Red Oak from HD or Lowe's finishes just like anyone else's (It is just a LOT
more expensive.). I have had good luck with MinWax products as well as
others. Main thing is thorough sanding and preparation. Sand to at least
220 and 400 is better. If you want a super slick finish sand to 400 then
burnish with 600 or a piece of brown paper bag. Wipe on poly provides an
easy and attractive finish.
If you are buying much oak, find a local mill or hardwood dealer. If you
convert the borg's liner foot prices to board foot pricing, they are
obscene - up to $7-8/bd ft. Hardwood shops and mills in our area sell red
oak for $2.89 to $4.20 bd ft (premium). It is even cheaper 150 miles east
of here in Missouri or Arkansas.
Regardless of where you buy it, the better the quality stain you get the
Personally I finish sand with 180 grit and never go any farther. As for
the actual stain you should always wipe it off after applying. I perfer
Bartleys gel stains and General Finishes stains. Wipe them on and before
they get too dry, wipe them off.
I agree, on red oak 180 usually works well. My tops go to 220 but then you
run into a bit of trouble with two different absorption rates of stain.
FWIW when I use Minwax stain (their regular stain) I spray on and don't wipe
Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
rough spots as I like the rough raised grain. I also used wipe on poly on
the two projects I made, sanding lightly after each of the first two coats,
and I like the looks of that. Just my preferences, others will vary(that
sounds familiar). Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
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