View Full Version : Grain Raising

Richard Line
09-23-2014, 2:07 PM
I'm going to be finishing pieces of a box with water based dye stain and milk paint (also water based). So, the grain needs to be raised. How long does the grain raising last. I know I'll be several days getting all of the pieces dyed or painted. Can all the grain raising and sanding off the raised grain be done at one time, even if it will be several days for some of the pieces, or sides, to be treated with the dye stain or paint. I've done the grain raising before, but in the past I've always done the finishing soon after the grain was raised.

Winton Applegate
09-23-2014, 8:35 PM
Heck, I'll talk to yah while you wait for some body more knowledgeable. (I don't use the water based finishes).
I will say that if you hand plane the surfaces for the final finish then you don't need to raise the grain. Finish plane it and then put the finish on same day. If you wait longer the surface oxidizes and you get some surface tension that causes the finish to bead up some, true with sanding as well.

david charlesworth
09-24-2014, 12:25 PM
Grain raising is meant to raise fibres that have been pressed into the surface by actions such a sanding with blunt paper. Dings and scratches are also dealt with).

I see no reason why the surface obtained, after doing this once (or twice) should be affected by a few days delay.

Just make sure fibres are nipped off by light sanding with fresh, sharp paper.

best wishes,

David Weaver
09-24-2014, 1:21 PM
I agree with david, it will make no difference if you let the wood sit a day or a month (actually, if the wood is in a humid area, it may seem a bit rougher over time). I'd be more concerned with any inadvertent contamination of the surface or dust settling over time, the grain will stay raised.

A friend of mine made a nice splayed leg table and then diligently waxed the table. Over the years, the surface has gotten rough despite keeping it waxed, presumably because moisture can still slowly make its way through the wax.

David Eisenhauer
09-24-2014, 2:47 PM
I routinely use Trans Tint WB dyes and often do my pre-dye grain raising smoothing a couple-three days prior to applying the dye as I prep all pieces of a project so I can shoot everything at once. My shop environment is non controlled and the onset of a humid day after the grain raising and before the spraying has never affected the surface to be sprayed.

Richard Line
09-24-2014, 3:40 PM
Thanks for the good and useful responses. They certainly answer the question and will help.

Winton Applegate
09-25-2014, 12:34 AM
As many of you know I am not typing as well as I used to, or as fast, due to the fact I have to keep picking all these crow feathers out of my teeth.

The gang has taught me to question what I read even when from the best available sources . . .
but alas . . .
nearly all of my woodworking education has been from reading and trying and reading and trying again until things work well.
I must say that for the most part I am extremely satisfied with the results I get from this regime and am very grateful to all the authors for their articles. ESPECIALLY IN THE OLD FINE WOODWORKING magazines.
This is an article from FWW.
I have seen a few other similar articles with varying specifics but generally they agree on the freshen the surface by planing or sanding before applying glue or a finish. Not to add tooth but to remove the surface tension.

So rather than argue and say that I am right I will provide my source and let the trials begin.
As always, and I am in good company in this practice, it is a GREAT idea to do some tests on scrap of the same wood you are working with to get the bugs worked out before going for the big cigar.

If you care to read the whole article you may be able to read it on line at FWW for a small one month access fee (or a yearly fee if you like).

The magazine issue is Fine Woodworking, November / December 2003, page 94 to 98, “How Yellow Glue Works”
The article is by Chris Minick (an industrial scientist (http://www.finewoodworking.com/authors/chris-a-minick.aspx) and one of the finishing experts at FWW or was).

The surface tension thing applies to finishes or glue and especially water based.

PS: on my purple heart work bench I can feel the extractives. The unfinished surface has a very light tack to it and is part of the reason I like this wood for a hand tool wood work bench surface; not as slick as other woods.