Fuming question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by JADobson posted 06-16-2018 02:20 AM 488 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2721 days

06-16-2018 02:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: fuming oak

Finishing a small box made from 100 year old reclaimed qs white oak and would like to fume it with ammonia. I had trouble sourcing the 25%+ solutions so ended up getting the weaker (5-10%) solution from the grocery store. After 24 hours my sample piece was already super dark. The finishing book I was referencing stated I needed three days with the stronger solution but this seems to have worked fine. Does the age of the oak make a difference? Anyone know what’s up with that?

Also – will the fumes affect stainless steel. I was going to install my hinges. (Hidden hinge pins) but wasn’t sure what effect the ammonia would have. Should I wait till after to install them?

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

6 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2651 posts in 2408 days

#1 posted 06-16-2018 04:51 AM

I too have noticed the same as you. The stuff from the grocery store works just fine.
I was going to fume my current build but I did like the way fuming took all the nice colors from my white oak so it’s going to be shellac naturally.

-- Aj

View splintergroup's profile


3219 posts in 1832 days

#2 posted 06-16-2018 01:47 PM

I use the stuff from the hardware store (10%) exclusively. The weaker solutions just take longer, but I would avoid any that have scents or colors added.

The darkening is strictly based on the woods tannin content which varies greatly. I typically use 12-24 hours for a medium brown, but weaker tannin wood just never quite makes it.

I’d think the stainless will be fine, but I’d keep it out if possible ‘cause you never know 8^)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12002 posts in 4038 days

#3 posted 06-16-2018 02:32 PM

The stainless should be OK but, to be safe, you might want to apply a finish before installing the hardware. That’s the usual order, anyway.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Andre's profile


3017 posts in 2416 days

#4 posted 06-16-2018 03:38 PM

Wish I had seen this yesterday, that is a great color, just finished staining a coffee table dark brown ( I really dislike stains ) May have to experiment with some scraps for future projects?
I am of the thought that if you want that color, use wood that color! LOL!
I did apply my favorite OSMOS finish to the inside of the drawers, no stain!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Runner's profile


84 posts in 1383 days

#5 posted 06-16-2018 06:38 PM

I’ve had good luck with this from Amazon:
Ammonium Hydroxide

Beware it’s very toxic. You will need respirator with ammonia cartridge, goggles, gloves, etc.

-- Kjell - Eau Claire WI

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2721 days

#6 posted 06-16-2018 07:55 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Runner, I think you misunderstood. I had excellent results with the grocery store variety. No need for the overly toxic stuff.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics