Iron buff

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Project by bbqking posted 04-04-2008 01:51 AM 7640 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are the samples I made using iron buff as a darkening agent. It is a chemical reaction so the color is always even. I have not tried this before and would like finishing tips & etc. More info is on the forum.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

5 comments so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3763 days

#1 posted 04-04-2008 02:21 AM

Interesting. What is Iron Buff about? Could you please expand on the subject a bit?

Thanks, John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View acanthuscarver's profile


268 posts in 3738 days

#2 posted 04-04-2008 04:04 AM

I think you’ll find, if you try my wetting the wood experiment (see the post on the forum), you’ll get the same result from just dropping a nail on the wet board. Obviously, you’re not trying to color one nail sized area, so you’re on the right path with the steel wool solution. You may also want to make a steam box and try fuming the oak with some ammonia. Fuming was a typical “craftsman” era method of coloring the wood. You might want to try just enclosing a piece of oak with an open container of ammonia for a bit and see how that works. I’ve tried it be heating the ammonia up and actually steaming the wood. The reaction happens rather quickly so you don’t need to steam it for very long. Happy experimenting.

-- Chuck Bender, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4015 days

#3 posted 04-04-2008 08:15 AM


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3901 days

#4 posted 04-04-2008 10:21 AM

Ammonia steam must be nasty.

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 3799 days

#5 posted 04-04-2008 09:51 PM

I use iron stain quite a bit and have picked up a few tips. Using steel wool isn’t always the best choice because often it is treated with wax or other products to keep it from rusting. I like to use either metal that is already rusted or filings from my grinder area, mixed with vinegar and water (of course punch a hole in the lid so it doesn’t explode on you). Also, treating the wood with tannin powder (dissolved in water, no particular recipe) first will sometimes yield spectacular results. You can get tannin powder where wine making stuff is sold. I’ve heard that plain ol black tea works too but I haven’t tried that.

Ammonia fuming is potentially really dangerous. Kevin Rodel wrote a great article about it in FWW a while ago – sorry I don’t know what issue.


-- "No Board Left Behind"

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