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Evil sapwood is at rest

David G
So, I finally got around to final finishing of my fumed white oak box. I will admit that I spent more time trying to correct the sapwood than I did with the joinery on the box (hand-cut dovetails). The suggestion of a glaze was a good one. I tried a number of versions of glaze on scrap, then tried the "put the glaze on an overlying piece of glass" trick. I found that trick worked better for me in theory, than in practice. Then again, that is the way many things work for me. :-)

I ended up putting on glaze, not liking it, and removing it with alcohol. I did that numerous times. Part of the problem is that I don't have a great eye for color though I am not color blind. I could get the right intensity of color, but not exactly the right color. I ended up going with amber shellac and used medium brown and green Trans Tint. Without enough green in my glaze, the sapwood was redder than the fumed heartwood. Many tries then came out too green. After about ten tries on the piece( and a bazillion on scrap), I settled. It came out good enough that it is not ugly, though certainly not anywhere close to invisible.

Next time I will skip the fuming, though the fuming itself was quite easy. 20 minutes to build a tent that looked like a small table without a top. 10% janitorial ammonia from my local Ace hardware. About 3-4 oz. of ammonia on a dinner plate. The white oak was quite dark in less than 24 hours. No respirator, just did this in my garage( AKA shop) with the door up. Once the tent was sealed, I shut the garage door after 15 minutes. No smell of ammonia in the shop except when I checked on the box. I think the 10% ammonia worked so well because I gave it a big surface area from which to off gas.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

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