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I am getting about 1000 bd ft of white oak quarter sawn to use as molding in my house. I am wondering how to fume it? Or how to finish it to make the rays and flecks pop.
Thanks!
 

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I am getting about 1000 bd ft of white oak quarter sawn to use as molding in my house. I am wondering how to fume it? Or how to finish it to make the rays and flecks pop.
Thanks!
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Hopefully Chaincarver Steve will be along to assist in this quandary.:laughing:

I'm sorry. Entertainment is a little slow around here this morning and I just couldn't help myself. :thumbdown: I apologize.
 

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I've never fumed any wood before so I won't address that question. Normal finishing of quartersawn oak there is nothing special you need to do. Staining the wood will make the grain pop. The laterial banding is hard parts of the grain that doesn't accept a stain very well so the rest of the wood will stain darker bringing out the banding. If you are going natural with the color and using a water based finish you might treat the wood with linseed oil first. This won't make the grain pop as well as a pigmented stain but is the best you can do with natural. The water based finish will otherwise be bland and you will loose the quartersawn look. If using a water based finish with an oil stain, I would use a de-waxed shellac as a barrier coat because of the linseed oil in the stain. An oil based finish without stain would make the grain pop but over time the finish will yellow and look bad. If you have the means of spraying you could also use a cab-acrylic lacquer. It will remain clear.
 

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What I did to make the grain really "pop" on a oak bed for a 1951 ford pickup was to first stain the oak with minwax jacobean (spelling?) and then wipe good....next was a coat of golden oak. The jacobean is very dark so the grain was dark and the golden oak gave it a nice warm feeling. Try a small piece of scrap but be sure to coat it was some sort of lacquer after it dries to really see the color.
 

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Fuming is my preferred method of finishing white oak. Let me first say that while some folks claim to get decent results using a household or extra strength ammonia, I have not. This is not to say the results they are getting aren't satisfactory to them, I have tested samples with a 10% and a 26% solution and by far the 26% has shown better results.
It's really simple actually. Get ahold of some 26% some call it Aqua ammonia or Ammonium Hydroxide, it all depends where you are looking to purchase it. Call it Aqua of you call a pool supply store or Ammonium
Hydroxide if you call a blueprint supply store. I happen to get mine at a blueprint house.
There are several articles on the subject as well, here's a short one from Marc. http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/finishing-quartersawn-white-oak/
Now some folks like to fume their oak already planned down, but not to final thickness just close, in board form. This allows the cabinetman to hand pick his boards for uniformity in color, a major plus if you have the space. Not all will come out the same color as they will have different amounts of tannic acids in the wood.
It won't be a huge difference but in some cases you will be able to see the contrast.
It's as simple as building a tent, finding a suitable location ( I fume out in my garden shed) loading your wood and fill a shallow non metallic bowl or two depending on how large your project is and seal it up and wait. Temperature does affect the fuming time I found, the colder it is the slower the process. I don't even look until 8 hours has passed, then I'll check every 2 hours if it's getting close.

here's a pic with my table in the tent for a trial fit.

And the final product, finished with General Finishes Armour Seal and Black Bison wax.

I hope this helps and by no means am I an expert on this or any other subject except midday naps. Good luck!
 

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Fuming that much white oak will be quite a task. Life will be easier if you try using stains and dyes to get the effect you want. Like Steve said, the rays are harder and don't accept color as deeply...try a few different routines and pick one you like.
 

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All the oaks IMO, are easy to finish. I wouldn't bother with fuming. I use an oil base stain and waterbase polyurethane topcoat. If you have a color in mind, test some samples with the stain. Wipe on and wipe off the excess. When dry, spraying thin applications of either satin or gloss waterbase poly will finish nicely. Stays clear, dries fast, and easy clean-up.






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