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Archive for the ‘Wood Conversations’ Category

How to Make Walnut Woodworking Projects Look Great with Dye & Stain

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

It’s a simple reality that walnut used in woodworking projects has two troublesome traits. First, the natural dark color of walnut will fade over time due to UV light exposure. The process is slow, but it happens. Second, walnut lumber contains some pale sapwood, depending on your tastes, you either like it or not. However, there is a very easy way to make the color last a long time, make the heartwood and sapwood blend, and still maintain a nice, dark, chocolatey walnut color that’ll make your projects look beautiful.

We’ve written up the process on how to do this in 3 Great Ways to Hide Sapwood, but we decided it was time to show how it’s done with a video. The video just shows the process, and that’s where the magic is. It’s not really in the specific brands or products I’ve used here. You can use different colors of dye and stain to come up with a final appearance that suits your taste.

Post your questions at the bottom.

Walnut board dyed and stained

Two walnut boards compared. Bottom is raw, top is dyed, stained, and finished to hide the sapwood. Can you tell where the sapwood and heartwood meet? Look closely, scroll down.

Get a little closer to that finished piece, and you’ll see how well that the sapwood blends right into the dark heartwood while keeping a beautiful dark walnut color:

Walnut wood dyed to blend sapwood and heartwood

Yellow highlighter lines show the delineation between heartwood and sapwood

Build Furniture You Can Be Proud Of: Try Sapele

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Here’s a hardwood you really don’t want to miss: Sapele

Take a look:

Click for details: Krenov Style CabinetThat’s the real stuff.  You can see that it shares a likeness with mahogany, but still has a personality all of its own. Sapele comes from massive trees of 150 feet tall, and over 4 feet in diameter.  To make it better, the trunks reach about 80 before branching off so boards are clear and perfect.

And are you wondering, “Yeah, but does it make good furniture?” Take a look at this one, found on lumberjocks.com.  Click it to see the close up photos.

It’s a stunning example of design and execution, don’t you think?

And yes, the sapele in the cabinet looks very purplish – the creator mentions that he used tung oil as his finish; whereas in the comparison pictures above, I used just a swipe of mineral spirits to show how a finish brings out the ribbon stripes.

When you’re done drooling over that fine project, take a look at our supply of Sapele right here.

Mahogany: Which one is the real thing?

Sunday, September 12th, 2010
Mahogany Logs in Mexico

Mahogany Logs

Any discussion of Mahogany may be complex and confusing because there has been a lot of change in the past few years and the term “mahogany” has been applied to several woods for marketing purposes. There is no botanical connection among these different woods. I will try to keep this short and to the point but there is a lot of information available.  Click the heading name for detailed information in the Wood Library.

Today the most widely distributed and used “mahogany” in the marketplace is African mahogany. read more