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I'm building a desk for a friend out of red oak. The stain he wants is a darker, almost red, stain. For the desktop I would like to try a red oak frame with a different kind of hardwood in the middle. My conceren is what it will look like with the stain. I'm looking for suggestions on what kind of hardwood I should use in the middle of my red oak frame and can I use the same stain for both the frame and center. Not sure how to do this and very expensive if I do not do it right.
 

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I'm building a desk for a friend out of red oak. The stain he wants is a darker, almost red, stain. For the desktop I would like to try a red oak frame with a different kind of hardwood in the middle. My conceren is what it will look like with the stain. I'm looking for suggestions on what kind of hardwood I should use in the middle of my red oak frame and can I use the same stain for both the frame and center. Not sure how to do this and very expensive if I do not do it right.
You could use a hardwood plywood for the field, and then edge it with the oak. Some species although being different might look nice with the same stain, or at least unique. If you use a hardwood glue up for the field, you would have to allow for cross grain movement if you plan to adhere an edge all the way around. Edging and breadboard ends could do that.






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If you have the means of spraying you could mask off the red oak frame and stain the center with a dye stain lightly sprayed on. Then seal it to set the color, remove the masking and stain the red oak frame and then continue with the clear coat. You have to shield the center against the red stain as much as you can because a coat of sealer isn't impenetrable.
 
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