Posts Tagged With: finishing

Fumed Oak Experiment

I’ve been doing some finish samples on scraps of White Oak to figure out what how I want to finish the cabinet.  I’d previously done an experiment with dyes and gel stains that gave decent results.  My only complaint was that the ray fleck figure wasn’t as dramatic as I’d hoped.

Two Samples - Dyed and Stained

Two Samples – Dyed and Stained

I decided to try fuming some scraps to see how that would work.  I set up some offcuts on the floor and made a box out of 1/8″ MDF scraps and packing tape for the fuming chamber.  I’m using Janitorial-strength Ammonia.  I know there are stronger (and weaker) concentrations, this is what I could find at the local hardware store.

Setup for fuming samples

Setup for fuming samples

I pulled a sample at three hours, another a 7 hours — and then I went to bed.  The next sample came out this morning before work, at about 17 hours.  I left a few pieces in until this afternoon, clocking in at 24 hours.  This pic shows the range from zero to three, seven, 17 and 24 hours.  The color is progressive, although it’s not as clear in the photograph as it is in person.

Samples, no fuming on the left, then 3, 7, 17,and 24 hours

Samples, no fuming on the left, then 3, 7, 17,and 24 hours

Same samples, another view

Same samples, another view

I had a larger piece in with the samples that I pulled at 17 hours.  It’s fairly dark compared to the un-fumed sample.  I rubbed in a coat of plain linseed oil, gave it a quick topcoat of garnet shellac and a coat of brown wax.  Here is the comparison with the original two finish samples.  I don’t know if I like the fumed sample, I’ll need to look at it in the daylight.  The ray flecks seem more distinct, but it’s “brown-er” than I wanted.  Hmmm…

Fumed oak in the middle

Fumed oak in the middle

 

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Sample Finish

I’ve never used Quartersawn White Oak before, so I’m experimenting with some different finishes.  I’ve done two samples so far, using a combination of Aniline dye and gel stain.  The sample on the left was dyed with Brown Mahogany first, then stained with General Finishes “Candlelight” gel stain.  The sample on the right got Medium Brown aniline dye followed with Walnut gel stain.  I top coated with two think coats of blond shellac, rubbed out with 0000 steel wool and waxed with a brown wax.

I want a little more contrast between the ray flacks and the rest of the board, but this is pretty good I think.  If I let the dye dry overnight and then rub the surface with steel wool or a scotchbrite pad I think the way flecks will lighten up a bit more — they don’t seem to get any color from the gel stain.

I prefer the color of the left sample, it has a little more red in it.

I’m going to try fuming a sample with ammonia too (followed by a coat of linseed oil, garnet shellac and brown wax) and see how that comes out.

Two Samples

Two Samples

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