Does type of wood matter? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 10-29-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Does type of wood matter?

I really like this type of wood and its finish:
Dresser:

Dining room table:

Questions:
1. Can any old wood furniture (such as oak) be stained to achieve this desired effect? Or is there a special type of wood being used in these pictures?
2. Which type of wood do you reckon this is? Oak? Mesquite? I’m totally lost.
3. Which color would you say it is?
Thanks, a bunch. I’m new to woodworking and I’m starting with small projects.

Last edited by yepitswood; 10-29-2014 at 10:10 PM.
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post #2 of 25 Old 10-29-2014, 10:20 PM
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That wood looks like mahogany or walnut to me. While it's possible to stain oak a mahogany color, it still won't look exactly like mahogany because oak has a different texture than mahogany.
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post #3 of 25 Old 10-29-2014, 10:56 PM
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The pictures are a bit blurry but the wood looks like honduras mahogany to me. The skirt on the table appears to be the natural color of the wood where the top appears to be stained. Anyway you would have a very hard time making oak look like that. You would have to select some very straight grain wood and then use a grain filler to eliminate the texture of the wood when you finish it. It still wouldn't look the same but you could get close. It would be much easier to use luan. It's a type of mahogany anyway, in fact it is also known as Philippine mahogany. Both Philippine and Honduras mahogany is also usually grain filled. If you live near a large city Honduras mahogany isn't that hard to find or forbiddingly expensive to buy. The wood is probably about 40% more expensive than oak.
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post #4 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
That wood looks like mahogany or walnut to me. While it's possible to stain oak a mahogany color, it still won't look exactly like mahogany because oak has a different texture than mahogany.
I just looked up Honduras mahogany and wow! Its very nice looking although most furniture seem to be a lot lighter than the picture I posted. I found some darker so maybe it just depends on how the mahogany is stained?

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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The pictures are a bit blurry but the wood looks like honduras mahogany to me. The skirt on the table appears to be the natural color of the wood where the top appears to be stained. Anyway you would have a very hard time making oak look like that. You would have to select some very straight grain wood and then use a grain filler to eliminate the texture of the wood when you finish it. It still wouldn't look the same but you could get close. It would be much easier to use luan. It's a type of mahogany anyway, in fact it is also known as Philippine mahogany. Both Philippine and Honduras mahogany is also usually grain filled. If you live near a large city Honduras mahogany isn't that hard to find or forbiddingly expensive to buy. The wood is probably about 40% more expensive than oak.
Sorry for the small pictures. They are the best I could find. Thanks for those tips about grain filling and Luan.
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 05:56 AM
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The table top is Mahogany, and the table apron is maple.

You can pick a wood that has similar grain patterens and use it to simulate the same look, but the tricky part like always is matching the color. Thats where you can play around with scrap pieces until you get the color you want.
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post #6 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 07:52 AM
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The color of most mahogany furniture is largely artificial. It's normally darker and redder than the furniture in the pictures. With any type of wood the natural color can vary a great deal but most of it looks like this before stained.

Another thought, if you are having trouble getting mahogany or the cost is too much home depot sells a plywood called sandeply which has a similar mahogany look. It's completely blonde in color so you would have to stain it to get the look you want. For the solid wood you could use alder. One of the characteristics of alder is to be able to stain it to look like other woods. Just select a wood with some straight grain.
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post #7 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 01:27 PM
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He can also simply use maple. Use a preconditioner, scuff sand, then apply a natural cherry dye stain.

General Finishes:
2 parts cinnamon
1 part light brown

I can also give you the formula in trans tint dyes.

Last edited by RandyReed; 10-30-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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post #8 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post

Another thought, if you are having trouble getting mahogany or the cost is too much home depot sells a plywood called sandeply which has a similar mahogany look. It's completely blonde in color so you would have to stain it to get the look you want. For the solid wood you could use alder. One of the characteristics of alder is to be able to stain it to look like other woods. Just select a wood with some straight grain.
Alder doesn't have the grain anywhere close to mahogany, though. It's much closer to a knotty cherry, in my experience.

Personally, I am of the mindset that believes if you want to make wood look like a certain kind, to just buy that kind of wood. It's likely going to be more expensive, but it will save you loads of time and you don't run the risk of it not turning out quite like you planned. I don't care for stained wood, usually.

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post #9 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JMartel View Post
Alder doesn't have the grain anywhere close to mahogany, though. It's much closer to a knotty cherry, in my experience.

Personally, I am of the mindset that believes if you want to make wood look like a certain kind, to just buy that kind of wood. It's likely going to be more expensive, but it will save you loads of time and you don't run the risk of it not turning out quite like you planned. I don't care for stained wood, usually.

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The only real way he's going to get that look is to use mahogany however if a straight grain alder was used it could have a resemblance to mahogany that has been grain filled. Alder is often used by furniture companies as a secondary wood with either cherry, walnut or mahogany because it can be stained to look like different kinds of wood. Mahogany isn't available everywhere so I was trying to give him some other options.
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post #10 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The only real way he's going to get that look is to use mahogany however if a straight grain alder was used it could have a resemblance to mahogany that has been grain filled. Alder is often used by furniture companies as a secondary wood with either cherry, walnut or mahogany because it can be stained to look like different kinds of wood. Mahogany isn't available everywhere so I was trying to give him some other options.
Unfortunately, most furniture company's these days use maple, popular, or rubberwood as the secondary woods.

He can use a straight grain cherry (alder is cheaper) and apply the stain formula I suggested above, but reduce it 1:1. If he uses maple, he can apply it straight. There is a straight grain maple out there, but not as close as mahogany is.
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post #11 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RandyReed View Post
The table top is Mahogany, and the table apron is maple.

You can pick a wood that has similar grain patterens and use it to simulate the same look, but the tricky part like always is matching the color. Thats where you can play around with scrap pieces until you get the color you want.
Never thought about using different types of woods for a project. Now I'm thinking it makes it all the better, and shows a lot of thought being put into projects.

I will definitely be experimenting on scrap pieces, now that you've mentioned it. You all are giving me confidence to try woodworking some small projects. I hope I can work my way up to tables and dressers soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The color of most mahogany furniture is largely artificial. It's normally darker and redder than the furniture in the pictures. With any type of wood the natural color can vary a great deal but most of it looks like this before stained.

Another thought, if you are having trouble getting mahogany or the cost is too much home depot sells a plywood called sandeply which has a similar mahogany look. It's completely blonde in color so you would have to stain it to get the look you want. For the solid wood you could use alder. One of the characteristics of alder is to be able to stain it to look like other woods. Just select a wood with some straight grain.
Thanks for confirming that it was the type of stain. Time for me to experiment. I really appreciate the low cost options you've been giving, especially for a first timer.

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Originally Posted by RandyReed View Post
He can also simply use maple. Use a preconditioner, scuff sand, then apply a natural cherry dye stain.

General Finishes:
2 parts cinnamon
1 part light brown

I can also give you the formula in trans tint dyes.
I bookmarked trans tint dye's homepage. Never heard of them but their dyes look good.

http://homesteadfinishingproducts.co...t-liquid-dyes/

Which ones would you recommend? I can also just experiment.

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Originally Posted by JMartel View Post
Alder doesn't have the grain anywhere close to mahogany, though. It's much closer to a knotty cherry, in my experience.

Personally, I am of the mindset that believes if you want to make wood look like a certain kind, to just buy that kind of wood. It's likely going to be more expensive, but it will save you loads of time and you don't run the risk of it not turning out quite like you planned. I don't care for stained wood, usually.

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Mahogany is nice, ain't it? Searching google images I'm finding some things a bit closer to what I'm looking for. Also found this handy chart:



From 2003, so I don't expect the prices to be the same.

Source:
http://www.americanwoodworker.com/bl...ok-alikes.aspx

Thanks for getting me started, fellas!
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post #12 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 06:34 PM
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For a natural cherry stain using trans tint:
1 part reddish brown
5 parts water
1/2 part golden brown
1/2 part honey amber

Again, since its maple, you will need to apply a preconditioner to the maple first, scuff sand, then apply an even coat of the mixture above and it should be close to the picture of the table you posted.
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post #13 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 07:17 PM
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Mohawk Finishing Products has a pre-packaged cherry stain however for the look in the picture above I think it would use their brown mahogany stain. http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/cata...asp?ictNbr=178

Dye stains are better sprayed on at low pressure. Dyes are also not prone to blotch so unless they are applied dripping wet a wood conditioner isn't necessary.
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post #14 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Mohawk Finishing Products has a pre-packaged cherry stain however for the look in the picture above I think it would use their brown mahogany stain. http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/cata...asp?ictNbr=178

Dye stains are better sprayed on at low pressure. Dyes are also not prone to blotch so unless they are applied dripping wet a wood conditioner isn't necessary.
I dont think the brown mahogany stain will be warm enough on a whiter wood like maple......if he went that route.

Those colors are hard to go by, even the medium walnut looks close, but I dont think it will be right on maple either, it will more than likely be too cool as well.

Those are also penetrating stains. If you use a preconditioner first, they tend to try and lay up on the wood because they cant penetrate the wood because of the preconditioner. If you apply them on an ash for instance, no preconditioner, the penetrating stain will rupture the wood and give the wood alot of ticking. In the picture, the color is clean looking.

Dye stains are the way to go to get to that color and look.
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post #15 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 08:52 PM
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I dont think the brown mahogany stain will be warm enough on a whiter wood like maple......if he went that route.

Those colors are hard to go by, even the medium walnut looks close, but I dont think it will be right on maple either, it will more than likely be too cool as well.

Those are also penetrating stains. If you use a preconditioner first, they tend to try and lay up on the wood because they cant penetrate the wood because of the preconditioner. If you apply them on an ash for instance, no preconditioner, the penetrating stain will rupture the wood and give the wood alot of ticking. In the picture, the color is clean looking.

Dye stains are the way to go to get to that color and look.
The brown mahogany I recommended was really for a mahogany or alder. It would work on maple with multiple coats however yepitswood hasn't said he is going with maple.
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post #16 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The brown mahogany I recommended was really for a mahogany or alder. It would work on maple with multiple coats however yepitswood hasn't said he is going with maple.
True.

But it will still not look like that table using a penetrating stain because it will bust the wood too much on mahogany and especially alder. I would go with dyes myself using mostly acetone to achieve that clean look.....but then again I go with dyes on almost everything.
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post #17 of 25 Old 10-30-2014, 10:48 PM
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True.

But it will still not look like that table using a penetrating stain because it will bust the wood too much on mahogany and especially alder. I would go with dyes myself using mostly acetone to achieve that clean look.....but then again I go with dyes on almost everything.
The Mohawk Ultra Penetrating Stain is an alcohol based aniline dye stain.
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post #18 of 25 Old 10-31-2014, 05:39 AM
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The Mohawk Ultra Penetrating Stain is an alcohol based aniline dye stain.
?????

No, it contains petroleum distillates such as oil resins with propanol which allows it to penetrate into the wood. Theres no alcohol in it. Its on the "oily" side.

The only dye stains that will penetrate wood either contain mostly water or ethanol.
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post #19 of 25 Old 10-31-2014, 10:02 AM
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?????

No, it contains petroleum distillates such as oil resins with propanol which allows it to penetrate into the wood. Theres no alcohol in it. Its on the "oily" side.

The only dye stains that will penetrate wood either contain mostly water or ethanol.
This is a product I use all the time. It is cut with alcohol. You can clearly smell the denatured alcohol in it. I don't see how there can be an oil in it, you can topcoat over it within a couple minutes or even add it to lacquers as a toner.
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post #20 of 25 Old 10-31-2014, 11:37 AM
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Yepitswood, those lower end range of prices is what I pay. $6ish/bdft depending on specific wood type. Walnut is not any cheaper for instance.

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