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Avoiding dark/gray appearance in maple end grain (Read 176 times)
 
David Muehlbauer
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Avoiding dark/gray appearance in maple end grain
Feb 7th, 2020 at 6:59pm
 
I am making a segmented bowl for Beads of Courage, but the base is a solid piece of maple. I did this for several reasons, but I felt it would be more stable and sanitary (in a hospital room) than a segmented bottom. I've made a couple others and I did the same.

The problem is that the end grain on this particular piece of maple is turning very, very gray once I sand it. I've tried sanding a couple times now. It isn't too bad at the low grits (120, 150), but anything higher seems to seriously darken the wood.

Suggestions? Would it help if I filled/finished the base with something before I continue sanding?
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Louie Powell
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Re: Avoiding dark/gray appearance in maple end grain
Reply #1 - Feb 8th, 2020 at 7:33am
 
Why is it showing gray? 

A common cause of end-grain stain is that fine sawdust is getting caught in torn grain.  What color is your sandpaper?  Sometimes the stain is similar in color to the sandpaper you are using.  So the first suggestion is to make sure that you don't have torn grain.  Try scraping, or better yet, shear-scraping to improve the surface.  Or start with a coarser grit of sandpaper.

Another cause could be that you are holding the bowl in place using a metal fixing that is being sanded at the same time as the wood, and dust from sanding the metal is being transferred to the wood.  The is a common problem faced by pen turners who use mandrels and bushings.

But if the stain is a mineral stain in the wood, there's not much you can do about it.
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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Avoiding dark/gray appearance in maple end grain
Reply #2 - Feb 10th, 2020 at 11:58am
 
Have you tried a sealer before sanding? Would prevent dust getting into grain.

Glenn J.
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