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Hi guys,
Excitingly this is my first post! I'm making a staff out of what I believe to be a mahogany sapling, it is a beautiful pale timber (see attached photo) and I'd like to preserve that. Are there any finishes that will leave it nice and pale? Protection isn't a particularly high priority but it would be nice if possible.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hi,

Not seeing any picture.

If it is mahogany, my guess is that it is all or almost all sapwood. I've never seen any mahogany that wasn't at a least a deep yellow brown, and most is dark red-brown, not pale. Might be a little soft for a walking stick. Can you flex it by leaning on it?

As far as keeping it light, a typical approach would be to give it a few coats of neutral stain to partially seal the wood pores, and make the surface hard enough to take a finish sanding. That will probably add a slight yellow cast to the wood. But it will also accent the grain. Then add a few coats of clear polyurethane spar varnish. Spar varnish inhibits the effects of UV light, which bleaches out color. Note that adding any finish will tend to make the wood look darker because the smoothness of the finish keeps light from scattering as it reflects from the wood surface.
 

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As soon as you put any finish on it ill darken straight away . It will dry slightly lighter . but it will pay you to give it some protection I would just use Danish oil . just do a few trials on a off cut to test any finishing material you have at hand 1st then decide .
 

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Angus,
Welcome to the forum. At the bottom you'll see an option for an attachment just click on it as you might have already done and choose your pic and follow the prompts hopefully it will work for you.

Sean
 

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Most oil based finishes will have at least a slight yellow tint to them. You may want to look at a water based finish or clear lacquer for the lightest possible color.

Rodney
 

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Even a water based poly will change the color a slight bit though not as dark as an oil base. I agree that a spar water based polyurethane is about the best option for the least amount of color change.
 
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