Author Topic: stain for maple plywood  (Read 13039 times)

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Offline paulgordon

  • Posts: 10
stain for maple plywood
« on: November 25, 2008, 09:19 PM »
I have some maple plywood that I am going to use for a cedar chest.  Any suggestions for stain/finish?

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Offline Cannuck

  • Posts: 118
Re: stain for maple plywood
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008, 12:48 PM »
When I stain plywood, I tend to use a wood conditioner first.  You can use minwax conditioner, or I've heard that you can use mineral spirits.  I helps even out the grain of the wood significantly, which I've seen pronounced when you're using maple or birch ply.  The veneer tends to be rotary cut, even if its bookmatched, so the grain is a lot more pronounced (and absorbant of stain).
Hindsight is like foresight, but with no future.

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: stain for maple plywood
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 07:29 PM »
If you read the instructions on any can of wood conditioner (at least on any I've read) it tells you to NOT use it on maple.

Not sure why, but I built a solid Maple vanity for a customer last year, stain was driving me nuts since maple absorbs stain unevenly and leaves the surface ugly and blotchy, could not find any advice anywhere about how to get good results with maple.

Finally asked a friend who is a luthier (and knows lots of tricks about wood treatment) he suggested plain old Knox gelatin, paint it on and let it dry as a pre-stain treatment, it seals the open pores in the maple and lets the stain set evenly.

It works, use a new, totally clean brush, heat the gelatin gently and keep it warm in the pot.

I'm not kidding, this vanity was over $5,000.00 I needed a perfect finish and got it with the gelatin.

Doubting "experts" will no doubt leap in and tell me my error and explain why you shouldn't do this,

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Justin F.

  • Posts: 311
  • Louisiana, USA
Re: stain for maple plywood
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 08:01 PM »
Steve it doesn't sound strange to me --- I think glue sizing is also used to control staining and finish absorption.

Would a wash coat of shellac work here?

Justin
" The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. "

Offline Neill

  • Posts: 889
Re: stain for maple plywood
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 08:59 PM »
If you read the instructions on any can of wood conditioner (at least on any I've read) it tells you to NOT use it on maple.

Not sure why, but I built a solid Maple vanity for a customer last year, stain was driving me nuts since maple absorbs stain unevenly and leaves the surface ugly and blotchy, could not find any advice anywhere about how to get good results with maple.

Finally asked a friend who is a luthier (and knows lots of tricks about wood treatment) he suggested plain old Knox gelatin, paint it on and let it dry as a pre-stain treatment, it seals the open pores in the maple and lets the stain set evenly.

It works, use a new, totally clean brush, heat the gelatin gently and keep it warm in the pot.

I'm not kidding, this vanity was over $5,000.00 I needed a perfect finish and got it with the gelatin.

Doubting "experts" will no doubt leap in and tell me my error and explain why you shouldn't do this,



Steve -

I have two questions for you..

1) Sounds like a great idea, but what about the permanence of the gelatin?

2)  Any photos of this masterpiece?

Thanks.

Neill
Kapex, Domino, MFT/3, Rotex 150 FEQ, CT 22E, TS 55, RS2E Orbital Sander, C12 Drill, 1400 Router, Rotex 90 DX, Rotex 125 FEQ, LS 130 EQ Linear, Parallel Guide Set, Deltex 93 E, Trion 300 Barrell Grip, ETS 150/3 EQ, ES125 EQ, Guide Rail Accessory Kit, Sanding Block, various rails, systainers, sortainers, vacuum hoses and accessories for various tools.

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: stain for maple plywood
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2008, 03:33 PM »
Glue sizing definitely works, but I generally prefer a wash coat of dewaxed shellac to help avoid blotching when stain is later applied,  I use Zinnser's SealCoat and dilute it 1:1 with denatured alcohol.  The areas most likely to blotch will absorb more of the wash coat, and I sometimes apply more diluted shellac to these areas before I haved completed the application of the wash coat.

When I have had to stain (hard) maple, I have usuall had to resort to sprayed on tinting coats of highly diluted finish material, e.g. lacquer, into which I have added aniline dye stain.  Unfortunately, this results in at least part of the stain color and depth being in the top coats rather than in the wood fibres, which means if the finish is later chipped, the color is also affected in the chipped area.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Notorious T.O.D.

  • Posts: 506
Re: stain for maple plywood
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2008, 04:52 PM »
One mistake that people make with maple is sanding with too fine of sand paper and closing off / burnishing the pores of the wood.  Then it cannot absorb the stain /dye as evenly. I would not sand past 150 on maple. 

Best,
Todd