Stains or natural imperfections? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-27-2017, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question Stains or natural imperfections?

Hi there,

I've had some Iroko driveway gates made but two of the boards have these near black marks on, to me it looks like something has been spilt on them (the marks go across the grain, not with the grain) and it spoils the apperance of the gates. The carpenter disagrees and says that they are natural imperfections that give the wood character.

I would really appreciate some unbiased opinions on this.

Thank you in advance.

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-27-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-27-2017, 07:44 PM
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The dark spots are indeed stains.

The dark areas make me think of ambrosia or spalting... the wood was stained in the growing process. They're so pronounced that most guys would reject those boards because they look so bad.

The lighter spots do look like maybe a softer grain or something.

Natural or not, if you don't like it, I think it's your right to reject it.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-27-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately my eye is drawn straight to it.

Would replacing these two boards be possible onsite? the gates are cantilever and attached with coach screws to a metal frame.

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-27-2017, 08:30 PM
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The stains to me looks like where the boards were stacked with sticks between them at the lumber mill.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-27-2017, 09:11 PM
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From looking very closely...and seeing very similar markings in different woods...I am fairly confident that this discoloration did take place while the tree was growing...(90% sure)

Nevertheless...for this type of gate, and the effect you apparently wanted in them...these boards should have been rejected.

I don't know of anyone I work with that would have kept these boards...or...at the bare minimum, the "dry fitting" of the gate would have been photographed and sent to you for approval...We just did this during the morning today with clients on a Barn timber frame project. Client education, and inclusion in such details and decisions is a sign of professionalism and logical inclusivity...

Bottom line...they need to be redone if that is what you want and did not get the chance to give such feedback beforehand. If not rectified, you are fully entitled to challenge the "market value" and asking price for the work...As these boards are clearly "blemished" not matter the source of the given stain...
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