View Full Version : finishing very light stabilized maple

03-14-2003, 03:02 PM
I recently picked up some more stabilized maple burl but this stuff is very light in color almost white with yellow/gold figure. I am using it for handle material for one of my maple bird knives but am having real problems putting the final finish on it. I have sanded it to 1500 grit and then would like to polish it with some white rouge buffing but every time I try the mosaic pins turn the buff black and some of it smears onto the wood and streaks it. Is there some way of keeping the pins form turning the buff black or alternately something to remove the black from the wood without taking off the finish?
Thanks for the help.

03-14-2003, 08:14 PM
take a look at the white micarta thread (, steve. you may find helpful ideas there.

03-14-2003, 08:35 PM
I have worked a lot with the white micarta and when you sand it up to 1500 grit it no longer smears, or if it does a good washing will get it off, that doesn't work for stabilized wood.

03-14-2003, 11:04 PM
Steve, are the streaks just around the mosaic pins?. If they are ,it is probably the epoxy in the pins getting soft with the heat from the buffer and smearing. That has happened to me before. Maybe you are having the same problem. Hope this helps.

Jason Cutter
03-16-2003, 09:52 PM
I was having the buff dish out the epoxy . Didn't get the smudge effect you talk about, but yes, I am very, very careful about mosaic pins. I finish around the pins up to 2000 grit +/- OOOO steel wool, burnish with a piece of paper. This is really tedious but it works to allow me to use the LEAST amount of buffer time as possible.

Here's an alternative idea I've been doing more. BUFF BY HAND.

Piece of paper towel (toilet paper will do). Block of white rouge buff compound. Few drops of methylated spirits on the compound to dissolve a little. Rub the paper towel to rub some compound on. When the metho dries, the compound will be coated on the paper. Use THAT to polish by hand. No heat, may be a different way to achieve "detail" finishing. Sometimes slower is better. Actually, usually, slower is better.

If you're game to try it, let me know how it goes. Sometimes, I just do things the weird way to keep myself busy ...

Cheers. Jason.

T. Hendrickson
03-20-2003, 10:22 AM
After asking the same question about white micarta, I ended up sanding down to 2000 grit (1500 is good too) then buffed without worrying about streaks. Then I washed the entire knife with hot soapy water. All the compound came right out. It didn't affect the finish either. Dont know about stabilized wood but It must be the same Kind of deal (?)

Jason Cutter
03-20-2003, 04:32 PM
Maybe the streaking is something that can be easily removed if we find the correct solvent. Warm soapy water seems to be often-mentioned and it does seem to work on many sealed materials. Just thinking out loud, Jason.

04-12-2003, 09:14 AM
I've had some success in buffing light and/or porous materials by applying a wax finish prior to buffing. Simply sand the handle to the desired grit then then apply a wax finish and rub it in well and then buff. I use a carnuba based wax.