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Seasoning wood.


Maude

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5 hours ago, Si600 said:

I bought some 40 x 200 x 3000 from the DIY shed a couple of weeks ago. It felt nice and light and I bought the flattest ones I could find.

 

They've all cupped to a greater or lesser extent. Poxy things.

 

You say that as if cupping is a bad thing...

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I have a couple of slabs of very heavy Aussie eucalypt which I keep as the top boards for wood stacks. Everything gets stacked with slats between layers and then the last layer if the heavy eucalypt slabs. That keeps everything nice and flat while things acclimatize for a few months. (or longer)  Wide, flat cut boards, are always a bit touch and go, their natural inclination is to cup as they dry. No system is foolproof, some wood will do it's own thing once released from the stack, but at least careful stacking and drying reduces the chances.

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On 26/11/2021 at 12:28, Stub Mandrel said:

 

I see Axminster have some very nice bits of timber are surprisingly sensible prices, including Sycamore and Ash. Do you have an idea how well-seasoned their stock is?

Is that in store or online? Not seen any timber on the website

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21 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

 In store, up to six feet long, oak, ash, sycamore, beech.

Ah, cheers. Shame the closest Axminster to me is about 3 hours away 🙁 not many local hardwoods suppliers near me, certainly none supplying appropriate sizes for guitar/bass building. Thank goodness for the internet!

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  • 3 months later...
Posted (edited)

Update time, but sadly only on the bathroom counter, not a bass body. 

 

I cut, shaped and sanded the counter top today. The wood has been sat outside but undercover since I got it. It seems OK to make my counter top with but time will tell. I'm not overly worried if it warps slightly or splits a little as it's supposed to be on the rustic side anyway. I've PVA'd the freshly cut ends to limit rapid moisture loss and hopefully prevent any further splitting. The main slab has a rather large split from one end limiting it's use for a bass body, I'll see what I can salvage, but the salvageable part doesn't have great spalting. Hey ho, it was bought for the counter top so so be it. 

 

What I'd like to know from all you good lutheiry folks is what's recommended for adding a little colour. 

I'm not sure exactly what I want and I'll be doing a couple of test pieces with offcuts, but I'd like to just buy one product and get on with it. 

 

I'll explain with pictures. 

 

This is just the dry bare wood, no photo editing so a fairly good representation of true colour. 

pPkFKoo.jpeg

 

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pccBeMF.jpeg

 

B3l7xm1.jpeg

 

 

Then this is it with white spirit wiped over it. 

BrgZsRP.jpeg

 

fdI6LBI.jpeg

 

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tEfwXu8.jpeg

 

 

The colour is much better with white spirit on it, but I think I'd like it slightly darker, more like the heartwood (?) strip in the centre beside the sink in the last picture. 

 

The problem is that whatever I put on that darkens it will also darken all the lighter areas, and I like the contrast. 

I've used calligraphy inks before and they work well. I could use a sepia ink and 'colour in' the darker areas, leaving the lighter parts. How successful that would be, whole knows. One for a test peice. 

Another option is to just oil it and hope it darkens enough but leaves a good contrast. 

If oiled, would using a slurry and buff method cause the slurry from the darker areas to taint the lighter areas? 

Are there tinted oils? 

 

Whatever I apply to darken the colour needs to be compatible with being overpainted in 2k poly lacquer. 

 

Any ideas folks? 

🙂👍

Edited by Maude
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32 minutes ago, Maude said:

what's recommended for adding a little colour. 

 

Any ideas folks? 

 

 

Dulux have a range of pigmented wood coating...

 

 

Stunning bit of wood there, could you use something like chopping board oil?

 

Sorry, just remembered you wanted to lacquer it afterwards.  Or not lacquer just oil it occasionally? 

Edited by Si600
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2 minutes ago, Si600 said:

 

Dulux have a range of pigmented wood coating...

 

 

Stunning bit of wood there, could you use something like chopping board oil?

 

Sorry, just remembered you wanted to lacquer it afterwards.  Or not lacquer just oil it occasionally? 

 

The reason I want to lacquer it is that it will end up with water being sat on it, being in a bathroom. 

I think any oil finish will end up with white marks where the water has sat. Or it will go sticky with the high humidity. 

These worries might be unjustified, I don't know. It's just very easy for me to give it a good few coats of automotive lacquer to make it completely waterproof. 

 

The more I look at it the more I think I should just bring the natural colour out with an oil that dries hard and then lacquer. 

I guess an oil will be similar to the pictures with white spirit on. 

 

I know who's done a lot of home oil finishing, calling @Andyjr1515. 😁

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2 hours ago, Jimothey said:

You can oil it to bring out the grain then let it dry thoroughly then you can use water based polyurethane over the top and it won't react..... 👍🏻 

 

From what I understand, as long as it is a drying oil (polymerising) then solvent based lacquer will be fine, once the oil is fully cured. 

I've never tried it though. 

This was my first plan as I have a few gallons of solvent based 2k acrylic polyurethane lacquer knocking around at home, as you do. 😁

 

What's the easiest, most foolproof oil I can use. 

There seemed to be a favourite on here but I can't remember what it was now. 

I'll have to do some more digging. 

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On a few of my recent basses to name one my 51 p bass build I used tinted danish oil then used quick drying water based polyurethane and its have been fine butas far as I understand I don't think solvent based lacquer can be used over a solvent based stain as the solvent in the lacquer will dissolve the stain?.... 👍🏻 

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13 hours ago, Maude said:

I know who's done a lot of home oil finishing, calling @Andyjr1515. 😁

Hmmm...trouble is, the items I cover in oil and varnish aren't usually subjected to steam, splashes and hot mugs on a regular basis (well, other than those played in heavy metal bands) xD

 

But if it was a bass that I knew would be caught in a rain shower every now and then... ;)

 

...in terms of an oil finish for the timber colour and surface finish and then a polyurethane finish for the waterproofing, I would personally use Tru-oil followed by a decent polyurethane gloss. 

I would use the Tru-oil first as the grain filler by wet-and-dry wet sanding the piece, probably using around 300 grit where tru-oil is the 'wet' and then wipe off across the grain while still wet.  This produces a slurry that very effectively fills voids and fissures.  I would leave this overnight to harden off and repeat.  I would then do a couple of 'slurry and buff' sessions - using 600-1000 grit wet and dry doing the same, but here I would wipe off ALL of the excess and immediately vigorously buff, along the grain, with a clean cloth to bring up a sheen.  Again, I would leave a day after each.  I would then leave it around a week to fully harden and then add the polyurethane varnish finish.

 

But that's if it was a bass.  And I wanted high gloss.

 

If I wanted a satin finish, I would look at the Osmo Polyx range, especially the 3032 clear satin version, checking the water-resistance on their specs (I think it's probably good, but I've never had to consider it in a bathroom scenario).  It is SUPER easy to apply (wipe on); low odour; brings out the depth of colour and ends up super tough.  For best results, follow the application instructions ref drying times, etc.. 

 

I would NOT, however, recommend their gloss version.  Used it once...'nuff said.

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At last, something I can contribute to. Make sure the Osmo goes on uniformly. I got to the end of a floor 2 weeks ago, got lazy and wiped it all around. It looked as if snails had been there when it dried. Nothing a scour with some wire wool did not sort out, but it was frustrating. As it happens, it is a bathroom floor. We shall see how it responds to water splashes :)

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Thanks folks.

 

I'm going to do a couple of test pieces as I just need to get it done, and I don't want to be redoing the big piece if something doesn't work. 

 

I'm going to try just lacquering the bare wood first as quite often that will darken it in the same way that my white spirit test did. Some woods darken a lot, others barely at all, I'll see what happens. 

If that doesn't have a satisfactory result I try a sepia calligraphy ink and see how that goes. 

 

@Andyjr1515, thanks (as always) for the advice. If I were to slurry and buff, do you think the differing shades of wood would be an issue? Would the slurry of darker wood and Tru-oil stain the lighter areas?

I'd only be doing the slurry to grain fill as the finish will be 2k lacquer whatever happens. I know the lacquer will work well with wood and be completely waterproof, so no risk in the bathroom. 

 

I don't know if you saw but this was calligraphy ink then lacquer on a Kay that I did, this finish is what I'm aiming for (not the colour though). 

 

ls3FYyJ.jpeg

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That's lovely!  As you know, I'm a great fan of inks :)

 

Ref unintentional staining, if you have very dark woods next to very light ones then slurry and wipe them individually, just up to the edge.  But, because you are wiping the bulk off, and pretty much straight away, generally it isn't a problem. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, after a couple of tests of oil and ink, in the end it turns out that just plain old polyurethane lacquer brings out a nice amount of colour in the wood. 

I have lots of solvent PU lacquer here so didn't want to have to buy in any water based lacquer, and the worry of an oil finish softening PU if not thoroughly dry wasn't worth the agro. 

Slightly darker would be nice but indoors it appears darker and time will play a part. 'In the flesh' different angles bring out different grain. 

It needs a good few more coats of clear and a polish but it'll be lovely. 

Thanks for all advice offered, and about wood in general. 

Now back to those builds everyone. 😁

 

ta7Cccj.jpeg

 

QWOOIhc.jpeg

 

 

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