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Fuming a Small Box With Household Ammonia #2: After Six Days of Exposure

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Blog entry by Roger Kimmel posted 09-20-2014 02:02 AM 1981 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: After Four Days of Exposure Part 2 of Fuming a Small Box With Household Ammonia series Part 3: Fuming the Box Interior »


This is the box after two more days exposure, for six days total. It isn’t much darker than it was after four days, so I’m going to call the experiment over. I’d like for it to be a bit darker, but at least I got the contrast I wanted with the basswood lid and pins. Even the basswood took on a bit warmer shade. This is why I put the lid in to fume with the sides. I thought that the pins might darken, and I wanted them to match the lid. Here is the box before fuming:

One problem is that the wood took on moisture and swelled, so that the lid is now jammed firmly in the rabbet in the top. The pins are also slightly recessed. I will let it dry out for a few days, and I think this problem will correct itself. My concern is that he basswood lid will be unevenly colored where it was shielded by the sides.

The box isn’t quite the shade I was hoping for. Here is one from a few years ago:

I think once I put some Danish oil on the box, I will have a tone that is a bit warmer and closer to the box above. I’ll post a picture after I oil it.



6 comments so far

View BenhamDesign's profile

BenhamDesign

102 posts in 885 days


#1 posted 09-20-2014 02:29 AM

That’s cool, I’m surprised the household ammonia was strong enough to have any affect.

-- What I do in and out of the shop at http://www.BriansBenham.com

View AudreyGreenwood's profile

AudreyGreenwood

4 posts in 898 days


#2 posted 09-23-2014 03:27 AM

That’s a gorgeous design on your box, how big is it and what are you intending for it to be used for? I’ve rented boxes in my house for so long to hold my things that it’s ideas like these that really give me that well-needed boost to get out of the house and start looking for better and prettier pieces of storage for my things!

-- Audrey Greenwood: http://www.boomerangbox.com.au/

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 844 days


#3 posted 09-23-2014 10:53 PM

Thanks very much Audrey. The box is quite small. The lid is just 2”x4 3/4”, so it would only be suitable for rings or small keepsakes. I’m making a bunch of similar boxes, all with different carving on the lids. I wanted to practice decorative relief carving, and I wanted something to use when I’m done. I would like to try to sell them on Etsy when I get the lot finished.


That s a gorgeous design on your box, how big is it and what are you intending for it to be used for? I ve rented boxes in my house for so long to hold my things that it s ideas like these that really give me that well-needed boost to get out of the house and start looking for better and prettier pieces of storage for my things!

- AudreyG


View AudreyGreenwood's profile

AudreyGreenwood

4 posts in 898 days


#4 posted 10-13-2014 09:07 AM

Good for you Roger! I’d love to see some of your stuff for sale and can really imagine a larger scale model of the packing box as a keepsakeor treasure chest or hope chest kind of thing! The celtic knots and lacing has just got this lovely air of fantasy and fairytale to it! My suggestion is to make a few in different shades though – I would buy both colours in a heartbeat!

-- Audrey Greenwood: http://www.boomerangbox.com.au/

View Roger Kimmel's profile

Roger Kimmel

36 posts in 844 days


#5 posted 10-13-2014 11:35 PM

Thanks very much for your kind words and encouragement Audrey. I’ll take your advice!

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1213 posts in 1575 days


#6 posted 10-13-2014 11:39 PM

I’ve fumed lamps and boxes with strong household ammonia from the big boxes, in Rubbermaid bins, to a near walnut tone in only 24 hours. It worked fine!

I think lots of the failures may have come with having too much air space for the fumes to disappate in, or a leaky enclosure allowing the fumes to escape.

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