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Fuming a Small Oak Box

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Blog entry by Roger Kimmel posted 09-16-2014 01:22 AM 1497 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have some small boxes with oak sides that I made, and I wanted to fume them to contrast with the basswood lids and pins. I placed a box over a saucer with some regular household ammonia. I keep a cake container over the setup to contain the fumes.

The box before fuming.

Here is the setup and the box after one day.

Here it is after 48 hours. I’ll keep going until it reaches the desired shade.



17 comments so far

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1947 posts in 1896 days


#1 posted 09-16-2014 02:16 AM

That’s really neat! Is there a lingering odor from the fuming? (just curious…LOL)

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 2774 days


#2 posted 09-16-2014 03:50 AM

You can also use a Rubbermaid container with a bowl of ammonia in it with the top lid sealing it…

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1179 days


#3 posted 09-16-2014 07:00 AM

Quite a difference. Looks great wit the darker acent.
Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 845 days


#4 posted 09-16-2014 09:42 PM



That s really neat! Is there a lingering odor from the fuming? (just curious…LOL)

- MadJester


Good question. There is a slight ammonia odor for a day or so, but it dissipates quickly.

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 845 days


#5 posted 09-16-2014 09:43 PM



You can also use a Rubbermaid container with a bowl of ammonia in it with the top lid sealing it…

- Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor


That’s a great idea. I’ll give it a try . . .

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5059 posts in 2613 days


#6 posted 09-17-2014 12:11 AM

I’m surprised you’re able to fume with just household ammonia. I was under the impression one needed to use the industrial ammonia in a tent out in the driveway.

-- Dean

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 845 days


#7 posted 09-17-2014 01:36 AM



I m surprised you re able to fume with just household ammonia. I was under the impression one needed to use the industrial ammonia in a tent out in the driveway.

- Mean_Dean


From what I’ve read, anhydrous ammonia is a lot faster. It takes days to fume a box with household ammonia, but it looks like it would only take a few hours to a day with anhydrous ammonia. I think also that you’d have trouble fuming anything large with household ammonia, the concentration wouldn’t be strong enough. What I haven’t tried is just wiping down the object with ammonia. It would probably raise the grain, but it might give you immediate results. I plan to give that a try soon.

View NormG's profile

NormG

5507 posts in 2470 days


#8 posted 09-17-2014 01:52 AM

Any rate which ever is faster, this is showing great color and the grain is showing very nicely changed

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2575 days


#9 posted 09-17-2014 02:33 AM

Nice! I’ve fumed oak and copper (technically patina, on copper) with ammonia. If you buy ammonia that hasn’t had the pleasant lemon scent added, it works a lot better. I bought “clear ammonia” from Lowes. It worked well. I’ll post a pic sometime.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 845 days


#10 posted 09-18-2014 12:55 AM


I m surprised you re able to fume with just household ammonia. I was under the impression one needed to use the industrial ammonia in a tent out in the driveway.

- Mean_Dean

From what I ve read, anhydrous ammonia is a lot faster. It takes days to fume a box with household ammonia, but it looks like it would only take a few hours to a day with anhydrous ammonia. I think also that you d have trouble fuming anything large with household ammonia, the concentration wouldn t be strong enough. What I haven t tried is just wiping down the object with ammonia. It would probably raise the grain, but it might give you immediate results. I plan to give that a try soon.

- Roger Kimmel


OK, I lied. I tried wiping down a board with liquid household ammonia, and nothing happened. Either the fumes act differently from the liquid, or it is such a slow process that even if the wood is in intimate contact with the ammonia, it takes a long time.

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1947 posts in 1896 days


#11 posted 09-18-2014 01:06 AM

Cool…it’s fun to experiment!! :D

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5059 posts in 2613 days


#12 posted 09-19-2014 12:06 AM

Roger, at least you gave it a try. Now we know!

-- Dean

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1947 posts in 1896 days


#13 posted 09-22-2014 04:33 AM

I have a bunch of left over vinegar from doing a bunch of de-rusting…someone suggested that I try it on some wood…figure I’ll try it on some scrap and see what it comes out looking like!

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 845 days


#14 posted 09-22-2014 11:05 PM



I have a bunch of left over vinegar from doing a bunch of de-rusting…someone suggested that I try it on some wood…figure I ll try it on some scrap and see what it comes out looking like!

- MadJester


I visited the Spring Valley Bruderhof community in Pennsylvania last month. They have a company called Community Playthings (http://www.communityplaythings.com/). They make high-quality wood furniture for schools and daycares. One of their product lines is simple wooden blocks. They use vinegar to pickle the wood blocks. They say that they are very durable and nontoxic, and the wood has a nice blonde finish. I think they use maple, but the pickling creates a pale ash look. I was considering trying this. Please tell me how it works for you!

View MadJester's profile

MadJester

1947 posts in 1896 days


#15 posted 09-24-2014 03:01 PM

I don’t see how the gunky liquid I have left over will make anything blonde…LOL….maybe if I used just plain vinegar and steel wool…possibly….but I’m hoping that the rusty color will give any wood some nice russet tones….If I try it, I’ll try to remember to post a pic here…I set aside a bottle of it…it’s truly a disgusting mess!! (Which oftentimes produce the best results!! fingers crossed!)

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

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