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Thread: 1/4-sawn white oak heart/sap-wood

  1. #1

    1/4-sawn white oak heart/sap-wood

    I am finding it more difficult than I thought to limit waste in creating my dresser top (72" x 18") of 1/4-sawn white oak.

    Many of my best boards have an inch or so of sapwood on the edge. When milled, they still look quite nice, but there is a noticeable color variation.

    Question, will this sapwood/heartwood difference be apparent once finished with water soluable dye followed by pigment stain to create a medium reddish brown color (Arts & Crafts style) and then topcoated? Should I byte the bullet and cut off the sapwood now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Port Jefferson, NY
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    30
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Campbell View Post
    Question, will this sapwood/heartwood difference be apparent once finished with water soluable dye followed by pigment stain to create a medium reddish brown color (Arts & Crafts style) and then topcoated? Should I byte the bullet and cut off the sapwood now?
    Cut off the sap wood if you have enough material to make your top. You will save yourself the trouble of having to color match the sap and heart woods. Yes, you can match the color with stain. However, over time the sap and heart will age differently and you may see some color differentiation between the two.

    Good luck with your project.

    Tom

  3. #3
    I agree with Tom. I build Arts & Crafts, too, and one of the things I like most about it is the quarter-sawn oak. I would cut it off now because later, if you're like me, your eyes will be drawn to the qtr sawn grain and the differences may not be apparent to anyone else but they will stick out in your mind like a sore thumb. You will wish you had cut it off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwestern Connecticut
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    7,149
    cut it off quick...its going to move differently than the heart wood which may become a quick problem at your joint lines. Your gonna have a real problem trying to dye that sapwood to match unless your going more like mission dark than fumed medium brown. On the bright side oak sapwood makes great kindling!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Stephenville, TX
    Posts
    914
    Cut it off. I don't know if you're likely to encounter problems in the future with looks or wood movement. But....

    If the dresser is for yourself then in the future every time you look at it you'll be looking for differences/problems with the sapwood. If it is to go to a customer and you are a conscientious craftsman you'll wonder every once in a while for a long time if everything is OK.

    How 'bout that? Looking for a nuts and bolts answer and you get philosophy.
    And now for something completely different....

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