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Discussion Starter #1
In the past I have used Daly's water based benite as a 'greener' option as a wood conditioner. Is there any other options out there that work somewhat universally with various products?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Assuming you were referring to a pre-stain conditioner, what about glue size?
I thought about glue size but I really wanted to avoid DIY solutions on a 100M+ ranch. The daly's has worked well in the past but I have been informed the german resin manufacturer is no longer making that particular resin for them.
 

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What are you staining with and what species of wood. Alot of the waterbased stains claim a conditioner is not necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
alder, using sansin stains that they already bought apparently and its turning out super blotchy so my guy has to go fix it. normally i would use benite as its very predictable but not available on this job due to VOC. Everything is already installed probably need 20 gallons worth on conditioner and I don't think that quantiity of shellac is gonna fly with the builder either.
 

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alder, using sansin stains that they already bought apparently and its turning out super blotchy so my guy has to go fix it. normally i would use benite as its very predictable but not available on this job due to VOC. Everything is already installed probably need 20 gallons worth on conditioner and I don't think that quantiity of shellac is gonna fly with the builder either.
That sux. I guess it depends how particular people are. Personally, I've never used a wood conditioner ever. Although I don't do a ton of staining. All the same, a quick google search had a bunch of waterborne conditioners. Not sure of the quality or voc level. You would think Sansin would have one?!
 

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I thought about glue size but I really wanted to avoid DIY solutions on a 100M+ ranch. The daly's has worked well in the past but I have been informed the german resin manufacturer is no longer making that particular resin for them.
I suspect that some of the water based conditioners are essentially Poly Vinyl Acetate glue size. Glue size is still used by many pro wood finishers. One product which comes to mind which is touted by many pros, is Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner, especially for use on cherry. I suspect it’s PVA white glue based on the SDS which states it has a mild acetic aroma.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I suspect that some of the water based conditioners are essentially Poly Vinyl Acetate glue size. Glue size is still used by many pro wood finishers. One product which comes to mind which is touted by many pros, is Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner, especially for use on cherry. I suspect it’s PVA white glue based on the SDS which states it has a mild acetic aroma.
Most of the ready made water based conditioners have a windows of 30m-1hour where you have to apply stain over them, doesn't work if you completely let the conditioner dry first, making it useless for large applications IMO. Benite is like magic for this and its very predictable, I believe its mainly PTO and maybe some other resins. You apply it, let it dry completely, then stain over it anytime in the next 12hours - 6+ months. Water based Benite works similar with a different resin package.
I have had luck using GF RTM clear as a conditioner before but it doesn't meet the stringent VOC requirements and their regular water based stain seems to reactivate somewhat when used like that.

I see some talk on various wood forums of people making glue size themselves ratios of 4-8:1 depending on the glue used and wood porosity but I'm worried a water based stain will reactivate the PVA.
 

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Most of the ready made water based conditioners have a windows of 30m-1hour where you have to apply stain over them, doesn't work if you completely let the conditioner dry first, making it useless for large applications IMO. Benite is like magic for this and its very predictable, I believe its mainly PTO and maybe some other resins. You apply it, let it dry completely, then stain over it anytime in the next 12hours - 6+ months. Water based Benite works similar with a different resin package.
I have had luck using GF RTM clear as a conditioner before but it doesn't meet the stringent VOC requirements and their regular water based stain seems to reactivate somewhat when used like that.

I see some talk on various wood forums of people making glue size themselves ratios of 4-8:1 depending on the glue used and wood porosity but I'm worried a water based stain will reactivate the PVA.
A very reputable New England hardwood flooring & millwork vendor I know of, has used the Charles Neil product for years under a number of different water based spray stains on their pre-finished cherry, w/out issues. I personally haven’t used glue size in decades, so I don’t know how it behaves with the newer water based pigmented stains, which I’ve never used..nothing else comes to mind in the low to no VOC range.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A very reputable New England hardwood flooring & millwork vendor I know of, has used the Charles Neil product for years under a number of different water based spray stains on their pre-finished cherry, w/out issues. I personally haven’t used glue size in decades, so I don’t know how it behaves with the newer water based pigmented stains, which I’ve never used..nothing else comes to mind in the low to no VOC range.
Well I guess I'll give that a whirl this weekend. Here is some GF hickory over RTM clear used as a conditioner on alder I did about 2 years ago. Worked a little too well actually, sort of unnaturally even
111834
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
A very reputable New England hardwood flooring & millwork vendor I know of, has used the Charles Neil product for years under a number of different water based spray stains on their pre-finished cherry, w/out issues. I personally haven’t used glue size in decades, so I don’t know how it behaves with the newer water based pigmented stains, which I’ve never used..nothing else comes to mind in the low to no VOC range.
Just an update turns out the stain is rubio monocoat. I tried both glue size and RTM clear. Both worked great as a conditioner on knotty alder.

I tried and worked well both at 150 and 220. used titebond original diluted 1:4 with warm water, let dry completely then buffed with 220 to knock down the raised grain.
 

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Just an update turns out the stain is rubio monocoat. I tried both glue size and RTM clear. Both worked great as a conditioner on knotty alder.

I tried and worked well both at 150 and 220. used titebond original diluted 1:4 with warm water then buffed with 220.
Isn't that Rubio Monocoat more of a 2 in 1 product? AKA has a finish built into it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Isn't that Rubio Monocoat more of a 2 in 1 product? AKA has a finish built into it?
rubio monocoat is a PLO hardwax. So yeah you can consider it a finish, though its really not as durable as say a polyurethane there isn't much of a surface film that develops and it doesn't absorb very far into the wood so its easy to sand off.

These products are best applied when heated or using a buffer pad. Applying them like a regular wiping varnish/stain uses WAY more product and not very friendly to brush it feels very tacky and sticky. using a buffer you use vastly less material as well.

interestingly rubio uses a isocyanate catalyst that is labelled zero voc so its technically within the specs for this job. HO's don't care about toxicity just VOC's LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am now a believer in glue size, works as good if not better than any commercial wood conditioner i've used to reduce blotching and its nearly as fast as shellac and powders up easy with 220. 1 coat really evens out a stain, and 2 coats seems to completely eliminate any blotching at all.
 

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I am now a believer in glue size, works as good if not better than any commercial wood conditioner i've used to reduce blotching and its nearly as fast as shellac and powders up easy with 220. 1 coat really evens out a stain, and 2 coats seems to completely eliminate any blotching at all.
I was pretty certain it would work great. I’ve only used PVA white glue and not aliphatic yellow glue such as Titebond. I’m wondering if there’s a reason why white PVA glue is preferred over yellow glue, and does yellow glue darken with age & exposure?
 

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Interesting, I Would have never considered a glue. What you learn on here. I was gonna suggest a homemade wash, like maybe a thinned down linseed oil or shellac, But I guess that wouldn't really be low VOC. Nevermind. This whole staining thing is a different world. Especially with all the newer technology and low VOC stuff..
 

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For me, I would classify this thread/discussion as priceless...such great info...something I will definitely incorporate
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was pretty certain it would work great. I’ve only used PVA white glue and not aliphatic yellow glue such as Titebond. I’m wondering if there’s a reason why white PVA glue is preferred over yellow glue, and does yellow glue darken with age & exposure?
Is it preferred? All the research I did saw people using yellow glue such as titebond or gorilla. Maybe a few people using white pva
 

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could somebody clue me in please...
What exactly is "glue sizing" and how to use it before staining?

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
could somebody clue me in please...
What exactly is "glue sizing" and how to use it before staining?

Thank you.
"Glue Size" as it is commonly referred is thinned PVA (elmers), hide, or just regular wood glue.
I first read about glue sizing as a way to stiffen soft wood fibers when making cuts and to stiffen end grain joints. Jeff Jewitt had a blurb talking about it in the 'complete illustrated guide' where he suggests a ratio of 10:1 as a pre-sealer on blotch prone woods. He says it can also be used on MDF but i'm not sure how well that would work without swelling up the fibers.

On this knotty alder I am using diluted titebond with water 4:1 and it appears with a thin second coat this really evens out the porosity of the wood. Applied a thin flowing coat with a brush and let dry for an hour then knock down the raised wood fibers with 220. There doesn't appear to be any window where it won't take stain, I've used oil stain (rubio) after an hour and after 24 hours with seemingly identical results.

It doesn't pop the grain and doesn't have the sealing capabilities that Benite has but it seems to work really well and its very economical.
 
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