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Expert's Corner — blotch

TIP: Dye Migration

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TIP: Dye Migration

The general consensus on figured woods is pretty much saturation, or using a trace coat to further intensify the grain. However sometimes a dye can migrate, meaning it just goes way too dark and can create a blotchy mess. Broad curl woods like Curly Cherry, Flame Birch, etc. can also absorb any colorant unevenly. We've looked at many ways to help control this. I want to emphasize how important it is that you do a test on a scrap before you dive in. With that said one of my favorite tricks is to use water to help control the absorption....

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Making Curly Maple Pop

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Making Curly Maple Pop

To maximize the beauty of curly maple (also bird’s eye maple), you want the curls to “pop.” That is, be significantly darker than the rest of the wood. To do this you need to get more color into the curls. To some extent this happens naturally with any stain when you wipe off the excess. But you can significantly increase the darkness, or pop, by applying a number of coats of thinned water-soluble dye stain and sanding or scraping in between coats after each is dry. A good choice of dye color is Honey Amber Maple from W.D. Lockwood (sold...

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Avoiding Blotching in Cherry

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Avoiding Blotching in Cherry

Cherry is a beautiful wood that is easy to work. But it is a problematic wood to finish because it has a tendency to blotch, even with just a finish applied—no stain. Everyone working with cherry wants to know the “secret” for avoiding blotching in cherry, as if there is one that they just don’t know. The real secret about cherry blotching seems to be that there isn’t any way to avoid the blotching. If the cherry boards or veneer you are using include blotchy parts, you are going to get blotching. The only way to avoid blotching is to...

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