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Finisheing Aspen

This is a discussion on Finisheing Aspen within the The Finishing Touch forums, part of the General Woodworking category; Has anyone worked with Aspen? I used the stain sealer before staining and it still ...


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Old 12-28-2008, 05:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Has anyone worked with Aspen? I used the stain sealer before staining and it still has come out blotchy. This is the first coat of stain but I do not see it improving any time soon. Here is what I used, and the results of first application of stain.

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Finisheing Aspen-003.jpg   Finisheing Aspen-004.jpg  
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Jerry,

I am no expert on Aspen, but I have never seen it stained and always only in it's natural color. In looking at your pictures, I think you are seeing the nature of the beast, being the grain of the wood. This is most likely the reason I have never seen it stained before because the grain is too wild and unpredictable to accept stain.

Hey....that is my story and I'm sticking to it

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I'll try to give you a call this week and see if we can get together.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Bob we had a wonderfully quiet Christmas. My youngest came home with his girlfriend of ten months at Thanksgiving and if he doesn't marry here he will never come home again!!You know your son has found a keeper when you miss her more than him when they leave. I would look forward to meeting you so when you get a chance give a call.

I was afraid that was the case regarding the Aspen. Now to see if I can get her to go with the oak.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Forget that conditioner, sand it off and try one piece using shellac as the sanding sealer(instead of the wood conditioner).

If it comes out the same using the shellac then just chalk it up as the beauty of the wood!
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you Nick I shall try that and see how it goes down. Yes sometimes we try to get uniformity where there is instead beauty, if we will just look deep enough to see it. If I was looking for uniformity I guess I should have gone with laminate all round. Thanks for the good word and reminding me I work with wood not plastic.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I read an article this morning in the "Woodworkers Journal" "The Cost of Beauty". The author mentioned that some species of wood have different qualities and characteristics.

I concluded from the for me that if I want the wood all the same maybe I should do my work in laminate.

Well it's cut and ready for final fabrication so maybe I'll just put it together and tell folks that is how aspen finishes. (Actually by that thinking all would be finished natural. At any rate it was a challenge to my thinking and I will finish as is or sand it all down and start over.)

Bob you might get to see how it turns out.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Aspen,poplar,sycamore,cottonwood or any other relatives do not take pigment stain at all well. If you must color it more than one of the lesser refined shellacs will,use a dye, it is less likely to become splotchy(if thats a word). If it were me I would probably use garnet or Siam seedlac shellac.

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Old 12-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually xplorx4 I only use clear finishes. If I want a color I seek out the wood that is that natural color. It's very rare that I can not find a species that works.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Isn't quacking stain and quacking varnish required for aspen?
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nick I agree, in this case someone said what type of wood they wanted and I tried to accommodate. "you can be right or you can be happy". Funds are tight right now and she wanted me to make this and I was trying to accommodate. I do thank everyone for the input, I shall have to get some of the Lacquer for this.

Ralph, is that the lacquer that is prepared in the fall at full color, or later on when springs comes? I thought you were from some part of Aspen country. Lived in Colorado and Wyoming for 16 years, sometimes I think I would like to go back but wife unit says no way and as I said above "you can be right or you can be happy" and I choose happy.
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Wisdom: Where experience and knowledge combine and become one.

"We are all one decision away from Stupid!!"

Lamentations 3:22-23

"How often we sacrifice the permanent plans of God on the altar of immediate solutions"

I have a very good memory, just short is all.
xplorx4 is offline  
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