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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been told/advised this piece of wood is from a Sweet Gum tree and this is a first for me in my 30+ years woodworking. I had to let it cure for more than six months but now that it's dry getting the bark off is a major bit-by-bit, inch-by-inch task, accomplished by very sharp wood chisels and tons-o-hand sanding. It could be ready for the stain and finish coats in the next 3-4 days.

This is a gift, so I'd like for it to look nice when I present it later this month. It's very unique (aren't they all?) in that it already has it's own built-in handle. Because of it's length, I had to add a 3-4" extension, which can be cut-to-fit later . . . if needed.

Q: Have any of you worked with "Sweet Gum" and had success in staining and/or finishing?

I am not certain this would "take" stain - but regardless I'll prob apply the usual 3-4 coats high gloss brushed polyurethane, which is one of my trademarks, so to speak.

Thank you

-neb
 

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The Wood Data Base says sweetgum "turns, glues and finishes well" Judging by the picture on the Wood Data Base site, if it were me I would either just apply poly or perhaps boiled lindseed oil to darken a bit then poly. The wood doesn't look like any stain would be required.
 

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Here in south Alabama we have a lot of sweetgum trees and I have made several sticks from it i like to use boiled linseed oil if the wood has some color to it if the is lite coloured i used polyurethane both work real well but I like linseed oil best and then apply Johnson's paste wax a few times and buff it each time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DONE! After tons-o-hand sanding, I took your advice and used my FAV finish - brushed on high gloss polyurethane, but dipped the handle x5 - and am quite pleased with the end result. Please note the difference between pic #1 and #2. I plan on giving this away next week - (family members visiting)
 

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DONE! After tons-o-hand sanding, I took your advice and used my FAV finish - brushed on high gloss polyurethane, but dipped the handle x5 - and am quite pleased with the end result. Please note the difference between pic #1 and #2. I plan on giving this away next week - (family members visiting)
Very nice! Thanks for the great information! I plan to make tinctures from the green sweet gum balls, crafts from the brown sweet gum balls, and canes from the saplings. Everything has a purpose, but these trees are so invasive! Might as well put them to good use!
 

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I've enjoyed working with Sweet Gum wood but absolutely hate those hundreds if not thousands of pesky spiky balls that drop into my yard every Fall!:mad:
I made my dad a cane from it long ago and he took it everyday so he could tell people about the cane from the South Plains. He lived in the Seattle area where there were very few of them if at all. I will post a pick of it tomorrow. (y)
 

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I've enjoyed working with Sweet Gum wood but absolutely hate those hundreds if not thousands of pesky spiky balls that drop into my yard every Fall!:mad:
I made my dad a cane from it long ago and he took it everyday so he could tell people about the cane from the South Plains. He lived in the Seattle area where there were very few of them if at all. I will post a pick of it tomorrow. (y)
BTW after staining it with Walnut I finished it with a Minwax Paste.
 
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