Ammonia Fuming #1: Hardware Store 10% Ammonia

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Blog entry by scamp238 posted 07-08-2012 05:56 PM 3304 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have decided to try my hand at fuming wood with ammonia. I can’t find the stronger (25-30%) ammonia locally, so I went to the local hardware store and found a gallon of 10% ammonia.

I started by making some small cutoffs to test it out. I cut off a checked end of an African Mahogany board, A couple of pieces White Oak and some Cherry and Walnut.

I grabbed a rectangular plastic container and a small bowl to put the ammonia in. I took all of the pieces outside, arranged them and poured a small amount of ammonia (about 2 ounces) in the bowl.

I inverted the plastic container and put everything on the inside of the lid.

I checked it every few hours to see how it was going.

Anyway, I decided to take everything out after 21 hours and here are the results.

The pieces in the picture are arranged so that the unfumed pieces are on the left

From left to right: African Mahogany, White Oak, Cherry and Walnut ( a cutoff from a cutting board) and the last piece is Cherry.

I think I will definitely use this method in the future. I have to let them sit outside for several hours to lose the ammonia smell. I wanted to see how log it would take with a weaker ammonia. I will put a poly top coat on them to see what the finished product will look like. Thanks for looking. Maybe this will help someone that is sitting on the fence. I will try to add pictures after the poly goes on.

-- Brian, North Georgia

7 comments so far

View scamp238's profile


106 posts in 2499 days

#1 posted 07-08-2012 05:58 PM

The pictures are cut off on the right side.

-- Brian, North Georgia

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2855 days

#2 posted 07-08-2012 06:12 PM

Brian a great test

I’m having the same problem with getting

strong ammonia in Scotland

They dont even print the strength on the

bottles. So I always do a couple of scraps

for patches or plugs


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View scamp238's profile


106 posts in 2499 days

#3 posted 07-08-2012 06:16 PM

I have read that household ammonia will work, you just have to leave it in longer.

-- Brian, North Georgia

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2271 days

#4 posted 07-08-2012 06:34 PM


Great Info on household strength Ammonia fuming.

Thanks for sharing. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#5 posted 07-08-2012 06:38 PM

Check out your local hair dresser for stronger Ammonia. I sure would not do this indoors .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View scamp238's profile


106 posts in 2499 days

#6 posted 07-08-2012 06:47 PM

The great thing that I have found with this is that you almost can’t mess it up. The coloring is even on all sides. When you finish, you can reuse the ammonia that hasn’t evaporated. This makes it fairly cheap. Also, you will want to do this outside. Be careful even with this lower strength ammonia. It will take your breath away.

-- Brian, North Georgia

View scamp238's profile


106 posts in 2499 days

#7 posted 07-08-2012 07:28 PM

I will try to post another picture.

One that is rotated 90°.

-- Brian, North Georgia

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