Since the ammonia fume diffused through the finishes so easily, I started to wonder how far it penetrated the wood. I had assumed the fume darkening would be a thing film, so I planed one of the edges to see how far it would go. I planed and planed, and found out that the fume had penetrated 1-2 mm through the face grain, and up to 10 mm on the end grain. You can see this in the planed edge shown above. The fumed finish on oak can easily stand up to extensive sanding. As always, please t...
After noticing that the inside of my box picked up some color right through the Danish oil finish, I decided to experiment. I finished an oak stick with one coat of polyurethane varnish (right) and Danish oil (left). I left the center unfinished. The oak darkened nicely beneath the finishes. The Danish oil appears a bit darker than the varnish, but the image exaggerates this somewhat. Nice to know that you can sand and put at least one coat of finish on before fuming. I’d test it ...
Well the other day I finally got some 3/16 hardboard and had the blue box rip it to the 24.25 inches to fit on the top. I put drops of glue in key spots to keep it from moving. I then installed a rip cutoff from my hand tool bench in slow progress, damn nails imbedded/hidden in some have me frustrated. Glued screwed and plugged this to the front edge of the top. I wiped on some Early American stain to pop the grain a bit more, it has lots of figure imho. Fast forward to today. I was up...
Two days after I took it out of the “gas chamber” the swelling due to moisture had gone down enough that I could remove the lid. I was a little surprised that the interior had darkened as much as the outside, but I guess I shouldn’t have been. The lid was certainly not airtight. What did surprise me was that I had put a coat of Danish oil on the inside prior to assembly, and the ammonia had darkened the wood right through this small amount of finish. It just shows ho...
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...
After putting together my cutlist, I called up the lumber yard that I am getting the material from. They emailed me the latest price list for all their products. Seeing that you are charged extra for boards wider than 8”, I decided that going back to the cutlist to reorganize the pieces on 8” wide may benefit me. I had too much room left over on 9” wide pieces anyway, so fitting them onto 8” worked well (below), and I actually had less waste. I didn’t even hav...
The box hasn’t darkened appreciably over the past two days, so I put in fresh ammonia in a slightly bigger saucer to give it more surface area. Here’s a funny thing. It felt like the box was damp to the touch. The lid just lies in a rabbet in the sides, and the wood had swollen so much that it was jammed in tight! It really has been picking up moisture. I don’t know if this is due to the fuming reaction, or if it is just a consequence of having the box suspended ove...
I am getting anxious to start on this project. I have the cut list (below) all ready. Unfortunately the lumber yard I am purchasing the material from is only open on the weekdays during my work hours. I finally have a Thursday/Friday off next week, so off to the lumber supplier! I would love to do this in walnut, but cost drives me to white or red oak. I may decide that this is a once in a lifetime piece and end up with walnut.
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.
Over the past few days I’ve been working on an idea that I’ve NEVER seen or even heard of anyone making before. Therefore I am obviously having to work out methods & techniques “on the job”. It’s only a small item that I hope will sell well at some craft fairs & markets, and possibly on line sales too. I’m NOT going to reveal what this item is, until I have got it the way I want it, and have made a few ready to sell, BUT…I WILL reveal it on...
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