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"Ebonized" wood

by HammerSmith
posted 11-28-2018 06:23 AM


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76 replies

76 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10844 posts in 1783 days


#1 posted 11-28-2018 01:32 PM

Ive used the tea and steel wool/vinegar on pine. It worked. Works great on oak because of its tannin content. Not sure red or white or both. Not a huge fan of the finish but it works.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8248 posts in 3095 days


#2 posted 11-28-2018 01:36 PM

Check out this blog entry. There is a video of ebonizing walnut in real time.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1317 posts in 1113 days


#3 posted 11-28-2018 04:34 PM

I’m with Fridge – not a fan of the appearance. The video link was very informative but I certainly wouldn’t do it on a nice piece of walnut. It totally obliterated the grain and color of the wood. He may as well have been using sweetgum.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3077 posts in 1684 days


#4 posted 11-28-2018 04:46 PM

I’ve used the vinegar and steel wool (iron oxide) solution a few times with good results but usually just for small pieces or accents (look at my tool drawer pulls and mallet projects for examples). I like it because the natural grain of the wood still comes through.

You’ll want to experiment with the wood before you commit. different woods and even different pieces of the same type of wood can yield different results. I’ve seen different colors including jet black, reddish and even slight green or purplish overtone on various types of wood. When the color wasn’t dark enough I’ve been able to darken the result by applying a really strong tea to the wood first to add some tannin. I’ve been wanting to try brewing some tea using acorn shells to see how that works, especially for woods with a low tannin level.

EDIT: If you look at my tool drawer project, I posted my technique in one of the responses.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2537 posts in 2645 days


#5 posted 11-28-2018 06:24 PM

So I’m that guy that ebonizes walnut. I could swear I wrote a blog entry about it but I can’t find it. At any rate, ebonizing stain is made with steel wool and vinegar. There are a number of places you can find the recipe and instructions so you don’t blow up the bottle from the hydrogen that is generated. The iron and acetic acid react to make iron acetate which is what reacts with the tanins to “ebonize” the wood.

Since tea has tanins in it, you can mix up some extra strong lipton tea and liberally wipe it onto your wood. Let it dry, lightly sand off the dust nubs, then apply the iron acetate. The wood will start darkening immediately. Subsequent applications of tea and iron acetate may darken the wood further.

The tricky part is getting a consistent penetration so the “ebony” looks consistent. The post ebonizing sanding can also remove the ebonized outer layer of wood which means you have to reapply the tea and iron acetate. The most troublesome spots are along edges. Generally, I only sand enough to get the raised grain off and then apply sanding sealer.

I made this desk and it looks amazing. I also ebonized a chair for it. I’m in the process of making an ebonized walnut shelf unit as well.

Ebonizing cherry makes a blotchy dark mess that ruins the look of the cherry. On the other hand, ebonizing white oak brings out the grain and really makes the oak look nice. Sanding the oak removes the ebonized wood from most of the wood but leaves it in the grain recesses.

Hopefully this gives you a little more information.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1375 posts in 2408 days


#6 posted 11-28-2018 06:27 PM

I’ve also used black India ink on oak. I liked that look a lot more than the vinegar and steel wool. This project has the result though the pictures aren’t as close up as you might like:

Click for details

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8248 posts in 3095 days


#7 posted 11-28-2018 07:53 PM



I m with Fridge – not a fan of the appearance. The video link was very informative but I certainly wouldn t do it on a nice piece of walnut. It totally obliterated the grain and color of the wood. He may as well have been using sweetgum.

- ArtMann


Just so you know …... this was quality furniture. The lady was paying for quality wood, not sweet gum and she wanted black. Yes it totally obliterated the colour of the wood as intended, however ebonizing does not obliterate the grain.
She was so pleased that she overpaid me by 25%. Sorry you don’t like it.

I’ll go have a look at your projects …... oh … you don’t have any.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Rich's profile

Rich

4149 posts in 886 days


#8 posted 11-28-2018 08:39 PM


I m with Fridge – not a fan of the appearance. The video link was very informative but I certainly wouldn t do it on a nice piece of walnut. It totally obliterated the grain and color of the wood. He may as well have been using sweetgum.

- ArtMann

Just so you know …... this was quality furniture. The lady was paying for quality wood, not sweet gum and she wanted black. Yes it totally obliterated the colour of the wood as intended, however ebonizing does not obliterate the grain.
She was so pleased that she overpaid me by 25%. Sorry you don’t like it.

I’ll go have a look at your projects …... oh … you don’t have any.

- shipwright

I like your style, Paul. I guess the critic doesn’t realize that starting with a high tannin wood like walnut makes total sense.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1375 posts in 2408 days


#9 posted 11-28-2018 08:42 PM


I m with Fridge – not a fan of the appearance. The video link was very informative but I certainly wouldn t do it on a nice piece of walnut. It totally obliterated the grain and color of the wood. He may as well have been using sweetgum.

- ArtMann

Just so you know …... this was quality furniture. The lady was paying for quality wood, not sweet gum and she wanted black. Yes it totally obliterated the colour of the wood as intended, however ebonizing does not obliterate the grain.
She was so pleased that she overpaid me by 25%. Sorry you don’t like it.

I’ll go have a look at your projects …... oh … you don’t have any.

- shipwright

HA! Awesome.

My comment was confined to oak. Iron acetate works great on walnut.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2537 posts in 2645 days


#10 posted 11-28-2018 08:55 PM

Paul – I just took a look at your tables – gorgeous. It is always difficult to take pictures that show off the grain of the wood, especially with the ebonized wood you used since there isn’t any color variance to highlight the grain.

The top of the ebonized walnut desk I made has crazy grain that still looks good ebonized.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8248 posts in 3095 days


#11 posted 11-29-2018 12:27 AM

Thanks Earl,
This was meant to actually resemble Ebony which walnut does very well in this technique. The grain is very subtle as in real ebony but can still be seen.

Very nice desk by the way.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10844 posts in 1783 days


#12 posted 11-29-2018 12:46 AM

I wonder if I could ebonize some alder? It would probably be even better than real ebony in my opinion. Since it is the god of woods of course.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Rich

4149 posts in 886 days


#13 posted 11-29-2018 12:58 AM


I wonder if I could ebonize some alder? It would probably be even better than real ebony in my opinion. Since it is the god of woods of course.

- TheFridge

Around here alder is known as Ebony del Oro.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8248 posts in 3095 days


#14 posted 11-29-2018 01:46 AM

We used to ebonize a lot of alder. About five minutes after it went in the woodstove it was nice and black. .... or it would have been if I took it out…..... :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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TheFridge

10844 posts in 1783 days


#15 posted 11-29-2018 02:20 AM

Paul you son of a bitch… that’s how serial killers start off. Burning alder because they think it just like any other wood and next thing you know the police are digging up a dozen bodies from behind their woodshop… where did you go wrong?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2537 posts in 2645 days


#16 posted 11-29-2018 03:17 AM

I did try to burn/scorch the cutouts on a cherry bathroom vanity and ruined a lot of hard work. It wasn’t even decent firewood.

Light colored wood like alder probably would do a lot better with india ink or several coats of ebony stain. I’m with Paul on the best use for alder. For some reason it doesn’t work out well for much else. Your results might vary.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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shipwright

8248 posts in 3095 days


#17 posted 11-29-2018 03:23 AM

:-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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TheFridge

10844 posts in 1783 days


#18 posted 11-29-2018 06:49 AM

Paul, a sense of humor is a wonderful thing :)

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View SMP's profile

SMP

448 posts in 202 days


#19 posted 11-29-2018 10:12 PM

Haven’t done it yet, but was looking at this video series to get next, and he shows some multi step home brew ebonizing. I like the way the legs contrast to the top personally.

https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/the-side-table-bridle-guides/

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1317 posts in 1113 days


#20 posted 11-30-2018 03:12 AM

If someone wants to pay you to use expensive wood and then make it unrecognizable, then that is obviously what you should do. Am I not allowed to have my own opinion on how it looked? People say the same thing about painting nice wood all the time and nobody gets bent out of shape over that.

Although you can see lots of photos of stuff I have done imbedded in my text posts, I will not post any photos in the projects section. A member who currently goes by the handle Rick S… or something like that convinced me not to.

I m with Fridge – not a fan of the appearance. The video link was very informative but I certainly wouldn t do it on a nice piece of walnut. It totally obliterated the grain and color of the wood. He may as well have been using sweetgum.

- ArtMann

Just so you know …... this was quality furniture. The lady was paying for quality wood, not sweet gum and she wanted black. Yes it totally obliterated the colour of the wood as intended, however ebonizing does not obliterate the grain.
She was so pleased that she overpaid me by 25%. Sorry you don’t like it.

I’ll go have a look at your projects …... oh … you don’t have any.

- shipwright


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shipwright

8248 posts in 3095 days


#21 posted 11-30-2018 04:02 AM

Not to belabour the point but she got something that looked as close to real ebony as you can get without spending massive money to buy endangered wood. I’m sorry the pictures aren’t clearer but if you saw the tables in person you would understand.
I don’t know of any other readily available woods that have the grain structure and tannin content to pull off this illusion.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#22 posted 11-30-2018 05:09 AM

Thanks for all the responses you guys. This thread is an interesting read…

Paul M, those tables are awesome man! I’m sure the pics don’t even begin to do justice to them..

Earle S, that computer desk and chair is awesome too! I like that style!

I have some vinegar and steel wool that’s been “brewing” for many months now… The only time I ever tried using it, was to make Ash turn grey . It made a nice grey color on solid ash.. But, on Ash plywood, it came out with a greenish tint to it.

I experimented with it on Oak too… Some parts of the Oak took on a very deep purple hue. ... It was an interesting color… But other parts of the same board came out just a little bit grey.. The contrast of color within the same stick was dramatic. It could be cool if used right, but it wasn’t right for the project at the time.

I haven’t worked with Walnut in many years, so I don’t have any scraps around. And Walnut is already so beautiful that it almost seems wrong to Ebonize it… But everything I ever read says it works best on Walnut.

I never tried using tea to accentuate the effect, yet…

But I’m wondering if there are other woods (aside from Walnut) that would be easy to Ebonize.

Also, did anyone ever try adding some black dye to the vinegar mix? Just a thought….

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#23 posted 11-30-2018 05:29 AM



We used to ebonize a lot of alder. About five minutes after it went in the woodstove it was nice and black. .... or it would have been if I took it out…..... :-)

- shipwright

LOL! I’m not familiar with Alder, but that was pretty funny!

....There’s a website that I like to watch for inspiration, and they sell some crazy expensive stuff! That’s where I first heard the word “ebonized”.

But, since you mentioned burning it, it reminded me of another finish that they were selling months ago… It was called “triple burned”, and it looked great in the pics. I don’t know how it was done, but I guess they burned it lightly, and then sanded lightly in between burnings.. It was used on things that were made from big timbers, and the way it refracted the light was beautiful..

-- ~Jim

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ArtMann

1317 posts in 1113 days


#24 posted 11-30-2018 03:20 PM

Makes perfect sense to me when you put it that way. Walnut is getting harder to find and more expensive too and may become as hard to get as ebony at some point. I’m collecting it for future use.


Not to belabour the point but she got something that looked as close to real ebony as you can get without spending massive money to buy endangered wood. I’m sorry the pictures aren’t clearer but if you saw the tables in person you would understand.
I don’t know of any other readily available woods that have the grain structure and tannin content to pull off this illusion.

- shipwright


View rcs47's profile

rcs47

202 posts in 3426 days


#25 posted 11-30-2018 03:50 PM

This is a link to a Popular Woodworking article the process.

I saved the link a long time ago thinking I would try it. I used General Finishes black dye because it was so easy.

Good Luck

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#26 posted 12-02-2018 06:59 AM



This is a link to a Popular Woodworking article the process.

I saved the link a long time ago thinking I would try it. I used General Finishes black dye because it was so easy.

Good Luck

- rcs47

Thanks for the reference Doug… The link you posted went to something about treehouses, but I searched that site and I think I found the article you were referring to.. The article has some good details that I never read about before….

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood/

-- ~Jim

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rcs47

202 posts in 3426 days


#27 posted 12-02-2018 01:15 PM

Jim,

Sorry, the ebonizing page was on the screen when I put in the link.

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2537 posts in 2645 days


#28 posted 12-02-2018 01:46 PM

Jim,

I would suggest you try a couple different applications and then put some finish on them and see how they look. If you are going for the ebony (black) look on a light wood you likely will need a stain or dye. Minwax and Varathane both sell ebony stain that has a sealer included which helps with a more uniform black appearance. General Finishes has a water based ebony stain that is just a stain so it will take a lot of coats and light sanding to knock down the grain.

Experimentation is really the only way to get exactly what you want. Let us know how it turns out.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View SMP's profile

SMP

448 posts in 202 days


#29 posted 12-03-2018 03:19 PM

Learning this about walnut is interesting as I am making walnut winding sticks. I was going to inlay ebony like Paul Sellers did, but now I think I am just going to ebonize the top line of the front stick…

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GR8HUNTER

5683 posts in 1009 days


#30 posted 12-03-2018 03:23 PM

I had made the mixture of steel wool and vinegar …. but found it very hard to get past the awful smell from it :<((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#31 posted 12-04-2018 04:22 AM



I had made the mixture of steel wool and vinegar …. but found it very hard to get past the awful smell from it :<((

- GR8HUNTER

Lol, yeah, it kinda stinks… but, are the fumes actually worse than oil or lacquer fumes?

I actually like the smell of laquer, but I know it’s not good…

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#32 posted 12-04-2018 04:40 AM


Jim,

I would suggest you try a couple different applications and then put some finish on them and see how they look. If you are going for the ebony (black) look on a light wood you likely will need a stain or dye. Minwax and Varathane both sell ebony stain that has a sealer included which helps with a more uniform black appearance. General Finishes has a water based ebony stain that is just a stain so it will take a lot of coats and light sanding to knock down the grain.

Experimentation is really the only way to get exactly what you want. Let us know how it turns out.

- EarlS

To be honest, Earl, I don’t even have a project in mind right now. But I’ve seen some pics of the ebonized finish that really fascinates me. One day I will try it, but, for now, I’m just trying to learn as much as I can about it.

I’ve used plain old “gloss black spray paint” (Rustoleum) on Ash plywood, and it came out great! The grain was still clearly visible, and the tone was very even.. It was a cool effect..

But, from what I’ve seen in pics, this ebonizing thing looks different… It can be finished with just a rubbed oil, and it gives a beautiful “natural” look.

I’ve used Minwax “Ebony” stain before, and I was never satisfied. I guess it depends what kind of wood; but, with ebony stain, it was tricky to get an even tone over the whole piece… and “more coats” didn’t help..

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#33 posted 12-04-2018 04:55 AM

I’ll bet I could just dampen the wood with mineral spirits, and then spray some black Rustoleum primer on it. Then finish with a rubbed oil, and it would make a similar effect.

But I’m still fascinated by the true “ebonized” finish.

*but I don’t want to have to buy walnut to get that look… ;)

-- ~Jim

View Rich's profile

Rich

4149 posts in 886 days


#34 posted 12-04-2018 05:24 AM


To be honest, Earl, I don t even have a project in mind right now. But I ve seen some pics of the ebonized finish that really fascinates me. One day I will try it, but, for now, I m just trying to learn as much as I can about it.

- HammerSmith

That’s the way to do it IMO. Spend the time you’re not building projects testing finishes. Some will be total failures but you’ll learn from that. The value is that down the road when you’re ready to finish a piece you’ll have a head start on what will or won’t work, and a recipe (keep notes) to get there.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Rich's profile

Rich

4149 posts in 886 days


#35 posted 12-04-2018 05:27 AM


I ll bet I could just dampen the wood with mineral spirits, and then spray some black Rustoleum primer on it. Then finish with a rubbed oil, and it would make a similar effect.

- HammerSmith

In keeping with my last post — give that a try. What do you have to lose? You might find you’ve discovered something magical.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#36 posted 12-04-2018 06:11 AM

To be honest, Earl, I don t even have a project in mind right now. But I ve seen some pics of the ebonized finish that really fascinates me. One day I will try it, but, for now, I m just trying to learn as much as I can about it.

- HammerSmith

That s the way to do it IMO. Spend the time you re not building projects testing finishes. Some will be total failures but you ll learn from that. The value is that down the road when you re ready to finish a piece you ll have a head start on what will or won t work, and a recipe (keep notes) to get there.

- Rich

Yeah Rich, I agree… and I love to experiment with stuff too…

But sometimes I waste a lot of time with my experimenting.. I don’t like that part so much…

When I was a little kid, my father used to like to say – “A smart man can learn from other peoples mistakes” ;) So that’s why I started this thread in the first place.

In a post above, rcs47 (Doug) led me to the Popular Woodworking article about the process, and I found this part to be particularly interesting;

~”The Trick: Bark Powder Tea

Making a tea of the bark powder to saturate the wood did a lot to increase the tannic acid content. Using the bark tea first, then adding a solution of vinegar and iron once the wood had dried, I finally started getting close to the effect I was looking for. It was a bit chalky though, and not the intensity I wanted. Topping it off with another coat of the bark tea made all the difference. The tea completely eliminated the chalky look and the piece became a deep, coal black.

The process of ebonizing this way is pretty straightforward. Soak the wood surface with bark tea, wait until the surface moisture absorbs into the wood, then add the iron solution. Follow up with a bark tea rinse.” ~

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood/

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#37 posted 12-04-2018 06:29 AM

...this picture (from the article above) speaks volumes imo…

The Oak and the Walnut is automatic (I guess), but look how it works on Maple!

I gotta try this on a little stump that I have… I don’t even know what kind of tree it’s from, but I like the idea of being able to add the tannins to anything…

-- ~Jim

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Rich

4149 posts in 886 days


#38 posted 12-04-2018 06:45 AM


But sometimes I waste a lot of time with my experimenting.. I don t like that part so much…

- HammerSmith

I guess it’s a matter of perception. To me, the guy who wasted his time is the one who posts on here about how he did this or that to his three by eight foot dining table and it looks like crap.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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000

2859 posts in 1196 days


#39 posted 12-04-2018 02:58 PM

To be honest, Earl, I don t even have a project in mind right now. But I ve seen some pics of the ebonized finish that really fascinates me. One day I will try it, but, for now, I m just trying to learn as much as I can about it.

- HammerSmith

That s the way to do it IMO. Spend the time you re not building projects testing finishes. Some will be total failures but you ll learn from that. The value is that down the road when you re ready to finish a piece you ll have a head start on what will or won t work, and a recipe (keep notes) to get there.

- Rich

Every time I try that, by the time I get to use it I have forgotten what I did.
Maybe the “keep notes” is where I go wrong….

Now a days I just shoot from the hip.

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Dustin

652 posts in 1037 days


#40 posted 12-04-2018 05:56 PM


To be honest, Earl, I don t even have a project in mind right now. But I ve seen some pics of the ebonized finish that really fascinates me. One day I will try it, but, for now, I m just trying to learn as much as I can about it.

- HammerSmith

That s the way to do it IMO. Spend the time you re not building projects testing finishes. Some will be total failures but you ll learn from that. The value is that down the road when you re ready to finish a piece you ll have a head start on what will or won t work, and a recipe (keep notes) to get there.

- Rich

Every time I try that, by the time I get to use it I have forgotten what I did.
Maybe the “keep notes” is where I go wrong….

Now a days I just shoot from the hip.

- jbay

Just about the same here, Jbay, though admittedly I don’t have even a fraction of the experience I need to get away with it.

I need to carve “Frequently Wrong, Never In Doubt” into a sign and hang it in my shop :p

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#41 posted 12-05-2018 08:14 AM


To be honest, Earl, I don t even have a project in mind right now. But I ve seen some pics of the ebonized finish that really fascinates me. One day I will try it, but, for now, I m just trying to learn as much as I can about it.

- HammerSmith

That s the way to do it IMO. Spend the time you re not building projects testing finishes. Some will be total failures but you ll learn from that. The value is that down the road when you re ready to finish a piece you ll have a head start on what will or won t work, and a recipe (keep notes) to get there.

- Rich

Every time I try that, by the time I get to use it I have forgotten what I did.
Maybe the “keep notes” is where I go wrong….

Now a days I just shoot from the hip.

- jbay

Just about the same here, Jbay, though admittedly I don t have even a fraction of the experience I need to get away with it.

I need to carve “Frequently Wrong, Never In Doubt” into a sign and hang it in my shop :p
- Dustin

LOL Dustin, I kinda like that phrase… even though I’m kinda the opposite… I always doubt everything, and that’s why I always get off to a slow start. But, usually, I can finish fast because of the prep and the stressing of the details.

“Fast” is a relative term though… If you count the time I spend in planning a thing, maybe I ain’t “fast” at all.. but it’s been a while since I ruined anything, so I’ll just be thankful for that…

’’I am the tortoise” ;)

-- ~Jim

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robscastle

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#42 posted 12-05-2018 08:28 AM

The post made for some interesting reading

-- Regards Rob

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2537 posts in 2645 days


#43 posted 12-05-2018 12:15 PM

I had to chuckle last night when I turned on the local PBS station and Woodsmith Shop was on. They were discussing ebonizing using tea (tannic acid) and iron acetate (vinegar and steel wool). Anyone that wants to see how they did it should be able to find the episode and watch it. The episode was about sanding, staining, and finishing with a lot of good tips and explanations.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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JADobson

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#44 posted 12-10-2018 03:04 AM

For what it’s worth I just put two coats of the ebony black aniline dye from Lee Valley and it looks pretty good.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#45 posted 12-10-2018 03:33 AM



For what it’s worth I just put two coats of the ebony black aniline dye from Lee Valley and it looks pretty good.

- JADobson

What kind of wood?

I never used dye yet… But, with stain, I know that the rings don’t accept the color as good as the pulp does.

-- ~Jim

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HammerSmith

233 posts in 381 days


#46 posted 12-10-2018 03:36 AM



I had to chuckle last night when I turned on the local PBS station and Woodsmith Shop was on. They were discussing ebonizing using tea (tannic acid) and iron acetate (vinegar and steel wool). Anyone that wants to see how they did it should be able to find the episode and watch it. The episode was about sanding, staining, and finishing with a lot of good tips and explanations.

- EarlS


Thanks for mentioning that Earl. I never saw that show before, but I set it to record on the DVR…

I looked up the website, but I didn’t see a “full episode” of the one you were talking about…

-- ~Jim

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JADobson

1375 posts in 2408 days


#47 posted 12-10-2018 03:20 PM

I was dyeing oak (white I think – it came out of a waste bin so not 100% sure)

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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JADobson

1375 posts in 2408 days


#48 posted 12-18-2018 08:41 PM

Here is the frame I dyed black. I put a coat of liming wax over top. Thought it turned out alright.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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htl

4534 posts in 1456 days


#49 posted 12-18-2018 09:03 PM



I had made the mixture of steel wool and vinegar …. but found it very hard to get past the awful smell from it :<((

- GR8HUNTER

I too have made the mixture and use it on some of my model wheels but as it’s a water based finish you have to deal with raised grain and on small detailed projects this is no fun.

One other point of interest for some, [maybe?] Green poplar is turned into a nice soft brown with this mixture of course the green poplar will turn on it’s own with time, at least mine has.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

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ArtMann

1317 posts in 1113 days


#50 posted 12-18-2018 10:27 PM

I am just about finished making a little enameled hall table out of 30 year old poplar that was given to me. Part of it was a beautiful brown after I planed it but part of it was army green. My point is it doesn’t always turn brown from green – at least not in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe it requires sunlight to change.

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