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Forum topic by HammerH posted 09-17-2019 09:38 PM 271 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HammerH

14 posts in 38 days


09-17-2019 09:38 PM

I’m starting to finish my vinyl record cabinet and turntable stand using the process described in this 3 minute video.

https://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/woodworking-101/tips-tricks/ebonizing-ash-the-fast-and-easy-way-for-woodworking-projects/

Unfortunately I could not find any alcohol based dyes so I used a water based die from General Surfaces. The die went on more of a purple/maroon than black as shown in the video, but I figured adding the stain would darken it closer to black. Today I started applying the oil based gel stain and when I wipe it off it is not only not changing the color of the dye much but is actually pulling the dye from the wood in certain places.

I applied the stain with foam brush, let it stand for 5 minutes and am using blue shop towels to remove dye. Any suggestions what could be happening?

Please note this my first ever woodworking project and my first attempt at staining anything. Replies in remedial woodworking & finishing are much appreciated.


9 replies so far

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Rich

4979 posts in 1097 days


#1 posted 09-17-2019 10:58 PM

That’s pretty much the color you get with most black dyes. They aren’t really black, just deep purplish-blue. One thing that’s sure to be pure black is India ink. That’s even mentioned as an option in the article, but it’s old news to finishers.

I’m not sure why it’s suggested to use both dye and stain, but it’s really not necessary. As for the problems you’re running into, it pretty much comes down to the fact that oil and water don’t mix.

How to proceed? It’s tough without seeing it, but you should be able to wipe down the surface with paint thinner, turpentine or naphtha to remove most of the oil. Then go back over it with the India ink. Be sure to use one of those three solvents. Modern mineral spirits have had the more effective solvents removed to make it “low odor” and “green,” and it won’t perform as well.

Do yourself a favor however, and test it out on a small area that’s as inconspicuous as you can find. It’s better to see if it works on a test area than to waste your time going over the entire piece until you’re confident in how it will turn out. If you have scrap pieces of the wood you used, you can even repeat your dye/stain combination on one and then do the testing on it.

I assume you built this cabinet. One lesson to be learned from your experience is to always do test boards using the same wood you used in the project, and sanded the same as well. If you had, you’d have figured out it wasn’t going to work before you coated your final piece. Don’t feel bad though, you’re not alone.

As a final note, always research multiple sources. Woodworker’s Source is local to Phoenix and Tucson and I know those guys personally. I’ve found the articles and videos on finishing to be less than stellar. There are better choices like videos from our own Charles Neil which are available on youtube. Charles is a widely respected expert on finishing. I even recall him mentioning the black dye problems and suggesting India ink as well.

-- There are 10 types of people—those who understand binary, and those who don’t

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

991 posts in 3301 days


#2 posted 09-17-2019 11:05 PM

What kind of wood? Steel wool dissolved in vinegar will ebonize oak, but I am not sure about other wood.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

299 posts in 55 days


#3 posted 09-17-2019 11:15 PM



What kind of wood? Steel wool dissolved in vinegar will ebonize oak, but I am not sure about other wood.

- ibewjon

All woods react differently to iron oxide, depending on the amount of tannins present. Oak has high tannin content. Pine, for example will turn greyish. The tannin reaction also depends on how long the steel wool and vinegar have been left to sit, and how much oxygen is available to the mix. There will be a noticeable difference between a mix that is a week old and one that is two weeks old.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View RRBOU's profile

RRBOU

228 posts in 2800 days


#4 posted 09-17-2019 11:51 PM

I always kept a jar of distilled white vinegar with Steel wool dissolved in it for ebonizing wood. White oak turned the blackest. All woods turn, as wildwood stated it reacts with the tannins in the wood. Give it a try you may like the results. Be sure to remove the other stain and dye first.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View HammerH's profile

HammerH

14 posts in 38 days


#5 posted 09-18-2019 12:18 AM



That s pretty much the color you get with most black dyes. They aren t really black, just deep purplish-blue. One thing that s sure to be pure black is India ink. That s even mentioned as an option in the article, but it s old news to finishers.

I m not sure why it s suggested to use both dye and stain, but it s really not necessary. As for the problems you re running into, it pretty much comes down to the fact that oil and water don t mix.

How to proceed? It s tough without seeing it, but you should be able to wipe down the surface with paint thinner, turpentine or naphtha to remove most of the oil. Then go back over it with the India ink. Be sure to use one of those three solvents. Modern mineral spirits have had the more effective solvents removed to make it “low odor” and “green,” and it won t perform as well.

Do yourself a favor however, and test it out on a small area that s as inconspicuous as you can find. It s better to see if it works on a test area than to waste your time going over the entire piece until you re confident in how it will turn out. If you have scrap pieces of the wood you used, you can even repeat your dye/stain combination on one and then do the testing on it.

I assume you built this cabinet. One lesson to be learned from your experience is to always do test boards using the same wood you used in the project, and sanded the same as well. If you had, you d have figured out it wasn t going to work before you coated your final piece. Don t feel bad though, you re not alone.

As a final note, always research multiple sources. Woodworker s Source is local to Phoenix and Tucson and I know those guys personally. I ve found the articles and videos on finishing to be less than stellar. There are better choices like videos from our own Charles Neil which are available on youtube. Charles is a widely respected expert on finishing. I even recall him mentioning the black dye problems and suggesting India ink as well.

- Rich

Thanks for your thorough response to my question! I actually did do test boards for both woods I used and the process seemed to work fine using two coats of dye and one coat of stain, so I am not sure what happened when I started on the cabinet. Both the attached video and the general finishes site say it is fine to mix oil stain on top of dye so I felt I had good direction. Obviously I screwed up somewhere along the way just not sure where?

I have stained the top & sides of the cabinet and one of the shelves when I first noticed the stain & dye coming off in a few places. I think I am too far down this path to start removing the finishes at this point. Really looking for guidance on how to finish the stain and limit pulling up the dye.

I did the top and sides of the cabinet and two of shelves with stain on

View HammerH's profile

HammerH

14 posts in 38 days


#6 posted 09-18-2019 12:20 AM



What kind of wood? Steel wool dissolved in vinegar will ebonize oak, but I am not sure about other wood.

- ibewjon

I used birch plywood and poplar for the cabinet. I used the ebonizing process shown in the above video since it looked so simple even an idiot like me could do it. WRONG!

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3878 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 09-18-2019 12:24 AM

WD Lockwood Alcohol SOLUBLE dyes maybe?

Ebony Black is the second choice.

If you’ve not dealt with him, you will find Joel and the guys at Tools for Working Wood to be excellent to deal with. If you have any questions about how to proceed after looking over the info on the site. I suggest calling them. 800-426-4613 or 718-499-5877

-- Think safe, be safe

View Rich's profile

Rich

4979 posts in 1097 days


#8 posted 09-18-2019 12:38 AM


Really looking for guidance on how to finish the stain and limit pulling up the dye.

- HammerH

I can’t really help you go from where you are since I can’t see it for myself. Really no one can. You may get a lot of advice on here, but take it with a grain of salt. Keep at it and I’m sure you’ll work it out.

-- There are 10 types of people—those who understand binary, and those who don’t

View HammerH's profile

HammerH

14 posts in 38 days


#9 posted 09-18-2019 01:10 AM


Really looking for guidance on how to finish the stain and limit pulling up the dye.

- HammerH

I can t really help you go from where you are since I can t see it for myself. Really no one can. You may get a lot of advice on here, but take it with a grain of salt. Keep at it and I m sure you ll work it out.

- Rich


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