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Thread: Mahogany and maple

  1. #1
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    Mahogany and maple

    I am turning the final corner to head into the home straight on my vanity table and need to start asking a few finishing questions here.

    I have never worked with Mahogany before but this stuff is wirery or stringy and very seemingly porous. I dont quiet know how to describe it but its like hair glued together.

    So i been thinking i guess i should be thinking of sealing it before any finish?

    So if i use shellac then what should i put over it?

    Do i use any stain? i like the redish color its got naturally and hoping it will contrast nice with the maple.

    One thing though what would help get the mahogany consistent. Seems to have shades from light to dark across the wood. When i was planing and jointing this stuff it sure had some mean tear out at times but i got that sorted. Seems like wild wood.

    Then what do i do on the maple. Some of it is tiger maple, how to do i get the stripes to pop more. Its probably not top grade tiger maple but its definitely got the stripes in it and i managed to have the stripes run horizontal across the frame.

    I aint doing BLO on this job and have got wipe on poly satin but i was wondering what prep work i should do on the mahogany and maple.

    I am clueless when it comes to finishing and this has been a long haul so i dont want to mess it up in the final straight but i am now wanting to get it done and out the way.

    Any advice and help or guidance will be most appreciated. This is my first real piece of furniture that i would be prepared to even call furniture.

    Fire away please i gotta get my mind around this.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    Rob I will be back on my pc tomorrow and can give the full low down of working these to woods. I just can not do it on my phone. later
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  3. #3
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    Man, I really wish I was smart enough to answer that question. I hope you get (I know you will) a great answer,

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
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    On the mahogany, which is pretty porous, I'd use a sanding sealer before the finish coat. Dewaxed shellac (the Bullseye spray can stuff is dewaxed) would probably allow the most options for finish coat choices. Personally, I like the color variations, but Dave can probably chime in with good ways to even out the color.

    On the maple, the best way I know to pop the grain is to use BLO or another similar penetrating oil, even an oil-based wipe-on varnish like Antique Oil or Danish oil. After that has cured, a light shot of two of dewaxed shellac will allow you to use just about anything you want for a finish coat.

    I know you said you're not wanting to use BLO on this one, but if it were me, I'd use BLO on the whole thing, then seal with shellac, and use a film finish (either poly or lacquer) for the final few coats.

    [Edit to add]

    Ah...I see Dave is faster on his phone than I am on my PC. I'll be looking forward to seeing what he has to suggest.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Here you go Rob;
    shellac 1st for an easy seal. What I like to do with raw mahogany is to apply 3 piss coats of lacquer sealer then sand with 320 and then apply 2 full coats of sealer and sand after that mix 2 part brown mahogany and 1 part hickory and 1/2 dark green. Another good mix is Vandyke brown 1 part 1/2 part brown mahogany. Use behlin stains. If your looking to fill the grain on raw wood apply 2 full coats and then with a damp lacquer rag wipe off in then direction of the grain and then sand with 320 and apply 2 full coats sand and color. For maple to get the 2 tone effect use behlin stain, this a little with denature alcohol. use a warm brown as your 1st stain. That will penetrate the soft wood. Let it dry and then sand lightly to remove the stain from the hard wood. 2nd stain should be a yellow / brown maple mixture. This will not effect the dark stain much and will stain the hard wood. The seal with 3 coats of lacquer before you sand lightly.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  6. #6
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    Thanks Dave, Vaughn and others. I will get some additional wood from the batch planed up and experiment.
    cheers

  7. #7
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    Rob I'm not sure if this is what your looking for with the Maple. The rifles I made in Curly maple are stained with alcohol stains.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1526.JPG  
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  8. #8
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    rob, do you have a spray system? if not then daves method might be tougher to do..
    i would suggest the shellac first as well, and no BLO..but there are more knowledgeable folks telling yu what they feel is right..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
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    Rob I was thinking another easier way for the maple would be behlin stain dark 1st then wipe with alcohol light sand to open the hard grain and stain with lighter color tone. Wipe the stains on with a cloth.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  10. #10
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    Just thinking about the vanity table Rob, I suspect she may use some hairspray, nail polish, remover and other sticky corrosive stuff. I don't know what kind of finish would protect the piece if she got some on it
    Just a thought
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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