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Thread: How to keep the osage orange yellow color?

  1. #1
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    How to keep the osage orange yellow color?

    Hi guys.

    Not being able to work yet, and only type with caution I opt to ask questions that may be useful in the future.

    Thanks to Frank Fusco I got a couple of pieces of osage orange wood. Is there any way of maintaining that initial bright yellow colour?

    UV filter varnish if that exists?

    Thanks in advance
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  2. #2
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    Hi Tony
    Sadly, the only way to keep that beautiful color is to put your OO item in a completely dark vault. Light is the villain, the ultra-violet/UV rays are what make it turn dark.
    Yes, spar varnishes as are used on boats contain UV inhibitors and will delay the inevitable darkening. I have been advised, by someone here that knows boats (Travis maybe?) that only the best spar varnishes are any good and even those lose their effectiveness with time.
    Sanding the surface will bring back the bright, but that can only be done so many times.
    I'll take the wood back in it's present form if you are unhappy.
    Take care and get well soon.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I'll take the wood back in it's present form if you are unhappy.
    Very thoughtful offer Frank.!

    Toni, I just looked a book about turning and there was a 30yr old OO bowl with a picture just after it was finished as well. I have to say the 30yr old patina looked better than the fresh yellow. Just my opinion though.

    Hope someone has an option that will work for you.
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  4. #4
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    Toni's question brings up a related question - is there any place (book, web site, etc.) that gives data on color change of wood with age? That is, some place that tells you what color a species of wood will age to in, say, 10-20 years.

    Anyone know of a source?

    Mike
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    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Hi Tony
    I'll take the wood back in it's present form if you are unhappy.
    Take care and get well soon.
    No way man! What is given is given! We say here " Santa Rita, Rita, Rita, lo que se da no se quita" But if you send me some more with a blade I can make plane for you ( when I'm healed)

    I was asking because I met a man wo makes some sort of intarsia pictures using very little pieces. I thought that he would be happy to have some brighter colour than the different brown,ochre hues he is getting. So I coud give him the small scraps I got when I made the plane.

    He doesn't stain the pieces at all, and I must say that the results are impressive. Next time I see him I'll ask to be allowed to take some pics I can post.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  6. #6
    I have been successful with keeping the colors longer (I say longer because time will do its duties as well as sun light) Using a Water Based Finish as the first application. The WB finishes are milky when applied and dry clear and seem to lock the surface color intact. I use the WB finish when working with Holly and have been successful with Osage Orange. You can then follow up with your favorite finish, top coat. Then keep from Sun and the fumes from Gas heat which will hasten the darkening.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I have been successful with keeping the colors longer (I say longer because time will do its duties as well as sun light) Using a Water Based Finish as the first application. The WB finishes are milky when applied and dry clear and seem to lock the surface color intact. I use the WB finish when working with Holly and have been successful with Osage Orange. You can then follow up with your favorite finish, top coat. Then keep from Sun and the fumes from Gas heat which will hasten the darkening.
    so are you suggesting that gas heat fumes would cause cherry to darken faster as well bill?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I have been successful with keeping the colors longer (I say longer because time will do its duties as well as sun light) Using a Water Based Finish as the first application. The WB finishes are milky when applied and dry clear and seem to lock the surface color intact. I use the WB finish when working with Holly and have been successful with Osage Orange. You can then follow up with your favorite finish, top coat. Then keep from Sun and the fumes from Gas heat which will hasten the darkening.
    Sorry, Bill. But, I am certain that even with your water based finish, the colors will darken at the same rate as without. About two years ago, I did a simple experiment with OO darkening. Some was exposed directly to the sun, some was exposed under a part-time fluorescent lamp, some was exposed under a grow-lite and some was kept in the dark. Some pieces were finished, most were not. Unsurprising results showed, more light, quicker darkening. Clear finish coats made no difference in rate of darkening.
    Let us know if your WB finish prevents, or slows, the darkening.

  9. #9
    I did a piece a couple years ago, used the WB for control and it is setting in a well lighted area (although not on the window sill) Off I am to take a look... OMG Such a mellow light sandy brown.... Is it too soon to retract that statement?

    But it is working with the Holly wood pieces as they are as white as the day they were finished. I noticed a small bowl had turned the cameral color as well but the bottom is still yellow. (shows you how long sinse it was moved)

    I stand corrected and Bow to the Fusco

    Larry: "so are you suggesting that gas heat fumes would cause cherry to darken faster as well bill?"
    I have heard for years that fumes from gas heat will darken or hasten the darkening of wood, a well vented sealed Gas fireplace is an exception as there should be no gas fumes in the house but open flames from gas stoves do permiate the area with fumes. Or it may be soot?

    I do know Sun will produce a darkening of Cherry and lightening of Walnut and Oak. Don't know if it is the UV rays or just the light.

    As for the WB finish keeping the yellow in Osage Orange, At least it kept it yellow for a while longer, seems like it was yellow a long time but almost overnight it has mellowed out.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 10-03-2008 at 01:02 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I did a piece a couple years ago, used the WB for control and it is setting in a well lighted area (although not on the window sill) Off I am to take a look... OMG Such a mellow light sandy brown.... Is it too soon to retract that statement?

    But it is working with the Holly wood pieces as they are as white as the day they were finished. I noticed a small bowl had turned the cameral color as well but the bottom is still yellow. (shows you how long sinse it was moved)

    I stand corrected and Bow to the Fusco



    I have heard for years that fumes from gas heat will darken or hasten the darkening of wood, a well vented sealed Gas fireplace is an exception as there should be no gas fumes in the house but open flames from gas stoves do permiate the area with fumes. Or it may be soot?

    I do know Sun will produce a darkening of Cherry and lightening of Walnut and Oak. Don't know if it is the UV rays or just the light.

    As for the WB finish keeping the yellow in Osage Orange, At least it kept it yellow for a while longer, seems like it was yellow a long time but almost overnight it has mellowed out.

    I would be thrilled if someone could find the magic formula that would keep OO that lovely, brilliant orange/yellow color.
    There was a product on the market several years ago sold by the "Lumber Lady" that seemed to work quite well. Unfortunately she died and her business went with her. Whatever her 'stuff' was remains a mystery.

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