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methods of work #36: Ebonizing an oak/ash chair

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Blog entry by Loren posted 32 days ago 710 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 35: Wedging through tenons Part 36 of methods of work series Part 37: Modernist chair - riffing on a vocabulary of shapes »

Ebonizing the chair. There were some surface checks in the back and flaws in the materials I used for the legs. I filled the grain and checks with water putty mixed with black dye. After sanding that dried filler back, I dye it several times with the same black. The grain fill job isn’t perfect, so it won’t look like a piano (they wouldn’t ebonize an open grained wood for a piano anyway), but if I keep laying on the black dye eventually I’ll win and get something close to the real color of ebony. After that a film finish brings up the gloss. I’ve been “french polishing” using oil-modified water soluble polyurethane instead of shellac with good results.

I use t-shirt material held in a hemostat. I have a bunch of those I’ve acquired over the years. The dye does get on my fingers but being dissolved in water it washes off skin far more easily than alcohol dyes.

-- http://lawoodworking.com



4 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10567 posts in 1289 days


#1 posted 32 days ago

“oil-modified water soluble poly” What is your source ?

“water putty” I’m not familiar with that product either.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Loren's profile

Loren

7234 posts in 2247 days


#2 posted 32 days ago

I think it’s Minwax. A gloss finish I bought for doing a refinish
job on some stairs. I wanted oil gloss but they didn’t have
it. Gloss is the toughest. I had a lot left over and my shellac
went bad so I’m experimenting. I’m in California so oil-base is
getting hard to find. Got it at Home Depot.

Durham’s “Rock Hard” Water Putty. Cheap stuff…. kind of
like plaster in that it does a thermal hardening chemical
reaction and only stays workable for about 30 minutes.
Doesn’t shrink much. Takes stain terribly
once dried but can be mixed with water soluble pigments
for good results.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10567 posts in 1289 days


#3 posted 32 days ago

Thanks Loren. I’ll look at HD but I’m thinkin it may be a “left coast” thing!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Loren's profile

Loren

7234 posts in 2247 days


#4 posted 32 days ago

You may be able to request to have it delivered to your
local store online. I check stock online and have noticed
that not all HD stores dedicate the same shelf area to
the same product type. One in my area has a feeble
selection of exterior patching compound while the
other has lots of it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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