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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's the lowdown. I'm making a craftsman style bookcase out of QSWO and it will be fumed. I love the look of fumed oak :thumbsup:
I'm not going to use any plans , well my plans and have been considering what approach I will take for the back.
Check this out here..http://www.finewoodworking.com/membership/fwnpdf/011192048.pdf
My wife and I like the plywood panel option. I know that's not a traditional back, but the idea of either planning down 4/4 stock to 5/8" kind of sucks and will be really heavy. The ply would also save me some quality QSWO for another project.
Anyway, I'm planning on doing a fume test with both a piece of the oak and the ply. My hope is they both will turn out very close, but if not what would your approach to this be?
I should say I'm not a stain guy, so I know very little about it, I'm not against using it on this project if need be. If that's the correct approach, I need more than a vague answer please.
Let's take the worst case, if the two are miles apart in color would it be advisable to finish the ply after the fume? Keep in mind this will be a complete unit, I guess I could keep the back unscrewed.
Any thoughts here gentlemen?

I should probably include some info on how I like to finish my fumed oak. I usually use this product.http://generalfinishes.com/retail-p...oats/arm-r-seal-urethane-topcoat#.Ur8jU1KA3V0
and then Black Bison wax. Pretty simple I know, but I do like how it turns out.
 

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Have you looked for oak ply? I know Crosscut has it, just not sure if they have it thinner than 3/4".
 

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where's my table saw?
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I have never fumed...

Well, wood that is, but I have stained both quatersawn Oak and Oak plywoood for my Mission Headboard and they didn't stain the same. :no: The plywood was more difficult and uneven because the thin layer of veneer with a glue immediately behind it did not allow the stain to penetrate. I don't know if fuming would have the same results, so it's best to make some test samples. I ended up stripping and restaining several times to get the look I was happy with. :yes:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/mission-headboard-build-37911/
 
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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Martin Lumber here in Everett carries 1/2 & 3/4 WO I can also get rift cut as well. What I wanted to do was have the entire back mounted to the case, but now I'm thinking I might have to put it in the fume tent in pieces, that way I can try to match the plywood panels to the fume, then assemble.
Now, can any of you fellas recommend a good book on finishing and stain matching :eek: Oh dear lord don't let me screw this up!

Ok woodsnthings after looking thru your post on your bed I'm trying to do pretty much the same thing, only different. You know my pain!
 

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Another idea just occurred to me about the fuming. I remember reading somewhere about applying tannin as a spray or wash to the oak before fuming to even out the coloration amongst different pieces. Don't recall where I read that or any specifics, but might be something you could do to the ply to even out/adjust the coloration.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another idea just occurred to me about the fuming. I remember reading somewhere about applying tannin as a spray or wash to the oak before fuming to even out the coloration amongst different pieces. Don't recall where I read that or any specifics, but might be something you could do to the ply to even out/adjust the coloration.
Ok, I'm on the hunt. Let's see what's out there :shifty:
 

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I've never fumed any wood either. If it is something that appeals to you I would keep tinkering with it until you master it. There is certainly nothing wrong with it and is a age old process so I doubt if it is that hard. I suspect it takes more patience than anything.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Steve! I have the fuming technique down, really easy actually.
I'm trying to figure out what to do with the plywood panels in the back of the bookcase.
I have a feeling the plywood won't fume like solid wood. I am going to do a test. Just trying to get a plan together if it doesn't.
 

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From what I have read from other peoples experiences the plywood darkens at a slower rate than the solid wood. If this is true you may need to partially fume the plywood before inserting it in the back of the cabinet.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tim, hey buddy you were on to something about spraying the wood.
I found an article that said you can actually spray ammonia directly on wood. That is worthy of a test run.
 

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Check out this forum discussion on Fine Woodworking. There are a couple of pictures towards the bottom comparing the color of brushed on ammonia vs. fuming. Brushing it on works, but it won't penetrate as deep as fuming and also isn't as dark - all depends on how dark you want your piece to be.

Another thing to think about is if you brush it on, you may have a issue with raising grain - might not be an issue but could cause more work especially if you have a lot of moldings/routed profiles.

BTW - Here is a place I had bookmarked that carries powdered tannic acid if you decide to go that route. http://www.woodfinishingenterprises.com/dyes.html

I've never ordered from them, so don't know anything about the company.
 

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You can increase the tannin content by just painting tea on the wood and allowing it to dry. I use Lipton tea bags. It will raise the grain because of the water but that can be sanded out.
 

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Old School
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If you want to experiment with the "fumed look", if you can do light spraying of a black aniline dye...alcohol based (methanol), (also called lampblack), you can control the look. It can be applied several times to achieve the look you want. You should be able to match the veneer to the solid wood. It won't raise the grain, not as toxic as fuming, and can be a quick finish.






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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey you guys are awesome! Thanks for all your very knowledgeable responses. It's two plywood panels, how hard could it be! right??
This will be a great learning opportunity and I plan on sharing my results with you.
One of the tips I read and actually used on my last piece I fumed was to raise the grain before fuming. This is supposed to allow the ammonia to penetrate further into the wood and then I hand sand the entire piece with 220 after. Maybe it works? but it did seem to have an overall leveling or uniformity to the wood. So I will continue doing so.
I'm more than a days walk toward becoming the type of woodworker I aspire to be, but with your help and my wife's checkbook I'll get there sooner or later :thumbsup:
 
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