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What makes wood beautiful

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Luster in the light

Luster in the light

A wood that has luster reflects light from its cell walls and appears to have a natural sheen. But any infiltrates in a wood's cell walls that give it color reduce its luster. Because of this, light-colored hardwoods will have luster, as does the light sapwood of darker hardwoods. Lack of luster, however, does not mean that a wood won't take a high polish when finely sanded, then buffed. Finishing also adds luster.

In general, quartersawn wood has more luster than flatsawn, as with white oak. The ray flecks in white oak exposed by this manner of cutting reflect light. Too, woods with lots of figure, such as curly and fiddleback maple, display added luster due to the cell walls' changing angle to the light.

Continued on page 3:  Texture to feel


Comments (4)
n6soo wrote:

Agreed, great article. I would like to see an expanded version in Wood in a future issue, perhaps with a discussion of how finish can enhance or alter natural appearances.

6/3/2010 11:27:15 AM Report Abuse
woodhaug wrote:

I just finished turning 6 black walnut feet for a 6 drawer low boy dresser. I did not have the size blocks so I glued uo 3 1 in pieces. Picking the best grain for the outside. After sanding and finishing they are beautifully figure legs. No pun intened. I don't know if one single piece would have given me such grain patterns.

6/3/2010 10:08:24 AM Report Abuse
jal219 wrote:

I love the difference in wood. Putting different woods together always give an appealing effect especially when stained.

3/5/2010 08:13:33 AM Report Abuse
jandsjacobson99 wrote:

Great article! I will be looking for that craftsman that can "literally" turn the sow's ear into a silk purse! I've heard of figuratively doing that, but never literally!

3/4/2010 04:12:46 PM Report Abuse

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