You're careful with your measurements, make dead-on accurate cuts, properly attach and glue everything together, sand it as smooth as glass, and then ... you screw everything up on the finish.
If you've ever built or refinished something made of wood, you've probably experienced this headache: the end grain turns out much darker than the side grain.
Even if you're not staining and only use an oil or clear finish, this sneaky little problem turns up in every project. Because of wood's unique structure, the end grain is a collection of the xylum, or the tube-like structures that move liquid up and down the tree.
Because the xylum are open on the end grain, it soaks up liquid much faster; good for the tree, but bad for woodworking projects.
Fortunately, there's an extra step you can take to get much more even tones across the project. And like with many things related to woodworking, it involves:
Sandpaper doesn't actually make things smoother, it makes them uniformly rough.
So, the idea is to make the uniform roughness of the end grain a little smaller than that of the side grain, to compensate for the open structure of the fibers.
So, if you sand your side grain to 150, sand the end grain to 220. If you sand the side grain to 220, sand the end to 320, and so forth.
Here's a closeup of two test lengths of cedar, a softer wood that absorbs a lot of finish.
Anyway, speaking of simple tricks, Ted just launched a new book called...
He has all kinds of goodies inside this one - including many ingenious shortcuts that'll make woodworking easy and effortless..
To see if it’s something that can help you, go here: