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ebonizing maple with a white splotch

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Forum topic by Will posted 08-08-2018 04:57 PM 452 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Will

18 posts in 2431 days


08-08-2018 04:57 PM

I googled ebonizing maple, lots of good advice. And I’ll be testing several of them to see what I like. Here’s the question: I want to leave a splotch of natural maple in the middle. We had a black Lab who died recently and I want to make a cremains box for her. Not sure what it’s going to look like yet, but Pearl had a white spot on her chest, and I would like to bring that reference, or hint, into the front of the box.

So with all the methods out there (india ink, ink jet printer ink, leather dye, RIT dye, Feiblings, GNR, etc) how would you create an unstained, random, splotch on the maple. (or are there suggestions for other wood to use??) I’ve thought about dripping candle wax, taking a pipette of sealer and dropping it on, using a pipette to drop the ink/stain around the splotch, using hot melt glue in a random pattern, etc. I plan on doing some experiments, but was curious what suggestions y’all might have. TIA.

-- If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.


10 replies so far

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1443 posts in 2533 days


#1 posted 08-08-2018 06:18 PM

Masking fluid maybe.

Or for really crisp lines you could inlay the blotch.

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

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

835 posts in 811 days


#2 posted 08-08-2018 06:19 PM

Interesting idea – I’m usually trying to get an even stain ;-) I’d probably try it on plywood first but you could try a kind of Rorschach inkblot by puddling shellac on the top then slapping paper on it. I’ve done that in an art class and it worked well but not sure how it will preform on in this instance.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Will's profile

Will

18 posts in 2431 days


#3 posted 08-08-2018 06:46 PM

2 good ideas. Thx. The inlay, for what I’m thinking, would be to tedious (for me, anyway). Slapping paper I’ll try. I’ll post the results.

-- If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2892 posts in 2771 days


#4 posted 08-08-2018 07:10 PM

you might also consider using hot glue over the spot where you want the white spot, then peel it off after you are done with the stain. It shouldn’t leave and residue.

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

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1443 posts in 2533 days


#5 posted 08-08-2018 07:16 PM

I’d just worry about the stain seeping through the wood grain under whatever you use to mask. I doubt you’ll get clean results with anything other than an inlay. Something like this: http://www.leevalley.com/us/Hardware/page.aspx?p=41779&cat=1,43314&ap=1 should make it go quickly.

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

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2363 posts in 2412 days


#6 posted 08-08-2018 07:57 PM

Not sure if you want actual white or a clear wood look, but the method would be the same, use different materials. I dont think you want a crisp line but rather a “fade to black”. I would use an airbrush method, which can be done with full size sprayers choked way down. A piece of paper or cardboard with a hole in it can serve to reduce the fan size. Use white paint for white, or a sealer for clear, and I would use Elmers glue all thinned to a glue size since it dries clear (dont leave a puddle). Just lighten the amount of spray time from the center out, like a starburst. Shellac, even pale blonde, will add yellow. Topcoat with a wb finish for no yellowing. The ebonizing method/chemicals cannot interact with the paint/sealer otherwise you get lifting and smearing. Do the spot 1st, then color, and the color will wipe off the spot but gradually increase in intensity until you get to the unsealed area. Topcoat the whole thing. Will require some development of the proper materials to use.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1328 posts in 2375 days


#7 posted 08-08-2018 08:04 PM

Sorry to hear about your dog. Losing a pet that was a part of your family is a sad thing.

Personally, I would steer clear of the inlay for the very reason that the edges would be very sharply defined. I am certain that the white blotch on your dog’s fur didn’t look like a sticker.

I think OSU55 has a great suggestion. Practice on some scrap before trying the final piece. If you do not have access to a sprayer, you might even be able to use a rattle can shooting through the hole in the cardboard.

View Will's profile

Will

18 posts in 2431 days


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

Thanks for the help folks. And the sympathy. She was a very cool dog. And yes, an inlay would have crisp lines, which is not what I’m thinkin. More an inkblot kinda thing. And I would prefer the “white” part be natural maple. I’ll be making some trials in the next few days and will post the methods and results. I’m hoping that I can splash some sealer or urethane or varnish or shellac or something I haven’t thought of, and it will block the stain, ink, or whatever. Should be interesting. My wife is already asking what the hell I need RIT dye for.

-- If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

495 posts in 2993 days


#9 posted 08-08-2018 08:33 PM



you might also consider using hot glue over the spot where you want the white spot, then peel it off after you are done with the stain. It shouldn t leave and residue.

- EarlS

Along those lines, what about melted wax?

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1509 posts in 1917 days


#10 posted 08-08-2018 09:03 PM

+1 Inlay

Maybe use double masking technique if want crisp edges.
Mask off the black area, then apply several coats of shellac (or water borne poly) to white area. Once the white spot is grain sealed and well protected, mask white area as you dye the rest black.
Maple has tight grain, but suggest might need to use clear grain filler before any finishing to help you get cleaner masking line?
With this reverse/double mask method, you can use a razor knife to scrape (or sand) away any finish that seeps onto black area and still get dye penetration. With enough finish thickness on white spot, can sand to remove the slight staining that will occur from any black dye bleed out, before final finishing.

Used this technique for applying dye stain to walnut edge boards that surrounded Maple/Walnut chess board.

YMMV

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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