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RE: Medullary Rays

7/26/22       
Kenneth

In red oak, how can we HIGHLIGHT Medullary Rays, so that they would "pop off" the adjoining surface of the wood to stand out, since the Medullary Rays are denser, and less able to accept the finish?

7/26/22       #2: RE: Medullary Rays ...
RichC

I add a little dye to the finish schedule to change the background color. The oak will darken with age and shown the rays better, but the dye gets it there faster.

7/27/22       #3: RE: Medullary Rays ...
JeffA

Medullary rays show up more in quartered cut wood but even more in rift cut. I believe rift is cut 3 degrees off from 45 which makes the ray about as large as possible.

I agree with Rich that to make it stand out more you need a darker color around it because it will be much lighter than the flake.

7/27/22       #4: RE: Medullary Rays ...
RichC

Most distributors sell rift as anything with the annular rings between 30-60 degrees to the face.

7/28/22       #5: RE: Medullary Rays ...
Rick Mosher

In a large production run this probably won't help but for small custom work using a hand plane or cabinet scraper will bring out and figure much more.

7/29/22       #6: RE: Medullary Rays ...
Keith Newton

The way the light source bounces off the cells makes a big difference. Since the medullary cells are perpendicular to the rest,

If the wood is vertical and the light is overhead it will be bouncing off the side of the ray cells, which is good.

If this is a table top with a light overhead, itís where you stand that helps. Sitting or standing with the end-grain pointed toward you is better than from the sides.

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