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Red oak fill and stain tips

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  • Red oak fill and stain tips

    Hey All, I've got solid red oak baffle boards to finish and have a few little blemishes to clear and would like some guidance on NOT making these look like my kitchen cabinets. Honestly I have no idea why I chose red oak, I was overwhelmed with choices and ended up with whatever was the appropriate width in the store selection of 5/4 boards. (Wood Werks in Columbus OH... fantastic store).

    First the tear out stuff. Minor, but could use some fill. What should I use? I've got plastic wood that may work, but it has to not stand out too bad after stain and seal.

    Click image for larger version

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    For stain, I want to take the red out and leave it light. I'm intending on playing with Minwax pickled oak and classic grey combined with some layers and sanding to build a deep grained look. Who's done something like that and may have some experience to share?

    Also... grain fill or no? As you can see above there are quite a few classic oak pinholes in there.
    Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
    Wogg Music
    Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

  • #2
    I like to use red oak and I mostly just finish it with Howard's Orange Oil. The oil darkens it slightly and brings out the orange color. I've never tried a light stain on red oak. Varathane Classic Honey stain looks great, but it is medium dark. As for the tear out, I think it might stand out more if you try to fill it.

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    • #3
      Nothing worse than having the stained filler stand out like a sore thumb. (Okay, there are lots of things actually worse than that, but you know what I mean.)
      I'd make several test pieces, cut or chisel out a little flaw deliberately, fill and stain and see what works best. Time consuming, but you'll be glad in the end.

      Comment


      • a4eaudio
        a4eaudio commented
        Editing a comment
        Also, I just used some Red Oak Wunderfill from Rockler and it worked great for what I was using it for - but it wasn't on actual Red Oak, and I was not using stain, I was using Boiled Linseed oil, polyurethane, mineral spirits, blend.

    • #4
      Minwax sells color matched filler, looks like cherry would work, universally available.

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      • #5
        Do any filler after the stain so you can play around with the color.

        If you are up for testing, you can use drywall compound as a grain filler. It was a bit to gray for me. Google ceruse finish to see some ideas.
        John H

        Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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        • #6
          When I've bothered to fill oak I used a dark filler, sanding it so that it only remained in the grain. That makes the grain really pop. When I didn't want the grain to pop I didn't use filler, I just varnished or oiled and sanded. With water based urethane you can put on at least six coats in a day, which is usually enough to fill the grain. Sand it down the following day and hit it with a few more coats before rubbing it out. If you want it to remain light don't use any stain, any color will make it darker.
          www.billfitzmaurice.com
          www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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          • #7
            That area of tear out is significant and filling it will be difficult. A black oak finish eliminates the need for grain fill and would allow the defect repair to be more easily achieved. Another option would be a rosewood finish using black grain filler and an oil based gel stain.

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            • #8
              Thank guys! Keep 'em coming.

              Here's what I've been peeping for stain examples on red oak. The pickled and classic grey combo would look pretty cool on the front of a white cabinet in my opinion. Lots of stains for red oak since it's such a common hard wood floor choice.

              Click image for larger version

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              I'm definitely going to do some testing on the spare board before digging into the real thing. I bought enough length to do a whole 3rd baffle in case I seriously screwed up one
              Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
              Wogg Music
              Published projects: PPA100 Bass Guitar Amp, ISO El-Cheapo Sub, Indy 8 2.1 powered sub, MicroSat, SuperNova Minimus

              Comment


              • billfitzmaurice
                billfitzmaurice commented
                Editing a comment
                Do the testing on the inside.

            • #9
              With a little patience and a fine tip Sharpie you can hide the filler.

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              • #10
                The last post in my pencil tower link in my signature line has some grain filling tips
                John H

                Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                • wogg
                  wogg commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Neat! That's a throwback from 2012, checking it out now.

              • #11
                As a teenager I used Mahogany, Red Oak, and Walnut to make speaker cabinets. I used a product named "Paragon Paste Filler" to take care of problem areas or fill coarse grains. You might want to check into that. Best of luck!

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                • #12
                  My floors are red oak, originally in that disgusting "honey oak" finish. I had them refinished, don't remember what the finish was, but it was "Dark Walnut" colored and the floor looks fantastic. Dark-ish, but also the different grain patterns really pop out. I'll try to get a pic today.
                  ~Brandon
                  Please donate to my Waveguides for CNC and 3D Printing Project!!
                  Please donate to my Monster Box Construction Methods Project!!
                  Soma Sonus

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