All posts filed under: Stain and Finish

Tornado Bed: I Run Into a Problem

Finally this project, which started in May, is coming to a close. Construction is complete on the Tornado Bed (or at least I thought it was – read on). I added the last of the pins for the mortise and tenon joints Friday evening. It was good to think that I would be putting away tools like my drill for the last time on this project. This week was basically a repeat of the steps I took in my last post, except I worked on the head board this time and fine tuned my process for eliminating drill tear out. In case you missed last weeks post, the process looked similar to this… My drill bit is just barely long enough to go all the way through the posts. The painters tape protects the wood from dents caused by the drill. Also I have clamped a backer board securely in place to minimize tear out. There was still a little tear out around the holes. I wonder if this is just hard to control in …

Pre-staining the Tornado Bed

I have seen two woodworkers who complete projects where the finish went on before glue-up. Upon discovering this seemingly radical approach to finishing, I thought to myself “why would you do such a thing?” Now, I had already decided to pre-finish the headboard panels due to wood movement, but I remembered how woodworker Nicholas Nelson pre-finishes most all of his components. Should I do the same? I sent Nicholas an email and asked him about pre-finishing components. He replied: “Yes, I pre-finish components before any assembly when required, which is most, heh. It makes life a heck of a lot easier instead of trying to get a good finish in corners and such.” He makes a good point. I can remember how difficult it was to finish the interior surfaces of the TV Console project – all those corners were frustrating. I also asked him about his current method of applying finish to which he said: “I actually no longer use poly or lacquer finishes. I just use thin cut coats of shellac or oil …

Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner – Product Review

Over the past decades, I have made many furniture projects out of pine. It was my wood of choice for a long time, but that changed some time ago. I began having increasing problems getting a pleasing result when staining pine. I once heard how lumber, especially woods like pine are being grown more rapidly which is problematic because this favors softer, less dense lumber. This softer wood, often with wild grain, is more likely to accept stain in different ways yielding a blotchy look. Even pine that isn’t of the rapid growth variety can stain unevenly along with maple and cherry. To combat this problem, “pre-stain conditioners” were developed to slow down the absorption of stain into wood. In theory this causes a more even color in woods like pine, but these conditioners have a side effect: this lower absorption causes a medium brown stain to become a light brown stain. And depending on characteristics of the wood, blotching can still occur. So, I have had limited success with conditioners. I subscribe to Marc …