New guy here.. need advice for stain - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-15-2012, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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New guy here.. need advice for stain

Hi all. Love this site and have seen lots of great builds

I have never done any kind of wood work before, but am interested in getting into it. I own some land and have always liked log furniture.

I'd love to start off by building something simple, like a tv stand (not a whole entertainment center, but just a table stand).

I'll start by going into my woods and finding something to use for the 4 legs (probably pine, maple or birch).

ok..here are some questions.
1. I've seen birch furniture that still has the bark on it. What can I use to "preserve" the bark and wood so it doesn't rot or go bad?

2. If I use maple or pine, I will strip the bark off. How long do I let it dry out for, and what do I use to stain it?

Sorry if these are dumb questions. Like I said, I'm very new at this

Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-16-2012, 01:05 PM
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There is not a lot you can do to retard the birch bark from pealing. Probably to seal the ends of the logs with paraffin wax to prevent them from splitting is all you can do. The best thing you could do is choose when you cut the wood. If it is cut in spring the bark is more likely to peal than if it was cut in winter.

Your wood won't be seasoned for years. You should be safe to stain in 6 weeks after de-barking it. If you use a film coating on it, I would go as thin as possible until the wood is seasoned. The wood is going to shrink more and if you put a heavy finish on it, it may crack badly.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-16-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve. I'll probably peel the bark then, and then lightly stain after 6 weeks, maybe longer. If the wood isn't going to be seasoned for years, is it still safe to build furniture with? Also, what is a good stain to use with peeled wood like this? The same stuff people stain boards with?
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-16-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
Thanks Steve. I'll probably peel the bark then, and then lightly stain after 6 weeks, maybe longer. If the wood isn't going to be seasoned for years, is it still safe to build furniture with? Also, what is a good stain to use with peeled wood like this? The same stuff people stain boards with?

Safe, perhaps, but may not be practical.

Unseasoned wood, also called "green" wood - nothing to do with the colour, is going to change dimension as it dries.

The wood shrinks most at right angles to the grain (width of a normal board you see in the store).

Think of the wood as a series of straws which represent the grain. The straws contain the sap (moisture). As the sap dries out the straws shrink in diameter, but very little in length.

If you make "final" cuts and holes etc. then the pieces may crack or just not fit together as the wood dries.

Timber frame houses apparently are typically built with green wood, but the design has to accommodate the movement at the wood dries.

As for the stain, you can use the same stain as seasoned wood.

The bark surface will not be smooth. Stain is normally applied wipe on, then wipe off. A rough surface will cause some of the stain to collect and the colour may not be uniform.

You could consider a dye vs a stain. Rick Mosher started an excellant thread on this. Search for "Dye vs pigment" to find the thread.

Last edited by Dave Paine; 09-16-2012 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-16-2012, 04:05 PM
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You could get your lumber kiln dried, and you can use it sooner.









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post #6 of 8 Old 09-16-2012, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the suggestions guys. great info there :) I guess if I want to build some kind of log furniture or tv table, I'll have to take it real slow and explore all my options. If I cant find a place to get it kilm dried, I'll probably not do it, as I don't want to put something on hold for years. lol.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 10:41 AM
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It appears steve missed the follow up from post 3. I wouldn't build any furniture with green wood. The shrinkage and warpage could pull it apart as it dries. Assuming anything RobbieH is building for interior use, any oil stain would be fine.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-08-2013, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies. I decided to go in a different direction. I am going to make a couple of small tables from some small diameter spruce I cut down. The table legs will be about 4" in diameter, other parts will be smaller. I have already peeled the bark and they are in barn drying. I'm hoping they will be dry enough this summer or fall.
In the next few days or so, I am going to cut and peel some yellow birch for a bed, which will go in my camp. Probably no bigger than 6" diameter at the thickest parts.

Before I actually build these, I will sand them down. The spruce has some knobs from the branches, which made peeling the bark a bit of a pain. I've heard of people cutting them right down with a grinder, as they are peeling bark. What do you guys think?

The yellow birch should be easier, as there are basically no branches until the top. I understand birch doesnt stain or dye well. How about spruce?
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