Finishing Poplar to keep it light - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-05-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Finishing Poplar to keep it light

I'm attaching some photos of unfinished shelves I made for a client.

They came out very white in color but, I've noticed, that poplar tends to turn a greyish yellow when hit with oil based finish.

Can this be overcome with a water based finish like a water based poly?

I know I could use hard maple but I am getting requests for painted exteriors of the shelves with natural light interiors. Poplar is the more economic wood compared to maple and price is a consideration with these.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-05-2013, 01:40 PM
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There are several different finishes that will remain clear and the water based polyurethane is one of them. A easier product to use if you have the means of spraying is a cab-acrylic lacquer. A oil based finish isn't a good choise for light wood or wood stained light to medium color because it yellows and will yellow more as it ages.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-05-2013, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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"cab-acrylic lacquer"
Looked it up...
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-05-2013, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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With the cab-acrylic lacquer, can I brush it on or does it have to be sprayed? Is it self leveling? Same procedures for general finishing - sanding between, etc?

I have another project coming up which will use maple and cherry. Will this lacquer penetrate at all showing nice grain depth?
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-05-2013, 03:31 PM
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Test it, gideon, and let us know.
I built some kitchen shelving, years ago, from beautifully figured, beetle-killed pine. Awesome looking.
Water-based Flecto Varathane. It changed all the colors with the first coat. The whole dang thing
just plain looks dirty and drab.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-05-2013, 05:23 PM
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A cab-acrylic lacquer, sometimes called butyrate lacquer is like any other lacquer, it dries so fast it's best sprayed. You could thin it down a little more and add retarder thinner and brush it. What you would have to do is use a very soft brush and work fast with it moving around and not make too many brush strokes. Just lay it down and move on. The finish can be applied directly to the wood however if you choose to use a sealer, use a vinyl sealer instead of lacquer sanding sealer. You would sand it between coats like any other finish. The finish will penetrate and show the grain very well. I think it would show the wood better than water based poly which looks a bit bland to me.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 12:58 AM
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Sorry to hijack your thread, but I really like the design of these shelves. I'm a newbie so apologies for asking what might be obvious to the other woodworkers out there, but is that a face fame attached? How did you get the angles? Was that a chamfer bit or a 45-degree (or whatever degree) cut on the table saw? I think those shelves look great and I'm just wondering how you did it, if you don't mind sharing.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L1011 View Post
Sorry to hijack your thread, but I really like the design of these shelves. I'm a newbie so apologies for asking what might be obvious to the other woodworkers out there, but is that a face fame attached? How did you get the angles? Was that a chamfer bit or a 45-degree (or whatever degree) cut on the table saw? I think those shelves look great and I'm just wondering how you did it, if you don't mind sharing.

Hey there. 30 degree tilt to my table saw blade and just rip away.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L1011 View Post
Sorry to hijack your thread, but I really like the design of these shelves. I'm a newbie so apologies for asking what might be obvious to the other woodworkers out there, but is that a face fame attached? How did you get the angles? Was that a chamfer bit or a 45-degree (or whatever degree) cut on the table saw? I think those shelves look great and I'm just wondering how you did it, if you don't mind sharing.
The shelves don't have a faceframe. It's just the front edge of the wood. You can make the shelf out of plywood and cover the front edge with solid wood trim. The trim could be made with a router or like Gideon said by ripping it at 30 degrees. It would take less sanding if after ripping you dressed it on a jointer with the fence set on 30 degrees also. Then the sharp point can be rounded over with a little fine sanding. If you don't want to apply the trim with nails you could just glue some wood to the front edge of plywood and then cut the angle.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gideon View Post
With the cab-acrylic lacquer, can I brush it on or does it have to be sprayed? Is it self leveling? Same procedures for general finishing - sanding between, etc?

I have another project coming up which will use maple and cherry. Will this lacquer penetrate at all showing nice grain depth?
Both lacquer and waterbase poly will penetrate about the same. The waterbase polyurethane has other benefits, as you need no sealer, it can be applied in colder weather, does not blush from moisture...either as humidity or inline, is not as toxic, and is an easier cleanup. Try it on samples.





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post #11 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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after water base poly is dry, would a coat of paste wax discolor it? i absolutely hate the feel of all poly urthanes.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 02:46 PM
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after water base poly is dry, would a coat of paste wax discolor it? i absolutely hate the feel of all poly urthanes.
I wouldn't put wax on anything. The final coat should feel like it's waxed.





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post #13 of 15 Old 03-06-2013, 10:43 PM
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after water base poly is dry, would a coat of paste wax discolor it? i absolutely hate the feel of all poly urthanes.
Any finish you should wait a month or more before you put any type of wax on it. The finish needs to cure first. Do you have any idea of the finish you like the feel of?
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-10-2013, 10:22 PM
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New member needs advice on clear, protective, matte finish for birch

Hello,
I am a new member who really needs some advice.

I need to identify a finish (for a very light birch table) that will add minimal yellow or golden hues AND that is very tough or can have scratches sanded out AND that is as close to matte as possible.

My latest thought is to try a clear polycrylic. Advice?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
Susan
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-11-2013, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by sola0005 View Post
Hello,
I am a new member who really needs some advice.

I need to identify a finish (for a very light birch table) that will add minimal yellow or golden hues AND that is very tough or can have scratches sanded out AND that is as close to matte as possible.

My latest thought is to try a clear polycrylic. Advice?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
Susan
The polycrylic would work for you. If you have the means of spraying a cab acrylic lacquer would also work and would be easier to repair if damaged. A conversion varnish would be a tougher finish than either but harder to repair. The problem with golden hues such as in oil based polyurethane is as it ages, it gets more yellow and not really recommended for light colored wood.
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