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Ammonia Fumed Stools

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Project by calisdad posted 12-19-2015 10:07 PM 685 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This year a good friend passed and left me some of his shop tools. I replicated a stool he had made and given me so I could give them to some of his friends and neighbors.

This is my first attempt at ammonia fuming and must say I like it a lot. The colors it brought out are fascinating. All the wood used I milled locally. It is live oak, black oak and western red cedar. All joinery is mortice and tenon. This time of year rattle can lacquer seemed like the best finish.

The 4th photo shows and old hardwood floor layers shim/clamping device. It sure save fumbling with an armload of clamps.

enjoy-
Calisdad





12 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

2005 posts in 1732 days


#1 posted 12-19-2015 10:39 PM

Well made and unique stools!

I like seeing other ideas on how to do things too. We all learn from each other all the time!

Thanks for the information!

-- just rjR

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2581 posts in 2427 days


#2 posted 12-20-2015 01:47 AM

What is ammonia fuming? Those are outstanding!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2448 posts in 1875 days


#3 posted 12-20-2015 03:30 AM



What is ammonia fuming? Those are outstanding!

- Knothead62

I am curious as well what is this ammonia fuming process?

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View calisdad's profile

calisdad

286 posts in 976 days


#4 posted 12-20-2015 04:03 AM

Thanks guys.

Here’s Wiki’s explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia_fuming

Basically I built a tent and put ammonia in gallon jugs cut lengthwise to expose the wood to the gases. It’s recommended to use industrial strength (28%) but none to be had in my small town so I used household (5%). It just took longer, 48 hours. You can see the original colors in the photo of the glue up. The live oak reacted darker than the black oak, which is the close up with the fletching. I did a sample with off cuts in a jar, keeping the wood from actual contact, and was pleased so I built the tent. Apparently it is used on oak mostly because it is a reaction to tannins that causes the darkening.

View Pointer's profile

Pointer

372 posts in 577 days


#5 posted 12-20-2015 04:25 AM

These turned out great. I have not tried fuming yet, but after seeing the beautiful results you got, I may have to give it a whirl.

-- Joe - - Laughter is like a windshied wiper, it doesn't stop the rain but allows us to keep going.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2448 posts in 1875 days


#6 posted 12-20-2015 06:15 AM

Interesting, have to look into it and try something small and see how it looks.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1195 posts in 1579 days


#7 posted 12-20-2015 10:11 PM

thanks for the great photos and description of the process
love the clever way you glued up as well

-- Greg Simon

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2581 posts in 2427 days


#8 posted 12-21-2015 04:22 PM

I would think you would have to do the fuming outside or somewhere the fumes wouldn’t cause a problem in the house. Many thanks for the instructions and great photos.

View calisdad's profile

calisdad

286 posts in 976 days


#9 posted 12-21-2015 04:31 PM

Thanks for the complements.

The fumes weren’t bad, but then the tent was pretty tight. I had a bigger issue with the lacquer. Being winter and in the middle of a storm system I didn’t have much choice. I just sprayed and left the shop.

View Daniel Sheppard's profile

Daniel Sheppard

22 posts in 359 days


#10 posted 12-22-2015 10:28 AM



Thanks for the complements.

The fumes weren t bad, but then the tent was pretty tight. I had a bigger issue with the lacquer. Being winter and in the middle of a storm system I didn t have much choice. I just sprayed and left the shop.

- calisdad

Yes, winter is a hard time when you’re applying any type of substance and not just lacquer.I recently struggled with polish, it just didn’t dry out. It took about a month :(

View calisdad's profile

calisdad

286 posts in 976 days


#11 posted 12-22-2015 03:27 PM


Yes, winter is a hard time when you re applying any type of substance and not just lacquer.I recently struggled with polish, it just didn t dry out. It took about a month :(

- Daniel Sheppard

Daniel thanks for the heads up. I never would have guessed polish would have similar problems.

Living in California we have to deal with strict regulations. The formulas have changed and contrary to what the manufacturers would have us believe harder to deal with. It’s a new learning process. I’ve had bad batches of canned and even rattle can products that don’t cure even in 90 degree weather with 0 humidity. I use lacquer and shellac a lot more now because of finish failures.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

829 posts in 688 days


#12 posted 12-22-2015 03:51 PM

I like the way you “sneaked” in the quarter sawn faces!

The number of species that can be fumed are limited, I usually only fume White Oak, but any wood with tannins will work (but not always work well).
I have tried Cherry, but the color was funky. Red Oak fumes, but turns green.

The best Ammonia I have found locally is the “Janitorial Strength” from the local hardware store. It is 10% and really makes a difference over the 5%, but still takes time.

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