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Ebonizing Wood Question

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Forum topic by dalepage posted 04-05-2017 08:23 PM 719 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dalepage

314 posts in 674 days


04-05-2017 08:23 PM

What is your experience with India ink or black dye?

I have been asked to make something in black and thought about ebonized maple.

Your opinions are most welcome.

Thanks

-- Dale


23 replies so far

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7779 posts in 2632 days


#1 posted 04-05-2017 08:31 PM

If it were me I would use a high tannin wood like walnut or oak and ebonize with a ferrous ion solution. (Vinegar and steel wool works well.)
http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/42311

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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AandCstyle

2901 posts in 2091 days


#2 posted 04-05-2017 09:23 PM

Dale, here is the process I used to achieve a black finish. Good luck with your project.

-- Art

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dalepage

314 posts in 674 days


#3 posted 04-06-2017 12:43 AM

Thanks, shipwright. I’ll try that with walnut. The grain would be appropriate for the project.

And Art, I’ll use that formula.

I appreciate your answers, guys.

-- Dale

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JayT

5453 posts in 2045 days


#4 posted 04-06-2017 12:50 AM

I used the steel wool and vinegar on walnut to do an ebonized shooting plane a couple years ago.

It’s really easy to do, though I wouldn’t call the color black on the piece of wood I used. It’s a very, very dark brown, but looks really good.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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dalepage

314 posts in 674 days


#5 posted 04-06-2017 01:05 AM

Thanks, Jay. I need it to be no kidding black to fit the lady’s color scheme.

-- Dale

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Lazyman

1499 posts in 1221 days


#6 posted 04-06-2017 03:33 AM

+1 on the vinegar and iron ebonizing process. I was able to get a very black finish on the white oak drawers pulls on this project: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/142410.
On the 8th comment I explained the process that I used.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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BurlyBob

5046 posts in 2099 days


#7 posted 04-06-2017 03:57 AM

Thanks Lazyman. I’m going to try your process I want to make some black splines for a walnut box.

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Lazyman

1499 posts in 1221 days


#8 posted 04-06-2017 01:25 PM



Thanks Lazyman. I m going to try your process I want to make some black splines for a walnut box.

- BurlyBob

Correction, I used red oak not white oak on my drawer pulls. The white oak that I tried had some weird reddish and greenish color, though that might be interesting on the right piece. The key is to experiment with different woods. One of the things I have been meaning to try is making a tea from acorns to extract the tannin for woods that do not have enough naturally.

One problem I see with using this technique for splines is that you usually make them larger than needed and then sand them smooth. I am not sure that you can get the color deep enough to account for that because you may lose most of the color so you might want to cut or sand through the cross section before you glue them in place to see how it will look.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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JayT

5453 posts in 2045 days


#9 posted 04-06-2017 01:47 PM

The key is to experiment with different woods.

- Lazyman

Totally agree with that statement. The walnut I used on that plane never wanted to go clear to black, but when testing, I had different results depending on what board and how long the solution was allowed to sit.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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Opps

2 posts in 249 days


#10 posted 04-06-2017 01:55 PM


If you want BLACK, here’s the trick:
First make a quebracho bark tea. It’s much quicker to make than the vinegar wash; you simply stir some of the powder into very hot water and it’s ready to use. The quebracho bark wash will give it a nice brown color simply from the tanbark. Depending on the wood type (how much natural tannin it has) you may need a second coat of the wash.
FYI-Tannin, other uses:
Tannin is used in the tanning of leather and tannic acid is the most common mordant
for cellulose fibers such as cotton.

Step 2
Potassium Dichromate (Strong Oxidizer) and Ammonia react with tannin to yield rich wood tones.
“Rust Water” (steel wool soaked in vinegar) applied to tannin treated woods will yield
rich Deep Brown to Black tones.

Note – I like to use Potassium Dichromate
POTASSIUM DICHROMATE (Bichromate of Potash)

Instant Aging – Accelerates natural oxidation and yields
Deep RICH tones replicating years of natural oxidation.

A traditional water soluble chemical stain reacts with the tannin in the wood.
Note: Woods deficient in tannin can be infused with tannin (see below)

Potassium Dichromate is used to stain darken or age Cherry, Mahogany, Oak or Walnut and woods treated with tannin.
The oxidation strength and resultant color yield can be lightened or darkened by adjusting the solution strength.
Neutralize with a mild Vinegar solution.
—- evaluate final color result with the top coats of finish in place.

Test on an scrap of the same wood to be colored—

Post some pics when done!

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

867 posts in 1786 days


#11 posted 04-06-2017 02:44 PM

I have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. Anyone using potassium dichromate needs to use proper precautions and safety equipment. It is very acutely toxic, can cause severe, difficult to treat dermatitis, and is carcinogenic.

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dalepage

314 posts in 674 days


#12 posted 04-06-2017 02:47 PM

Opps,

Where can we buy this quebracho bark tea.

Is the potassium dichromate readily available?

-- Dale

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oldsailor59

51 posts in 264 days


#13 posted 04-06-2017 02:51 PM

I second the vinegar/steel wool idea. have had good luck with it. need to do a test spot or two. each piece of oak I have done reacted differently.

the drawer pulls on the island are black walnut. the frame on each side of the drawers is ebonized oak.

-- Scott just a tired old sailor glad to be home from the sea

View jbee's profile

jbee

61 posts in 529 days


#14 posted 04-07-2017 03:21 AM

I have absolutely no experience in this but I did find this article by Brain Boggs:

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood

-- Life is good! Make the most of it.

View Andybb's profile (online now)

Andybb

546 posts in 437 days


#15 posted 04-07-2017 04:22 AM

My problem has always been getting the dye to penetrate enough to withstand a mild finish sanding. Is there a good way to get good penetration? (no joke intended)

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

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