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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would share this. 1st pic is a piece of aspen in its natural form about 9 months seasoned. 2nd pic is the same stick outer bark sanded off and 1 coat of boiled linseed oil applied. Oil sure did darken it up, not sure I like it that dark. Anything you carve into it is definitely going to pop with contrast though. Moral to the story, when in doubt about how the finish will look test a piece.
 

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Yes your right about carving into it should add a nice contrast indeed. I've put dark stain on a couple of sticks and also thought them a bit too dark.
 

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I suppose there must be something in the inner bark that caused the blackening. Plant sugar? A lot of tannin that darkened w. exposure to light, or oxygen? Maybe something that had a reaction w. the oil? I've seen some darkening of wood from BLO, but nothing like that. Assuming the effect does not spread to the inner layers of heart wood, it should make for fine contrast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You never notice things as much until you really study them in a photo. I really need to get off the dime and re stain my deck!

And regarding the stick I'm debating sanding through the inner bark into heartwood, then applying oil. I might just have to take the knob I cut off the top and do what I should have done in the first place and do a test piece!
 
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