Maple and Walnut - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Maple and Walnut

Hello, I'm very much a beginner woodworker and new to the forum. I've been working, combining metal and wood projects (welder working with wood) and I've got a table top almost ready to finish. It's curly walnut with a 3" wide tiger maple stripe down the length, just offset of center. I'm trying to figure out what the best, simplest way to finish this while keeping the maple very light, and warming the walnut. I have de-waxed shellac that I liked using before top coating with water based poly for the maple on previous projects, but it doesn't highlight walnut like I want. I want a nice contrast.

I'm wondering if I can shellac the whole top then carefully top coat the maple with water based poly, then top coat the entire table top with oil based poly? Or is that not a thing? If there isn't an easy solution I think I'll just use oil based poly and deal with a yellowed maple stripe.

Sorry about the long-winded explanation. All feedback is appreciated.

Here's a pic after glue-up. I'm learning...




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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 02:35 PM
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Oil based and water based aren't compatible without a barrier layer between them. I've read that shellac will form that barrier but I haven't tried it.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 02:53 PM
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welcome oh nameless person to the forums...

can't help w/ the finishing...
but...
you don't happen to have a picture of the end grain do you???...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. It's Nate. Sorry, I don't have a pic of the end grain. Would that help?


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:09 PM
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Thanks. It's Nate. Sorry, I don't have a pic of the end grain. Would that help?


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well Nate...
Welcome to the forums...
the gladiators and lions will will be by shortly...

yes, an end grain picture will be nice...

you said you mix steel and wood...
are you putting this top on a steel frame/base??
how do you intend to fasten the two together...

about where are you located in the country...
could you fill in your profile w/ some basic information...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:13 PM
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Welcome to the forum N/A.

Stick, an end grain photo may be a mute point, now. It's glued up! It looks good now, so, I can't wait to see it with some finish.

I have to ask, N/A, what is the top going to be use on/for? The use may drive the end finish. At the very least, I would suggest that you fill the knot voids. Epoxy is good for this. The joints look good but the photo suggests that it may need a little more sanding to level it out. Glue mixed with saw dust, fill any voids and sand before the glue dries and it will blend in the joints.

You might want to check out some of the show and tell projects on the forum and see what the other members did for finish. There are several projects using Walnut and Maple as complimentary woods.

What type of finish are you looking for? Warm and natural, popping grain with a tough sealing finish, what? A little more info and the guys will jump in with suggestions. Some of the members are outstanding at finishing and will offer some suggestions.

Welcome, again.

Bill

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 03:44 PM
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Sweet table top! Walnut and Maple were made to go together.

Personally. I am super happy with Minwax Wipe-On Poly (oil based) on walnut. Really brings out the color and grain, super clear and doesn't add much color at all. Dries very hard so it can take some wear. Looks great on maple. Very forgiving as well. I don't think you'd get much yellowing of the maple with WoP. In general, you should do a test piece before committing a finish to your project.

I would not mix water and oil based finishes. You can do it but why bother? 3 or 4 layers of WoP will be pretty tough and let all the beauty of that figured wood show through. I'm really not a fan of water based poly - it seems to add a slight cloudiness, some people call that "plasticy".

It would be ok to use shellac as a sealer if you want but I would just stick with WoP for all the coats. If you use shellac, superblond will add the least color.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 04:31 PM
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When I use the American walnut I give it a coat of walnut stain and wipe it off then let it dry and You will get a rich chocolate color to the walnut. Try it on some scrap.
Shellac turns maple an mellow warm yellowish color. I will remind you that they don't recommend using WB poly over shellac, although I did it for years with no problem. You should use sanding sealer ,which is a diluted DEWAXED shellac. Then you can use the WB poly.

If I want to get the maple as white as possible, I dilute the WB poly at 50/50 water/poly. This seals the wood and raises the grain at the same time. Then when dry sand it off and repeat ,it might raise a little more grain, then sand it with 220 and apply the poly at full strength or slightly thinned and it will look as white and bright as it was before it was finished.

You can also seal the walnut you stained with shellac sanding sealer and then coat with poly.

Another thought,since it is all glued together, you might want to tape off the walnut before it is stained and seal the maple with a couple of coats of dilute poly ,then tape off the maple and stain the walnut, this will protect the maple from getting the dark stain on it.

GOOD luck, try some scrap samples first.

Herb
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet table top! Walnut and Maple were made to go together.

Personally. I am super happy with Minwax Wipe-On Poly (oil based) on walnut. Really brings out the color and grain, super clear and doesn't add much color at all. Dries very hard so it can take some wear. Looks great on maple. Very forgiving as well. I don't think you'd get much yellowing of the maple with WoP. In general, you should do a test piece before committing a finish to your project.

I would not mix water and oil based finishes. You can do it but why bother? 3 or 4 layers of WoP will be pretty tough and let all the beauty of that figured wood show through. I'm really not a fan of water based poly - it seems to add a slight cloudiness, some people call that "plasticy".

It would be ok to use shellac as a sealer if you want but I would just stick with WoP for all the coats. If you use shellac, superblond will add the least color.

Great! I think I'll give it a try.


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I appreciate the comments. I'll have to do some research into filling the knots etc. Ive always just polyed over them and left them. This will be a coffee table for a friend. I would love to accentuate the grain on both woods and create a durable finish. I realize the table needs sanding and leveling. Don't think it'll get close to perfect but good enough for me.

Here's what it's going on. It'll get wooden feet.




Here's a few other projects I've done.
Record cabinet with sliding drawer.






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