Birch Plywood Staining - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-09-2009, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Birch Plywood Staining

My only experience with staining birch plywood was using minwax natural (oil based) and several layers of polyurethane on an exterior door. I really like how it looks, a golden color with the grain showing. I read that birch ply may botch, but it appears, at least to my eyes, to have behaved very well with this approach.

I am now on my second birch ply project, a set of diy speakers. Will this natural stain approach work again? I see conditioner being specified as a pretreatment, but I had such good results that I think I can skip this step. Would like some comments from experienced stainers.

As far as finishing, polyurethane may be a bit too shiny. I do have a complement of the usual oils such as tung and watco, will these work over the birch with natural stain like they would with hardwoods?
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-09-2009, 09:15 PM
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Natural stain has no pigments therefore it cannot blotch. Natural stain is the same thing as conditioner.

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
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-09-2009, 09:16 PM
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Probably the best thing you can do is to save some of the off fall and do some samples before you start on your speakers. Much easier to make another sample than to re-do the speakers if you don't like the finish. I like the look of dye stain on birch. I use WD Lockwoods aniline dye. It comes in powdered form and you mix with hot water. I like to spray it on, that way there is no blotching on any wood species. Just be careful not to spray it on too wet. It should be evenly damp not puddled. (Again try it on a sample board first) Also if you are using polyurethane as a finish you could use a de-waxed shellac as a wash coat before your pigmented stain instead of a wood conditioner. Good luck!
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