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Staining Stone, Wood, and Building Bent Lamination Forms

Staining Stone, Wood, and Building Bent Lamination Forms

I had several questions come up after the original video was published, that I thought were good ones that also correspond with the video footage I had that didn’t make the original cut. So here is a little more information on how I stained and finished the stone, Stained and finished the mahogany, and built the bent lamination form.

Affiliate Links to some of the Products I used:

TransTint dye:

General Finishes Spiced Walnut:

Mixed these to stain the mahogany 50/50:

General Finishes Brown: General Finishes Orange:

Video Recap


Staining Stone, wood, and Bent lamination – Behind the scenes of the stone bench build

7 or 8 months ago I built this bench with a stone as one of the legs, if you haven’t watch that video, I would recommend watching it first, so this video makes more sense.

One of the questions I got was what did I use to make the stone look wet in the pictures.

When I got the stone, it was pretty beat up, probably from rolling around in the back of a dump truck on the way to the landscape supply yard.

I started by cleaning up the dings; wherever the naturally weathered patina was scratched off, I went over randomly with some trans tint walnut dye mixed with water.

I dabbed it on the scuffed areas and tried to feather it into the existing weather patina. I also used some general finishes spice walnut as well to darken some of the areas to make it look more natural.

Then to seal it all in, I used a satin wipe on poly, but instead of wiping it on, I liberally brushed it on, working it down into all the cracks and crevices of the rock.

When it dried, it wasn’t shiny; it was a nice matt finish that made the rock look damp like it had rained in the forest an hour ago and was slowly drying in the shade.

But before I did all this to the final workpiece, I tested my technique on the piece I had split off the bottom to be sure I liked it.

The next question was, what was in the spray bottle while I was staining the mahogany?

It was just plain old water, my initial test pieces I felt where just a tad too dark, so instead of trying to lighten up the stain, I sprayed water over the whole piece and let it sit for a bit. Then I came back and applied the stain. The water did two things, soaked deeper into the thirsty part of the wood, so the stain soaked in more evenly and also diluted it just ever so slightly to a color I liked.

I also applied blue tape to all the places that I was going to apply glue in the final assembly. Glue just doesn’t bond well to finish, so when the finish was dry I just removed the tape and had a nice clean surface to glue to

The next question was more of a statement telling me that I glossed over all the details of building the bent lamination form for the arch.

So to build the form, I started with a sheet of plywood where I plotted out the leg, benchtop, and where I wanted the arch to end.

Then I drove a brad nail at the start and endpoints of the arch. I used a thin piece of wood to bend between the nails until I found an arch shape that I liked.

Since the arch is one of the main focal points of the piece, I took my time to get the shape just right and drew in several arches before deciding on one.

Once I had settled on a shape, I took it to the bandsaw and cut it out.

Then to fair the curve and remove all the saw marks, I used a flexible sanding strip to smooth it out and bring it into its final shape.

I screwed it down to another piece of plywood so I could rout out the corresponding clamping blocks. These need to be perfectly parallel to the main form. This is important, so when the pieces are clamped in the form, there is even pressure applied across the piece preventing any gaps in the glue up.

I selected a router bit the same width as what I want the finished piece to be so that it would create the right curvature on the clamping blocks.

Then from there, I just needed to build up the form to the right thickness. I glued the template pieces on more plywood.

Cut it out at the bandsaw, and used a pattern bit to match the shape.

To prevent the glue from sticking to the form, I covered it in clear packing tape.

Then I screwed these feet to the form so I would have something to push the workpieces to and line them up in the form.

Then the rest was spreading the glue and clamping it in the form.

Thank you for making it to the end of this video, if you want to see what I am working on in my shop for upcoming videos, give me a follow on Instagram, and of course like, share, subscribe and hit the bell to be notified when the next video comes out.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.