trying
to mix my own dyes then spraying the finish... NOT having much luck
yet with this but I have only been playing for a few days...
I use Bartlets stain most of the time...just never got good resuylts
using minwax products....
It's possible to buy S2S poplar in most areas for under 2 bucks a BF. How much
is HD getting for their S4S? Enough to float a loan for a hand plane? It planes
"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to." Mark Twain
Probably easier'n every other wood, soft or hard. Planing poplar doesn't
even count as practicing.
I didn't raise the S2S/S4S HD ripoff question because I figured the OP was
in the same situation I used to be in. I made stuff out of poplar because
Lowe's was the only place I knew to get wood, and it was all I could afford
at their exorbitant prices. I made the best of it.
Once I discovered a place to buy real wood, I've never bought poplar there,
even though it's cheap. For what I was paying for S4S poplar (with wider
than 3" boards done as glue-ups, no less) I can afford a similar quantity
of walnut. Let's see, walnut is available. What wood do I want?
It hasn't saved me a dime finding a cheaper source of wood. :)
I really need to look elsewhere still, but I guess I don't care enough to
drive out to some yonder (Bedford, say) or fool with mail ordering or
whatever. I don't think I would build much more, or much bigger stuff than
I do if I had a whole tree cut up and stacked somewhere, and somewhere to
stack a whole tree. I have a little bitty shop, and I favor either purely
utilitarian projects made out of whatever crap salvage I can scrounge (my
Frankenstein music stand, or trebuchet, say) or else I do small projects in
(predominantly) walnut that take me weeks or months to complete.
I'm not really aiming to do things faster, or put more wood through the shop
just to be doing things in a hurry, and I don't mind doing a little bit to
ensure I can continue to go buy wood on the other side of town whenever I
want to, even if their prices are high.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
"Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott"
Poplar blotches like crazy if you use a pigment stain (aka Minwax, etc.).
It's best to use a dye based stain.
If you must use a pigment stain (we had to so we could match the door
moulding w/ some other ancient door mouldings), do this:
- use a wood sealer
- use spray on polyurethane in a can
- put the pigment stain on (which now sits on the surface)
- use spray on polyurethane in a can
- use helmsman poly for a few more coats w/ sanding after each coat
This lets the pigment sit on the surface of the poplar (yeah, I know,
If you've never used poplar, try some first. And use dye based
stain if you can (even if it fades in sunlight)...
Poplar is also pretty soft, so it's prone to denting. Cuts very
I have great luck staining Poplar. I used to look down on it as a cheap
wood but It is so easy to work and stains to look like anything I want,
I really like it now. Find a commercial wood supplier and you'll pay
about 1/2 as much as you do at HD.
Here is an example of a Poplar project
I used General Finishes Rosewood stain with shellac over that. It's a
water based finish so be sure to raise the grain with watre and knock
it down first. Woodcraft carries the General Finishes products.
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