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Anybody out there in WWT land ever stain hickory? How does it stain? Does it drink it up? Does it blotch?

Also on a related note, can anyone recommend a heat resistant clear coat? Finish will be applied to a radiator cover made from said stained hickory. I've made similar pieces before but painted them with a heat resistant enamel. Any advice here would greatly appreciated!
 

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Staining hickory would be almost as easy as oak. It doesn't blotch but if you want a more uniform color you may have to do some shading with a toner or dye to even it out since the wood often has a lot of streaks in it. As far as the heat resistant finish I would use a spar varnish. It is formulated to withstand temperature extremes.
 
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