I scraped and sanded the exterior of the cabinet today. I sanded through 220, wet the surface to raise the grain, and scuff sanded with 320 after that. Then I started building color, starting with a water dye.
I decided I liked the sample with the Brown Mahogany dye and Candelite gel stain combination. To try to get more contrast I diluted the dye a bit more than the concentration I used on the sample. My rationale was that the gel stain didn’t seem to affect the color of the ray flecks much (or maybe at all). It colors the regular straight grain, and darkens the pores of the wood, but didn’t seem to affect the ray flecks. So, my thinking is that I’ll get a better contrast this way. We’ll see…
I decided to hold off on installing the back until after the finish is on, so here we go.
Dye applied, wiped down and drying. I let the dye dry for an hour, then rubbed the surfaces with a maroon scotchbrite pad to remove any raised grain, and remove a little color from the very top surface. The color is a little weird at this point, and I’m more than a little nervous.
Rubbing the parts out with the scotchbrite seemed to make the ray flecks a little brighter, but it’s a subtle thing. The 1/2″ x 1/4″ strips are to make the stops that will hold the glass, I’ll cut them to fit after I’ve done the glass insert.
Next I applied the gel stain. Not much to that, I brushed it on in a nice thick coat and let it set for a few minutes, then wiped it off. After wiping the gel stain off I wiped everything down with linseed oil and left it to dry overnight. Tomorrow I’ll see how it looks. If it needs any touch ups I’ll deal with that, otherwise I’ll apply a couple of coats of shellac and rub it out with steel wool and wax.
I like the color, I think this is going to work out OK.
I’m happy with the color, although I think it could be a little darker. I may put a coat of garnet shellac on it to get a little more color tomorrow. And I’ll wax it with brown wax, which will help too. TomorrowI should be able to finish the finish, install the back and start on the stained glass panel.