Simulating grain in new wood to match old wood.

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Jan 12, 2018 at 1:24 PM.

  1. Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Anyone out there take the time to try to artificially add grain lines (ie tree growth lines) to new wood to make it blend in better with old wood? I've had to add 2' to 3' sections of new wood to spruce rail caps on my 1906 HW. I didn't have wide enough spruce to do the job so I used a some bass wood that was wide enough. The original spruce was cut with the grain layers visible from the top and and runs parallel to the rail length. Problem is the grain in the bass wood is nowhere like that in the spruce, so I'll be very noticeable even if I nail the stain coloring. So I'm thinking of using a pencil (or something) to draw in artificial grain lines in the new wood to hopefully (along with wood stain) make the new wood blend in with the old spruce. Anybody have a technique they use? Use a pencil? or is there something better?
     
  2. yelnif

    yelnif another little project

    Hello Howie, I had a similar dilemma once and my solution was to apply a light coat of lacquer to the stained project piece and let it dry for @ 1/2 hour. Then I used a metal comb to scratch the lacquered surface in a grainy/ wavy pattern length wise to match the graining of the project. Tack off lightly and applied a light coat of 'Old English' walnut (in my case) paste wood stain to simulate the grain. The stain soaks into the scratchs as it dries over night. Wipe/ sand off the residual walnut stain and lacquer. Apply finish coats of choice. This will leave a very realistic graining effect but may take a little practice. IIRC it took me many tries before I was happy with the results. Hope this helps you .
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I understand... And using a comb will keep the lines parallel like real grain. Nice.
    Maybe this would work: I sometimes add stain to varnish to tweak the color in prestained areas that didn't match the color I wanted once the first varnish coat was added (for me, older wood always becomes much darker than newer wood once the 1st varnish coat is added). After I stain the bass wood to match the grain free areas of the spruce I could add a darker layer of varnish + stain, wait some time like you say, then use a comb (with fat teeth) to scrape some of the tinted areas away and leaving thinner darker 'grain lines'. Then add more layers of untinted varnish as needed. Maybe... I'll experiment. Thanks for the idea!
     
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Rotten Wood Hoarder

    Why would you use basswood when the lumberyards are full of spruce?

    Dan
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Are they really? Never saw any here, at least not at the place I always go to. But ok... I'll ask around.
     
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Rotten Wood Hoarder

    SPF - the most common construction lumber - Spruce-Pine-Fir. You just need to tell the difference between the 3.
    Fir is usually very light, pine heavier and harder, spruce modest weight and tight growth rings.
    Also, the longer boards are usually the better material, so look at 10 ft'ers and longer to high grade.
    I do the same with western red cedar for planking, on occasion you can find long, mostly clear pieces that make good planking. Pieces with the bark showing are the best bet for fewer knots.

    Dan

    ps: HD doesn't count as a lumber yard
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Good to know. Thanks!
    I just did some staining with some scrap bass wood. I can come very close to matching the 1906 spruce color overall, and the stain (special walnut + golden pecan) really accentuates the bass wood's grain. It's not too bad a match for the old spruce, though the grain isn't as tight as the old spruce. I'm thinking maybe I'd have trouble matching grain size with today's wood in any case.
     
    fred capenos likes this.
  8. yelnif

    yelnif another little project

    I have had good luck finding long spruce at local truss builders , and usually very clear with little to no knots. I would check barber supply, pet supply for a proper grain width metal combs and you could 'break off' a tine to vary grain spacing. After reading many of your exploits I know you will achieve great results.
     
  9. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Not much use to you Howie, but back in the 60s and 70s, many tower blocks were built in and around Manchester. The garages for cars were all in blocks of same coloured metal up and over doors. People found it difficult to work out which was their garage so liked to repaint them for a bit of individuality. A painter and decorator friend was an expert in wood graining and at first used to ask what species of wood they’d like their metal door to be. It soon became apparent that people knew little about what different timbers looked like so he painted each panel on his van a different species so customers could walk round and point to the one they liked. The only van I’ve ever seen made completely of wood!
    Sam
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    What a great story, Sam! Thanks! I'm guessing England doesn't have a whole lot of forests any more, is that right? When I was there year ago I remember seeing tons of brick shaped stone in fields seemingly ready made for construction projects - didn't see much wood land though. But... it is a big island.
     
  11. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    No - very tiny little bits of original forests and quite a few softwood plantations is all there is here really.
    It can be quite challenging to source materials for north American boat repairs and I imagine you would be horrified by what we have to pay.
     

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