EBONIZED Karelian Birch DOUBLE-WIDE Bangle

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Project by Michael McKenzie posted 04-05-2017 05:14 PM 2652 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been experimenting with Ebonizing different woods naturally. Through trial and error I have arrived at a good technique. First I let some steel wool sit in vinegar for a few days then I make a jar of really strong black tea and cool it. I saturate the wood with the tea first to elevate the tannin level (if needed – online data bases will show you the Ph of different woods). Once the wood is dried with the tannin treatment I saturate it with the vinegar solution and it immediately starts to darken but need to be left overnight for the best results. The next day I just rinse the wood off and (if you are using veneer) flatten it under anything flat with weights and let dry. The wood is ready for working.

This is a 1.738” wide bangle with Ebonized Karelian Birch and a Zebrawood Lining. All steamed and bent. Using Gorilla Glue for the bonding and Behlen Wood Turner’s Finish, 3 treatments then micro-mesh polishing. I finish it off with Behlen Lacquer Topcoat.

Man I wish the pics were better, it’s really hard to photograph figuring but the Birch ebonized is the BOMB.

-- ~ Ancora imparo! ~

8 comments so far

View cmmyakman's profile


352 posts in 3940 days

#1 posted 04-05-2017 06:16 PM

Really beautiful. I almost think the interior needs to be on the outside as well or perhaps as its own piece. Great description of the work required to attain such a piece.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View Michael McKenzie's profile

Michael McKenzie

64 posts in 1723 days

#2 posted 04-05-2017 09:50 PM

I have made a few with Zebrawood: here’s one on a Stainless core. My wife reacted to this last Double-wide creation very favorably (she’s my test lady). So I will probably be making several models of the double-wide with different woods for custom order at etsy. and YES Zebrawood alone will be very nice. I will be sure to do that as well. Thanks for your comments cmmyyakman.

-- ~ Ancora imparo! ~

View BobWemm's profile


3047 posts in 3210 days

#3 posted 04-06-2017 12:59 AM



-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Michael McKenzie's profile

Michael McKenzie

64 posts in 1723 days

#4 posted 04-06-2017 01:20 AM

Same stock as the Cuff above. Ebonized Karelian Birch

-- ~ Ancora imparo! ~

View RichCMD's profile


430 posts in 3225 days

#5 posted 04-06-2017 12:02 PM

Love the ebonite birch. Great work.

-- Ride the bevel!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4150 days

#6 posted 04-06-2017 01:29 PM

This is a beautiful piece of jewelry and so nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bushmaster's profile


4148 posts in 3566 days

#7 posted 04-06-2017 02:05 PM

nicely done, interested in your process, will have to try that sometime, as I mainly use birch for my projects, Basically free, I cut it fro my own place and sawmill it myself.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Michael McKenzie's profile

Michael McKenzie

64 posts in 1723 days

#8 posted 04-06-2017 05:19 PM

@ Bushmaster : I would love to see a much larger piece with this treatment! I am not a reliable carpenter or cabinet maker, I just have never been taught. I’d be glad to share IN DETAIL whenever you are ready. First thing you need to know is that most white distilled vinegars are already a 5% solution. You do not need to dilute any further. Get a jump on it by corroding some steel wool in a jar of vinegar and just leave it. (no need to ever remove the Steel wool.)

-- ~ Ancora imparo! ~

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