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Finishing end grain

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Anonymous

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Hi All

I'm in the process of making a modest coffee table out of pine.

It has suddenly occured to me that the end grain is going to show on two sides of the top. As the corners are going to be heavily curved a bread board edge isn't going to be practical (at least I don't think so) so, my question is, how do you folks stop the end grain from soaking up too much of the finish and going too dark. The finish is going to be a water based stain.

Thanks
 

Dog

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Good question! I like my projects end grain to stain up darker but there will come a time when I'll want the stain to be even all round, someone in here knows I'm sure ?
 

Waka

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Rookie

W way around the end grain problem is to put some beadind around the complete perimeter of the table top, this way you will not only hide the end grain but also end up with a nice feature to the top.

Failing that not to sure what I would do.

Waka
 

johnelliott

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My advice would be to not worry about it, just finish the end grain the same way as the rest of it. People expect end grain to be darker, I doubt if anyone will even comment on it.
John
 
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Anonymous

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Try sealing the end grain before applying the main finish. Possibly sander sealer might do it but I believe a lot of people seal it with Shellac

Of course, you should experiment on an offcut before attacking the finished table

Cheers

Tony
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for all the replys.

The coffee table is now ready for the finish - if only I can decide what to do :?

Do I use a shellac sanding sealer, danish oil, or tung oil. Before or after the project is treated with the wood dye.

I'd like to have the project protected from water spillage and heat - as it's a coffee table it's likely to get a bit of abuse.

I have to admit there's plenty of advice around on how to cut and build, but is it just me, or is the finishing part more difficult :shock:
 

Dog

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I think you've hit the nail on the head Rookie. Certain kinds of finishing, as with many things, take practice to get it right for finishing the project. As Tony rightly says, experiment first on scraps and then you'll, hopefully, get your end grain finished nicely but if that goes belly up or you decide to do something else then you could try Waka's suggestion ;)

Done a quick search and here's a few good links for you or anyone else including me!
http://woodworking.about.com/od/finishing/
http://www.woodcentral.com/dresdner/dres1.shtml
http://www.finefurniturefinishing.com/newsletter3.html
http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/tech/fin ... _knobs.htm
http://www.furnituregalleryinc.com/info/tips.html
http://www.sankey.ws/pine.html
http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/Finis ... shing.html
http://www.cabinetmaking.co.uk/FinishingTips.htm
 

trevtheturner

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Hi Rookie,

Don't have the answer to your question but I offer the following considerations FWIW.

You mentioned that the corners are heavily curved, so the use of a beading around the edge is starting to sound horribly complicated and perhaps not worth contemplating. (Sounds as though you are past this stage anyway?).

I would not expect a stain or dye to be effective over a sanding sealer. A sanding sealer, by its nature seals the wood, so it is unlikely that the colouring agent would 'take' properly and evenly, if at all. As far as I know a stain or dye should always be applied to bare wood, with the final finish then applied over it.

You might consider using 'Patina', available from Screwfix - apparently easy to apply with a cloth, much like a wax, to produce a water resistant and heatproof finish. (If you search this forum you'll find more info. on 'Patina').

As already suggested, trial and error on offcuts is the way to go.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Martin

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Hi Rookie,

[Disclaimer: not an expert in finishing by any means, so please treat the following accordingly :wink: ]

I've heard of 2 tips for the end-grain problem:

1. Sand the end grain with a higher grit (smoother) paper than the rest of the peice. The numbers I saw suggested were 600grit for end grain and 200 or 300 for everything else. The theory is that the smoother finish will inhibit the stain somewhat and balance out the colour.

2. Dampen the end grain with a sponge before applying the stain. Having soaked up some moisture from the sponge the end grain shouldn't take as much stain.

Never tried either of these so as Tony says, experiment first (and let us know the outcome :) ).

As for the sanding sealer, completely agree with Trev - it will block absorbtion of the stain so you'd need to stain first.

Hope that's of some help.

Regards,
Martin.
 
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Anonymous

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Lots of good info here, thanks guys.

Thought you might like to see said coffee table, it's only my 3rd project. (be kind ... :D )

Top is made from 3 boards biscuit jointed. The legs I have to admit to buying from B&Q as spindles - no lath yet :cry: can only manage to learn so much at a time :D



It is destined for a neighbour who couldn't find a small table with rounded corners and needed it to be "child friendly" so muggins here voluntiered to make it. designed to be similar to one they already have thats quite "chunky" I thought it would be nice and simple, but has turned out to be more complex - getting everything square - than I'd imagined. Spindles and rails are pocket screw and glue joints (Rutlands pocket screw jig - very good) top rounded to give a bead line (?) for effect.

Certainly has been a lot of fun, and I've learned from it.

I'm now a bit paranoid on the finishing bit unless I spoil it... :shock:
 

Gary H

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Still trying to get the 'woodshack' watertight in
Very nice rookie.
No shame in byuing legs if you haven't the means to make them. Mine are all square/tapered due to no lathe (and a tight fist!!! :D ).
I like the delicacy of the piece as a whole and dont worry too much about the end grain finishing darker on the top. It's quite a long area so it will be a feature rather than an 'error' if it is slightly darker. I like it to show that way anyhow! :wink:

Post some pics when you've finished, won't you?

3rd project??? Naaah. Don't believe you!! :D :D

Ta muchly

Gary
 
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Anonymous

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Gary H

Thanks for the nice comments.

Actually it's my 4th project, but the first was a wooden apex roofed canopy for above the front door. So as that's more a constructional item, I'm not counting that one :D

Photo's will be shown when the table is finally finished 8)
 

Dog

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That is a very nice looking table Rookie. I've yet to approach 'furniture' but not just yet. Look forward to the pictures of the finished item.
 
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Anonymous

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Well it's now show and tell time :D



3 coats of Chestnut Antique Pine stain
2 coats of Chestnut Finish Oil with a 3rd on the top

The end grain didn't seem to cause a problem, and I used 240g sanding all over. Thanks for all the advice.

The neighbours existing pine furniture is quite dark brown, this is close which is what they wanted. The space this is going to fill is very restricted so a delicate looking but hopefully kiddie resistant piece was what I was trying to achieve - I think I'm reasonably happy.

It's quite difficult to photograph as the 3rd coat on the top has given it quite a shine as you can see from the reflection of the bench leg on the left. This will probably dull down in time (Terry?) which'll be just fine.

It's now hand over time to the new owners.... well, suppose I have to... they'd better use coasters under them there cups :twisted:

Has been a fun project as they say.
 

Terry Smart

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Hi Rookie

That looks great to me too!

The finish will dull slightly after time, but more through wear than due to the nature of the finish. It will take a while though, so I hope that's okay.

If you'd like to email the picture to me I'd like to put it in the gallery on our website if that's okay with you, because yes, it is a good advert for us!
 
A

Anonymous

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Thank you, (bows) embarrassed now.... :oops:

I still think the finishing is the hard part, 'cos once you start I'm not sure how easy it is (if at all) to go back if you mess it up.

I wasn't intending it to be an advert for Chestnut products, but....

Seriously though folks, I'm fed up with buying cans of stain and waxes that either don't give the same finish as on the tin, or just don't work out. I purchased a pack of er, we'll call em "brand C" :D tester pots which is a wonderful idea, (why more manufacturers don't do it beats me) I experimented with different colours and mixes before going for the "live" one.

I just used a foam brush (new to me) found it much better than a conventional brush and took my time.

Thanks to all on the forum for the help and the posts, I don't post much due to lack of knowledge but I do read pretty much everything - helps when you work from home :D

Poppy, the pooch was brassed off, 'cos I was more interested in taking the photo's than getting her dinner ready :roll:

Terry
will send a selection of photo's (yippee famous at last, well for 5 minutes at least )
 
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