Dull finish 😞 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Dull finish 😞

Hello - I’m new to wood working and this forum. Recently for stress relief (corporate life) I decided to tinker with wood. I made a cutting board from some exotic wood - straight forward glueing up a pattern. Came out nice and I liked it. Next up was an end grain cutting board - again, patter is beautiful (copied a design from google search). After planning routing and sanding (80, 120, 220, 320 grit) I diluted an oil based salad bow finish with mineral
Spirits and it looked amazing !). As it dried it was still beautiful with exception to the walnut ? The walnut end grain is dull - but the walnut top grain (visible on the side of the cutting board) is gorgeous ? Is this the wrong wood choice for end grain ? Did I not sand enough ? Is it resolvable ?

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 07:37 AM
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The pores in wood are like a bunch of tiny drinking straws that are bundled together. The end grain of the wood is where the open ends of the straws come out. When you put finish on end grain, it flows into the pores, more than it does on the surface, so it doesn’t build up and doesn’t create as much shine. Diluting the finish lets this happen even more because the thinner finish can flow not the pores more easily. The Walnut has bigger pores than the other woods. If you keep applying finish, eventually the pores will get full and you’ll get some gloss.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response. This makes perfect sense to me - i very much appreciate the response. I learned a lot doing this board and plan to do
More with various species. I’ll keep applying more coats and 50/50 finish and spirits and see what happens. Thanks again.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 08:43 AM
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I agree with Quickstep, keep adding the oil until you get the finish you like. It would also help if you would quit thinning the oil.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 09:32 AM
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The drinking straws analogy is also useful to understand why gluing up end grain to end grain is so much weaker than face grain to face grain. Though the square inches of glue up may be the same the "drinking straws" means that the actual contact area is much smaller. (Think of glueing a bundle of straws to a bundle of straws end to end.)


At any rate I agree with Quickstep, but I would suggest you make a test with scrap before applying to the finished piece. Heavy applications of finish can look plasticky and may look less satisfactory than the dull finish.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packard View Post
The drinking straws analogy is also useful to understand why gluing up end grain to end grain is so much weaker than face grain to face grain. Though the square inches of glue up may be the same the "drinking straws" means that the actual contact area is much smaller. (Think of glueing a bundle of straws to a bundle of straws end to end.)


At any rate I agree with Quickstep, but I would suggest you make a test with scrap before applying to the finished piece. Heavy applications of finish can look plasticky and may look less satisfactory than the dull finish.
Also the drinking straw analogy if you picture the edge grain having the straws cut on an angle it has a lot more glue between the wood than if they were glued end to end.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Also the drinking straw analogy if you picture the edge grain having the straws cut on an angle it has a lot more glue between the wood than if they were glued end to end.
I was surprised how strong the mitered joint on 3/4" plywood turned out. But on reflection half of that 3/4" (1/2") was face grain to face grain. So it has, I would guess, about 60% of the strength of a face grain to face grain joint.

The glue area is a little over 1" (hypotenuse of the right triangle comes to 1.061"). So 1/2" to 1/2" is face grain and 1/2" to 1/2" is end grain to end grain. I estimate that the joint is equivalent to over 60% of solid wood in this instance. Not too shabby.

I added a 3/4" x 3/4" triangular length of hardwood glued to the inside joint. So pretty strong after all.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-19-2019, 01:02 PM
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One more thing.

Make sure you allow adequate drying time between coats and be sure to wipe of the excess and monitor it after wiping. The finish that gets down in the pores can bubble back up and dry as little beads on the surface. If it has a chance to get gooey, it can be a bear to get off.
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