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Working with Padauk

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Hi

,  I'm making a knick knack box with padauk.  I've never worked with it before, and am wondering if any one has any ideas on finishing it.  After sanding it down to 220, noticed there are these hairline-like cracks all over the place.  Don't know if this is common with this wood or what.  The other thing is that the color of the wood is a dark red, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.  What I've seen online is mostly brown.  Any thoughts?

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==>hairline-like cracks all over the place

?

 

I use quite a bit of Padauk per year -- mostly accents, pulls, etc --- but I still mill-up quite a bit... I'm not sure about 'hairline-like cracks'... Can you take a photo?

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I've used it a few times, and haven't seen the cracking you are describing. Pic would really help. Where did you get the wood from? Could be dry split... 

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Are you sure those "cracks" aren't just pores?  Padauk is open-pored.  They are long and wavy.

 

If you don't like the color of the wood, it's a lot like what we say about the weather in St. Louis...wait five minutes and it'll change.  Padauk unfortunately doesn't keep that vibrant orange-red color if it's exposed to the sun.  Eventually it'll turn a dull gray-brown.  If that's the look you want, you're in luck.

 

Although Trip does have some tricks up his sleeve to keep the color...if you ask nicely he might enlighten you. :)

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I believe what you're talking about had to do with the pore structure. I was planing some padeuk up last night and noticed the same thing in the shavings. It almost looked like the outline of a sperm...

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==>hairline-like cracks all over the place

?

 

I use quite a bit of Padauk per year -- mostly accents, pulls, etc --- but I still mill-up quite a bit... I'm not sure about 'hairline-like cracks'... Can you take a photo?

Sorry, no photo for now anyhow.  The cracks go with the grain and are any where from 2 to 4 inches long.. They seem to be surface cracks, and show up no matter how much milling I do.  I think I'll just fill them either with grain filler or  finish.  There isn't much else I can see to fix it.  The wood came from our local hardwood supplier.  No problem usually.   

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Sorry, no photo for now anyhow. The cracks go with the grain and are any where from 2 to 4 inches long.. They seem to be surface cracks, and show up no matter how much milling I do. I think I'll just fill them either with grain filler or finish. There isn't much else I can see to fix it. The wood came from our local hardwood supplier. No problem usually.

Grain filler can make open pore woods look bad. Use caution.

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Are these the type of "cracks" you're talking about?

I would be very careful attempting to do a pore fill. I've tried it a few ways and it always ends up looking like crap in the end. Test your strategy on scrap first.

Edit: Mr Shaffer beat me to it.

post-16319-0-87536300-1436295970_thumb.j

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Are these the type of "cracks" you're talking about?

I would be very careful attempting to do a pore fill. I've tried it a few ways and it always ends up looking like crap in the end. Test your strategy on scrap first.

Edit: Mr Shaffer beat me to it.

Those must be young, dumb sperm? They can't find the eggs!

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Just to touch on the finishing part of your question, hard to go wrong with Arm-R-Seal..

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Hi

,  I'm making a knick knack box with padauk.  I've never worked with it before, and am wondering if any one has any ideas on finishing it.  After sanding it down to 220, noticed there are these hairline-like cracks all over the place.  Don't know if this is common with this wood or what.  The other thing is that the color of the wood is a dark red, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.  What I've seen online is mostly brown.  Any thoughts?

You might want to take a look at the color changes shown on my padauk page before you get carried away with it. As Eric said, the color doesn't last and you may not like the end result. I sure don't.

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Hi

,  I'm making a knick knack box with padauk.  I've never worked with it before, and am wondering if any one has any ideas on finishing it.  After sanding it down to 220, noticed there are these hairline-like cracks all over the place.  Don't know if this is common with this wood or what.  The other thing is that the color of the wood is a dark red, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.  What I've seen online is mostly brown.  Any thoughts?

It starts off brilliant red and turns dark with age and sunlight.

DO NOT BREATHE IT WHEN CUTTING. HAVE A 25hp DUST COLLECTOR OR 32 BOX FANS SET UP BLOWING THE DUST AND FINES AWAY FROM YOU...AND THEN..... WEAR A RESPIRATOR.

Before gluing up, I wipe any glue joint down with lacquer thinner which removes the oil from that area and allows the glue to not only stick, but dry.  The first time I used padauk, I didn't know that and it took the glue days to dry. Padauk is a really oily wood.

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It starts off brilliant red and turns dark with age and sunlight.

DO NOT BREATHE IT WHEN CUTTING. HAVE A 25hp DUST COLLECTOR OR 32 BOX FANS SET UP BLOWING THE DUST AND FINES AWAY FROM YOU...AND THEN..... WEAR A RESPIRATOR.

Before gluing up, I wipe any glue joint down with lacquer thinner which removes the oil from that area and allows the glue to not only stick, but dry.  The first time I used padauk, I didn't know that and it took the glue days to dry. Padauk is a really oily wood.

Thanks for the input.  This is probably the last of the boxes I'll make out of this stuff.  I am finishing with WATER LOX  which has been a pretty good performer for me.  You think the color will still change if I put enough coats on it?  Next time I decide to try a new (to me) wood I'll ask you folks first.  One thing about this is the boxes won't be in the sun, mostly in the bedroom on the dresser.

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I made this jewelry box out of cherry and it is in the bedroom out of direct sunlight. I didn't think it would change color that much either but, it has darkened up so much that it almost matches the dresser top now!

As they say..."Wood moves and changes despite what you do to stop it." :)

Actually, I like it better dark anyway. :)

Me246.jpg

Rog

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I made this jewelry box out of cherry and it is in the bedroom out of direct sunlight. I didn't think it would change color that much either but, it has darkened up so much that it almost matches the dresser top now!

As they say..."Wood moves and changes despite what you do to stop it." :)

Actually, I like it better dark anyway. :)

Me246.jpg

Rog

That is a really nice looking box.  I use some cherry, but usually go with oak, walnut, mahogany and do some accenting with  purple heart and maple.  Thanks for the picture.  I haven't learned how to put the pics on yet....gotta get with my wife.lol

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I made this jewelry box out of cherry and it is in the bedroom out of direct sunlight. I didn't think it would change color that much either but, it has darkened up so much that it almost matches the dresser top now!

As they say..."Wood moves and changes despite what you do to stop it." :)

Actually, I like it better dark anyway. :)

Yes, but cherry gets MORE attractive as it darkens to a rich brown. Padauk gets LESS attractive as it fades to an unattractive tan/brown brown or just darkens to  brown.

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Thanks for the input.  This is probably the last of the boxes I'll make out of this stuff.  I am finishing with WATER LOX  which has been a pretty good performer for me.  You think the color will still change if I put enough coats on it?  Next time I decide to try a new (to me) wood I'll ask you folks first.  One thing about this is the boxes won't be in the sun, mostly in the bedroom on the dresser.

I don't know if you can totally stop it but with no light exposure will surely slow it down and I don't think it will turn as dark as it normally would have. I made this cutting board for my secretary and she won't use it...."it's too pretty to cut on" so she uses a maple cutting board that she has....point is, she displays my cutting board in her kitchen which has no outside light - just florescent light and it looks the same as when I gave it to her three years ago.post-2896-0-13272100-1436615888_thumb.jppost-2896-0-71174400-1436615914.jpg

The tissue box has sat on my desk for two years.  It sits on the right and the double window is on the left. My desk is made of birch with a mahogany stain on it and you can see, the padauk is getting darker and closer to that shade. The lighting in the photo isn't just right but it's close.

post-2896-0-29793500-1436619301_thumb.jp

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The number of coats will likely have an effect on how long it takes to fade, but keeping it out of sunlight is a more important consideration.

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Secretary?  I haven't seen one of those in years.  We have executive assistants, administrative assistants, office managers, sales assistants, personal assistants.... but no secretaries.   

Yes you have....you see them every week.  They're the (often) ladies in the small business who routinely, and [seemingly] without a lot of effort do everything you have listed above and much more.... but.... they do not get hung up on the semantics. We ask our clients "to give the ladies a call....or call one of the secretaries," or even something like "stop by and see 'the girls' (they're both grandmothers!) :)  I'm the guy with the corner office; but make no mistake..... they're the rock stars who daily perform all that your titles above suggest; but ours also handle things like the payables, receivables, marketing support, straightening out billing issues, ordering of supplies, scheduling building maintenance, meeting with the board of directors, .....and on occasion, they help to clean the office and even cook everyone lunch.  The insurance business often involves tragedies like homes that burn down, car crashes that claim lives, or like last week when Mr. Gxxx just didn't wake up.  When his wife came by the office to let us know, it was....."our secretaries" that helped her with the necessary business and also provided a lot of comfort and compassion to his wife that we've known for so many years.  Nope....we don't have fancy titles; but we do have some pretty talented ladies who keep the entire ship righted.  We just call them "secretaries" and they're cool with that because everyone in our business and in the community knows the real deal.

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I love to work with padauk, and I have finished a number of pieces with this wood.  I agree with those who have said the cracks are probably a result of undetected checking at the ends of the boards (wood).  It is true that it will change from red to brown with time, but you can significantly decrease this transition (months to years?) by first applying three coats of shellac (wax free, e.g., Bulls Eye Seal Coat) to the wood then finishing with 3 or so coats of a good overcoat.  I have used 3 coats shellac then 3 coats arm-r-seal, and the result is gorgeous.  Still as red as ever after several months.  I have learned and I would agree that the shellac is key for sealing the wood and preventing or delaying the oxidative transition form red to brown.  Hope this helps.

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Shellac may help slow down the oxidation, but it doesn't do anything to protect against UV, which is the real color killer.  Padauk needs to be finished with a UV inhibitor or kept out of sunlight.  I have a magazine rack in our hall bathroom made of padauk and birdseye and it's still vibrant after about four years, finished with only ARS...but there is exactly zero sunlight that reaches it.

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