I bought some quilted maple and have sanded (to 220) and varnished a scrappy
piece just to see what it looks like.
There are a few small spots, that correspond to the deepest figure, where
the varnish doesn't adhere well. I applied two coats (of wipe on), than
sanded (with 320) and put on third, but rough spots are still there. The
unvarnished wood seems perfectly smooth, so I don't think it is a matter of
using finer sand paper.
Am I doing something wrong or is it the nature of quilted maple?
Really pretty though.
220 is still a bit coarse. Try getting down finer after you've sanded so that
the whole surface is smooth.
With nearly everything I finish, I get down to 600 because I sort of "polish"
the wood first before putting on finish. The first coat goes on a bit heavier,
and then sand starting at 220 or 320 and get to 600. Tack cloth, and then more
finish and sand, etc. until I get 4-6 coats and then it really starts to be
FWIW, I have a mandolin made by Flatiron when they were in Bozeman, Montana and
it's back, sides and neck are made from Quilt. The finish is like a mirror and
shows the tremendous figure since the instrument was made for a NAMM show.
"The measure of a man is what he will do
Probably just varnish soaking into some exposed endgrain. You say "wipe-On",
does that mean the severely thinned stuff? If so, as has been said, twice
is not enough.
I wouldn't bother polishing the wood - polish the finish.
My own experience working with quilted maple - have done a lot of it lately.
Western Maple (where the quilted stuff comes from) behaves a lot differently
than the more traditional hard eastern maples we usually use. It's a much
softer, more open grained wood. I've found the grain raises rather
dramatically with the first coat of just about any finish. Best result is
after your last sanding, wet it to raise the grain, sand lightly with 220 or
so, then repeat. Only then should you bother to start the finishing process.
As far as how far to go with sanding. Not much reason to go beyond 220 (as
long as done PROPERLY) if you're using a surface finish like a true varnish.
Then you do your sanding/polishing on the built up finish. But if you're
using a wipe on oil type finish, taking the sanding to 600 grit or so gives
you a good burnish on the wood, prevents it from absorbing as much of the
wipe on finish and allows you to get a quicker build of the finish.
For a couple of quilted maple jewelry boxes I've built recently, I've done
this: Sanded to 220, raised the grain once with water, resanded with 220.
Then gave the wood a thorough soaking with Deft danish oil. Then I use the
Beall buffing system and buff the finish out. The final look really makes
the figure pop and the beall carnuba wax final buff really puts a good gloss
on the piece.
Just my 2 cents.
Gary in KC
Hmmm. I must confess some ignorance. I've heard of spalted maple, wormy
maple, hard maple, and soft maple. But I've never heard of quilted
maple. What is it? I have not consulted Bruce Hoadley's _Understanding
Wood_ or any other source, mainly because I don't have them and I don't
want to drive to the library. Thought it might be easier to just
It's a figure common in the left coast broadleaf (soft) maple. Looks a lot
like what out eastern curly looks like on the face grain.
I asked metacrawler.
On 15 Jan 2005 07:28:55 -0800, "Never Enough Money"
DAGS with images. It's hard to describe except to say it's gorgeous.
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells
'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets
fly with a club.
-- John W. Cambell Jr.
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