Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am having a very difficult time getting quarter sawn oak to accept stain in the radials. I have tried oil based and water based stains and dye.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Gary
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
29,959 Posts
It's a common issue

The rays don't stain as dark as the surroundings. Like this:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,758 Posts
I thought that's what everyone wanted for quartersawn wood. If the radials stained dark you might as well have flat sawn wood. Anyway the density of the wood on the radials is much harder than the surrounding wood. The only way to make it a more uniform color is to use a wood conditioner to seal the softer grain areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
Yes, as CM states, those areas in the wood are valued by most woodworkers as a positive characteristic. They are very hard, and impervious to stains. That's one reason old timers who wanted to dark stain oak used to fume it with ammonia. Fuming would color those areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
The ray fibers are no just growth rings. They are actually different kinds of cells, running radially in the wood. Rays are a kind of parenchyma cell that function in a fashion similar to our human lymphatic system, transporting waste. They are quite different to the structural cells of the wood. Because of the the different orientation and structure of these cells, they will always stain differently. Generally this seems to manifest in taking less stain.

It would basically be like having grains running at 90 degrees to your end grain. As you know, end grain stains very readily and dark compared to the face 90 degrees to it.

Hope that helps and makes some sense!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I thought that's what everyone wanted for quartersawn wood. If the radials stained dark you might as well have flat sawn wood. Anyway the density of the wood on the radials is much harder than the surrounding wood. The only way to make it a more uniform color is to use a wood conditioner to seal the softer grain areas.
Steve I will try to stain a part of this piece after using wood conditioner to see what impact that has. Thanks.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, as CM states, those areas in the wood are valued by most woodworkers as a positive characteristic. They are very hard, and impervious to stains. That's one reason old timers who wanted to dark stain oak used to fume it with ammonia. Fuming would color those areas.
Howie, I have never even heard about fuming with ammonia. I will learn about it a bit and perhaps try it but it doesn't sound like a fun process.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The ray fibers are no just growth rings. They are actually different kinds of cells, running radially in the wood. Rays are a kind of parenchyma cell that function in a fashion similar to our human lymphatic system, transporting waste. They are quite different to the structural cells of the wood. Because of the the different orientation and structure of these cells, they will always stain differently. Generally this seems to manifest in taking less stain.

It would basically be like having grains running at 90 degrees to your end grain. As you know, end grain stains very readily and dark compared to the face 90 degrees to it.

Hope that helps and makes some sense!
Thanks for the feedback. This helps me understand better why this is happening.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
Fuming was a frequently used coloring process for many woods but particularly for white oak. It was a standard coloring for mission style furniture in the late 1800's.

It has been pretty much universally stopped as it is a quite dangerous process and banned in commercial shops and manufacturing. Modern stains can be used to pretty well reproduce the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fuming was a frequently used coloring process for many woods but particularly for white oak. It was a standard coloring for mission style furniture in the late 1800's.

It has been pretty much universally stopped as it is a quite dangerous process and banned in commercial shops and manufacturing. Modern stains can be used to pretty well reproduce the process.
Howie I did read up a bit about fuming oak and it didn't take much to convince myself not to go there. Thanks.

Gary
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top