Heard Ya, finishing pine and poplar /stuff

Today we will film the video,  like I said in yesterday’s blog I had already talked myself into it,and your comments really convinced me,  and also think it will be the lead off for the “basics videos”, and me being me, im going to start with finishing, “If you can’t finish , you can’t build”, seems to resound thru my thoughts.., not sure where I heard that before, but its true,

      One point of finishing difficult woods and pine ranks right up there with the toughest, is while the wood is cheaper, you will have to go a few extra steps in finishing, like prestains and often layered colors, to get nice results, but it is what it is, on the other side of the equation is the difficulty in obtaining  premium wood anymore,  Cherry comes to mind , with the sap wood now ,not being considered a defect, you’re going to have to go thru some of the same finishing issues, or pay a fortune, I was looking for some nice red cherry, it was hitting 6 to 8.50 a bd foot, then there is red one face, well sort of, 4.50 to 6.00 .. found some white maple for 3.00 , poplar for 1.38 . White maple makes great looking cherry, same grain, weight , even the specific density is the same, but it is white, and certainly doesn’t age like cherry, but then again if the cherry has sap wood its going to darken with age and the sap isn’t, so you will have to color darker to offset future aging, unless you like the look of random mixed wood with sap wood, which alot of folks do, I’m not a fan personally.

   All of the above says that using less expensive woods is how it will be, its also how it has been forever, the old timers all used secondary woods, so do I , but now the secondary woods are becoming primary woods, because of not only cost, but as much a case of ..”Why Not”, like the maple vs the cherry, why pay the price when we can achieve the same result, unless you just want to say its solid Cherry or whatever.  A large percentage of solid cherry commercial made furniture is actually maple , some hard maple some soft maple, with some finishing techniques and you cannot tell it , did you also know as long as a “solid whatever” piece of furniture has 45 % ( 40 or 45%) of the stated wood in it, it can be called solid, sort of like finish colors, there is very little checks and balances in place,  and no standards, so what one calls it , can be entirely different from another, sort of like the “Pine” we been talking about, it can be hemlock, yellow pine, spruce , fir, ponderosa pine , white pine and any number of species, all under one description, but all pines do have one thing in common, they are a nightmare to finish, some worse than others, so we will do the video, and hope the new folks or those who find the economics of pine and poplar to be beneficial will have an understanding that the horrible finish they got, despite the television commercials, wasnt their fault, and not become frustrated, and give up,  that’s what the video will be about,  and a suggestion to look to poplar instead of pine, and perhaps buying a lunch box planer,  would be a smart move and buying wood in the rough and processing it themselves will save them alot of $ , and give them a better product, told ya in a previous blog, I paid 3.80 BF for a 6′ piece of clear pine ( hemlock) , ouch,… but hey it was readily available, that’s also a consideration that makes pine the choice of a lot of folks,  so we will look at getting it to look good,..

    So today I do some filming, then im going to maybe camp out for a few days and start writing, get the girls on the “book” moving along..

Your input yesterday was really nice, I can’t thank all of you enough…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Heard Ya, finishing pine and poplar /stuff

  1. Jim says:

    Thanks for your help with these most difficult woods to finish, I know we all can use it.

  2. James says:

    Can’t wait to see the video. I am in japan and can’t find a board of anything but pine or cedar, would be nice to make pine look decent.

  3. Michael Corley says:


    I needed to make a large frame for lodge that matched it’s beautiful antique cherry furniture. I didn’t have a local source for cherry that I could afford, and I saw an article about making poplar look like cherry. Well, I can tell you it is very easy to do. The trick was to get rid of the green, yellow, and purple tint of the wood. That was made easy by CN Blotch Control. After two coats of CNBC, one coat of dye, one coat of gel stain, and once coat of wipe on poly, a coat of gel stain, and final coats of poly, it matched perfectly. Thanks for the great product. Pine? Not going to try it, lol.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s