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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Sydney
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    Default Tassie Blackwood - not looking anything like I expected

    Hi all,

    Hoping someone can provide some wise advice to a woodworking newbie. I made my first coffee table with Tassie blackwood a few months ago and it came out really nice after a Danish Oil finish. See below.

    IMG_3944.JPG

    I recently returned to the same timber supplier and ordered more tassie blackwood to make a queen bed, which I've finished. But after applying the Danish Oil I'm really disappointed by how blotchy it appears, with the strong contrasting dark and light areas rather than the smooth and even brown of my coffee table. See image below. It's definitely not the way I applied the oil - it's the pattern of the wood itself.

    IMG_3134.jpg

    I'm kicking myself for not asking the timber supplier to provide similar wood to before, but when they cut it for you it seems impossible/unfair to ask for a better cut that matches what you want. It's expensive too.

    I have three questions if anyone has time to answer them.

    1. What cut of blackwood is this? I'd like to avoid it next time...
    2. Is this cut generally avoided? Or it is common?
    3. Any suggestions in terms of finishing to tone down the contrasting colours? What about hardwax oil rather than danish oil?

    Big thanks for any suggestions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Aus
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I have some Blackwood very much like your second lot, maybe a bit darker. My supplier said it was not so typical and that it would be hard to match in the future.

    For what it's worth, it looks good anyway!

    Not sure what you can do about the colour - I find that the oils tend to increase the contrast of some timbers, particularly if they soak in a lot.

    Good luck!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Peoples Republic of Bryn
    Posts
    382

    Default

    I use a bit of Blackwood, and i see a lot of this in the 200mm x 38mm select grade packs i've gotten.

    I'm not a fan of the blotchy areas, i use it where its not seen and make the most of the quarter sawn edge

    As for the cut, i'd say its a crown cut, possibly closer to the sapwood so it doesn't have any real figure in it, i find it normal and i grade the pack material lengths when i unpack it.

    I haven't found a supplier that will only supply Quarter sawn or figured crown cut in packs, but some of the lads on here might be able to tell you if there are any suppliers in Sydney that allow you to select your own boards.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks PFH and Bryn23 - really appreciate it. Lesson learned on this one.

    I'll try the hard wax oil and a couple of other options, but I expect I'm stuck with it. Any other advice from others in this forum really appreciated.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Blue Mountains
    Posts
    756

    Default

    I agree with you. The grain and finish on the coffee table is much nicer. If you're really unhappy with the bed-head, you could consider applying a timber veneer over the surface. It would take some work, but I think it would be achievable judging from the photo.

    cheers,

    ajw

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Sydney
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    Default

    An update. Fortunately the danish oil I applied is on the back side of the bed, so I'll experiment with offcuts to get it right for the rest of the bed frame.

    I've done some research and will try something like the following:

    1. Water based wood filler mixed with more water applied across the entire wood surface to hopefully fill in the pores of those darker areas, then sanded back. Hoping this reduces contrast of colours when finished.
    2. Water based clear polyurethane, sanding between 2 coats.

    Hoping that's a reasonable approach

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    US
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam_001 View Post
    An update. Fortunately the danish oil I applied is on the back side of the bed, so I'll experiment with offcuts to get it right for the rest of the bed frame.

    I've done some research and will try something like the following:

    1. Water based wood filler mixed with more water applied across the entire wood surface to hopefully fill in the pores of those darker areas, then sanded back. Hoping this reduces contrast of colours when finished.
    2. Water based clear polyurethane, sanding between 2 coats.

    Hoping that's a reasonable approach
    This should reduce the contrast. Keep us posted on how did this evolve at the end of the day

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