Wood Conditioner Does it really work? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 Old 11-13-2008, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
Wood Butcher
 
Evil Scotsman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philadelphia Pa M-F Bernville Pa S-S April - November
Posts: 95
View Evil Scotsman's Photo Album My Photos
Wood Conditioner Does it really work?

Good Afternoon All,

I am building a blanket chest for my daughter for Christmas. What I have done was resaw 2x4 to 1/2 " for panels. Tried gluing up with biscuits, didn't care for results. ANYWAY, sorry, I am using pine beadboard for the panel. Before I stain them, I wanted to know if the wood conditioner really makes a difference or is it media hype? I want it to stain evenly and nice, but don't want to throw away my hard earned dollars. I don't even know what the conditioner costs, I guess what REALLY matters is my time. Taking a woodclass at local HS and only get 1 hour per week.

Thanks for your opinions!

Some people are like Slinkys.
Not really good for anything.....
But they still bring a smile to your face
when you push them down a flight of stairs.
Evil Scotsman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 11-13-2008, 05:33 PM
red
NC Mountain Living
 
red's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Nebo NC Living in the beautiful foothills of NC
Posts: 1,151
View red's Photo Album My Photos
Wood conditioner does work and works well. Another option is to use a gel stain. Both go on easy and give very good results. Donít forget about an oil finish such as Danish oil. This will give the pine a nice golden color. Red

Red
red is online now  
post #3 of 15 Old 11-13-2008, 10:21 PM
Senior Member
 
firehawkmph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 4,744
View firehawkmph's Photo Album My Photos
Dr. Evil,
I would recommend using a wood conditioner, especially on pine. It's not that expensive to buy, but you could also make your own. Use two parts paint thinner to one part finish(whatever you are planning on using for your clear finish.) Mix it up and paint on a coat. It will dry and look like there is nothing there. It makes it a lot easier to get a pretty even stain color on your project. Without it, pine tends to look very blotchy, due to the hard and soft spots throughout.
Mike Hawkins
firehawkmph is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 11-14-2008, 10:47 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Posts: 481
View djonesax's Photo Album My Photos
On soft woods like pine, wood conditioner is a must in my opinion. From what I understand and if I am wrong someone please correct me.. It makes is so the wood absorbs the stain at a slower rate making it look more even and consistent. If you donít use it on pine you most likely will have blotchy dark spots. I built two identical projects, one with and one with out. The one with conditioner looked much more evenly stained.

I like to put it on so it soaks the wood really well. Careful of runs though, in my experience if you get a run it can cause the stain to soak in unevenly looking like a run in the stain with the run being lighter in color because it didnít soak in as well. Also make sure you get it all coated, because its hard to see and if you miss a spot you'll end up with a dark spot where you didnít apply the conditioner. Donít wait too long after applying the conditioner to start staining because it will evaporate and not be as affective.
djonesax is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 11-14-2008, 10:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Posts: 481
View djonesax's Photo Album My Photos
....

Last edited by djonesax; 11-14-2008 at 10:49 PM. Reason: dupicate post
djonesax is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 11-14-2008, 11:18 PM
Senior Sawdust Producer
 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 3,729
View Leo G's Photo Album My Photos
Put the conditioner on and let it dry completely. Then apply the stain. The conditioner is really stain with no pigments. When it dries it will slow the absorption of the pigmented layer of stain. If you are staining dark, be aware that the stains will come out lighter because the conditioner will lock the absorption.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
Leo G is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 11-16-2008, 10:13 AM
Dust Bunny
 
cusingeorge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Caught between the longing for love and the struggle for the legal tender
Posts: 70
View cusingeorge's Photo Album My Photos
Even with a wood conditioner, the pine will have some blotch, the conditioner just makes it not as bad. I have no idea to your application methods for finishing, but I have been successful making a "tinted washcoat" using one part stain, one part of the sealer you wish to use and 6 parts of a compatible thinner (firehawkmph had a similar idea).

This must be sprayed on in very light coats and should give you an even base color to which you can hand apply the stain over the top of and achieve a much more uniform look. If you are using anything but lacquer you should allow it to dry overnight before staining.

Test this system on scrap beforehand so you can get an idea of how it should be applied.

It ain't the years honey, it's the mileage
-Indiana Jones
cusingeorge is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 11-16-2008, 11:48 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 373
View jerry's Photo Album My Photos
So called wood conditioners are primarily to fatten the bottom line of the Co.'s that make them. The two most common types are either mostly mineral spirits that have to be stained in a short period of time -before the MS evaporates-If the pores are filled or partially filled there will be less room for the stain. Or the very thin finish(usually polyurethane varnish-cheapest). The finish people are selling a product that isn't needed (Did you ever hear of such a product 10-15 years ago ?) so that we can still use their stain on wood that doesn't respond to stain at all well. If you insist on using a pigmented stain on pine, cherry, alder et.al first apply a spit (very thin) coat of shellac.

Regards

Jerry
jerry is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 11-16-2008, 01:57 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 30
View Shaw Racing's Photo Album My Photos
I was having a problem yesterday with a piece I was making out of pine. It was suggested to me to use a wood conditioner and gel stain. I went to the local Lowe's and they have quarts of both. I think the conditioner cost about $11. The bill for both the conditioner and stain did not exceed $25. I had never used either of these products before and they worked great. I will definitely use both again! It solved the issue I was having and the piece is turning out great!

Hope this helps!
Shaw Racing is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 11-16-2008, 08:20 PM
Dust Bunny
 
cusingeorge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Caught between the longing for love and the struggle for the legal tender
Posts: 70
View cusingeorge's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry View Post
So called wood conditioners are primarily to fatten the bottom line of the Co.'s that make them. The two most common types are either mostly mineral spirits that have to be stained in a short period of time -before the MS evaporates-If the pores are filled or partially filled there will be less room for the stain. Or the very thin finish(usually polyurethane varnish-cheapest). The finish people are selling a product that isn't needed (Did you ever hear of such a product 10-15 years ago ?) so that we can still use their stain on wood that doesn't respond to stain at all well. If you insist on using a pigmented stain on pine, cherry, alder et.al first apply a spit (very thin) coat of shellac.

Regards

Jerry
The only reason wood conditioners are made are to service the need of the wood finisher, nothing more. They saw a need to help wood finishers eliminate stain blotch and capitalism took over (necessity is the mother of invention). I am confident those "fat bottom line" companies would much rather make a few, high quality products that 100 mediocre products that fit the bill for every Tom, Dick and Harry that thinks they are "finishing experts".

It ain't the years honey, it's the mileage
-Indiana Jones
cusingeorge is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 11-17-2008, 12:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 373
View jerry's Photo Album My Photos
Minwax has made untold amounts of money selling to every Tom,Dick and Harry. Why is it there was no "need" years ago ?. Was Capitalism just originated ?. Although I am just a tinkerer now I was a cabinet maker and finisher for many years.

Jerry
jerry is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 11-17-2008, 02:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: KY
Posts: 116
View WDChew's Photo Album My Photos
I haven't used conditioner on pine, but have had less than satisfactory results on birch ply. It still blotched. I now only use a 1# cut of blonde shellac (dewaxed). I mostly use gel stain, but it works with any stain or dye I choose.
WDChew is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 11-17-2008, 07:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina
Posts: 481
View djonesax's Photo Album My Photos
I have used minwax stain conditioner along with minwax red mahogany stain on yellow pine, white pine, and sanded pine ply at home depot.

The first time I stained pine with red mahogany, I didnít use the conditioner and it turned out really blotchy and dark.

The second time I stained pine with red mahogany, I applied the conditioner to about 40 board foot and then stained. By the time I started staining the wood was starting to look dry. The stain went on better then the first but it was still blotchy.

The third time I stained pine with red mahogany, I broke the project into smaller sections. I conditioned and then stained while the conditioner was still giving the wood a yellow tint. Meaning it was wet. You should make sure to wipe the wood down to get the excess conditioner off though. The stain went on very smooth with almost no blotch spots. The only places I have blotchy spots are where I accidentally didnít condition due to bad lighting not allowing me to see the dry spots.

My experience is with MINWAX and MINWAX only. I have never tried these other methods but for my purposes the minwax worked really well.


So I have a question now, I have a tea box I made for my grandmothers birthday this weekend. Iím not staining it but if I were to, what should I do to keep the end grain from getting so dark? Would the conditioner help with that?
djonesax is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 11-17-2008, 11:44 PM
Senior Sawdust Producer
 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 3,729
View Leo G's Photo Album My Photos
Sand the endgrain to 3 grits higher than the rest of the project. If you sand to 150, do the endgrain to 400.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
Leo G is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 11-19-2008, 10:29 PM
Dust Bunny
 
cusingeorge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Caught between the longing for love and the struggle for the legal tender
Posts: 70
View cusingeorge's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry View Post
Minwax has made untold amounts of money selling to every Tom,Dick and Harry. Why is it there was no "need" years ago ?. Was Capitalism just originated ?. Although I am just a tinkerer now I was a cabinet maker and finisher for many years.

Jerry

I believe that this is directly related to the quality of the wood. Over the last 15-25 years, I have noticed more low-quality lumber being used in furniture and cabinetry and with this comes the wood-finishers who are trying to maintain the look they have grown acustomed. As the wood gets cheaper, stain performance and appearance changes, and thus has generated the need for coatings suppliers to try and solve the customer's needs.

As you are well aware (being a cabinet maker and finisher) the coatings supplier's job is to help you solve your issues, even if it means offering new products to resolve the issue when no other solution presents itself.

It ain't the years honey, it's the mileage
-Indiana Jones
cusingeorge is offline  
Reply

Tags
www.gemini-coatings.com

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Favorite wood to work with? bsharding1982 General Woodworking Discussion 10 03-17-2008 08:41 AM
2nd stain with conditioner? enormo Wood Finishing 6 02-07-2008 08:34 PM
Some Old Work Leo G Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 12 12-29-2007 10:10 PM
some of my work hands made for wood Project Showcase 25 12-17-2007 03:08 PM
Would This Work? formula462 Off Topic 3 07-06-2007 11:26 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome