PDMM3DK]® TTOP Fronting Blotchy Stain
Pine can be a stubborn wood to stain. On a single piece of pine the pores can alternate from large and open to small and dense. In addition, the grain often swirls around so that you find end grain where you don't normally expect it — on the surface of the board (see drawing).
What happens is that these variations In the grain affect the way the stain is absorbed into the wood. The pigments in the stain settle in the pores, and the deeper the pore, the more stain it holds. So some areas, such as the end grain areas on the surface, hold more pigment than others. This can result in a series of light and dark blotches (see left side of the board in the photo).
Here are some of the steps you can take to help control blotching:
Be selective in the boards you use. Look at the edge of the board for a tight and straight grain pattern. Avoid boards with swirling or unusual grain patterns.
Sand the project thoroughly, working through progressively smoother grits of sandpaper. Areas with large scratches left behind by coarse-grit sandpaper trap more pig-
Applying an oil stain to this piece of pine creates a series of light and dark
ment and stain darker. If you want to end up with a lighter color, use a finer grit (180) sandpaper as this will seal up the pores.
Once you're through sanding the entire surface.
blotches (left). But using a stain controller first helps even out the color (right).
go back and sand any end grain a little more with the next higher grit. This will fill in the pores of the end grain with fine dust. Then when the stain is applied, it won't penetrate these areas as deeply.
Brush on a stain controller (sometimes called a "conditioner") before applying the stain. The controller partially seals up the large pores so they won't hold as much pigment. The result is a more even stain (see the right side of the photo).
Begin applying the stain right away — before the stain controller has dried completely.
Stir the stain frequently to keep the pigments in suspension and ensure consistent color,
Applying an oil stain to this piece of pine creates a series of light and dark blotches (left). But using a stain controller first helps even out the color (right).
I started work on the corner cupboard by making the top, middle shelf, and bottom feQl labeled A), and the three adjustable shelves (B). All six pieces are made by edge-gluing 3/i"-thick stock to make blanks 133/8" wide by 40!/2" long.
Note: For more on edge-gluing panels, see» pages 92 and 93.
lay out angles. Once the blanks are made, you can lay out the angles that give these pieces (and eventually the cabinet) their shape (Fig.l).
i nen, use mat DlanK as a template to mark the others.
Begin the layout by drawing a centerline on the blank (Fig. 1). Then make reference marks on the front edge 153/W' from each side cf the centerline.
Next, place a combination square along one end to lay out a 45° angle from the reference mark on the front edge to the end cf the blank (Fig. 2). In my case, this line measured 6:,A." long (Fig.l).
Then flip the combination square over so it points toward the back edge rrom tne nrsi line.
CUT OUT shape. After the lines are layed out on both ends, you can cut out the finished shape. I did this with the miter gauge set at a 45f angle on the table saw, adjustable shelves. On the three adjustableshelves, I cut a relief on the front edges (Fig.l). (This makes room for keeper strips on the back of the lower doors, refer to Fig. 36, page 91.) Then I routed a plate groove along the back edges cf two cf these shelves (B), as shown in the Shop Tip box below.
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