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Thread: Staining inlaid oak

  1. #1

    Staining inlaid oak

    I'm trying to figure out how to stain inlaid QS white oak without discoloring the inlay. Found a FWW article that suggests coating inlays with shellac with a very fine brush; tried it - very slow going and can see all imperfections wrt hand painting a 1/16" wide stripe. Is here some way to prefinish the inlay so it doesn't pick up dye and stain, even after scraping? If I stain the wood and then cut inlays, I seem to scrape through occasionally, but refinishing planed-through spots seems easier than hand-painting shellac over longnarrow inlay strips. Right now I'm messing with plastic 'fake ivory' and although it's tough to cut, doesn't seem to pick up dye and stain the way holly or birch do.
    All suggestions on how to do this would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    What wood is to surround the oak? In some cases chemical “stains” can impact the oak with little impact on something like maple.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Schoene View Post
    What wood is to surround the oak? In some cases chemical “stains” can impact the oak with little impact on something like maple.
    Sorry to not be clear - I have an oak piece inlaid with thin birch stringing and inlays. I'm trying to protect the birch from taking on oak stains.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    If you aren't satisfied with the result of applying shellac with an artist's brush, then maybe you could try this approach. Stain and seal the top well before installing the inlay/stringing. To do that without having to scrape it flush after it's glued in, you could try routing the recess just a little deeper than the thickness of the stringing and then pressiing it into place with a flat block when you glue it in so that it ends up flush with the surface. Any glue squeeze out can be wiped off without fear of hurting the stained/sealed oak. Afterwards you should be able to proceed straight to applying your topcoats.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Potassium dichromate solution will color oak nicely. (!! poison use care !!) Birch has much less tannin and will just change color modestly. TEST scrap to determine desired concentration on your specific woods.

  6. #6
    Thanks guys. George Frank notwithstanding, potassium dichromate sounds like messing with a poison I don't know anything about, but I'll keep an eye out for isome along with pitfalls of using it. Sounds like it's time for some practice on inlaying (pre)stained wood.

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