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I'm fuming! A white oak bed. How much ammonia?

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Forum topic by JerryinCreek posted 05-05-2017 12:43 AM 985 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JerryinCreek

201 posts in 1676 days


05-05-2017 12:43 AM

I’m building the Kevin Rodel A&C Stickley style bed shown in the April Fine Woodworking magazine. Never fumed before. Plan to make a 2×4 frame covered with plastic to put over the headboard, footboard and side rails. Will put the 28% ammonia in glass pie plates. My question – how much ammonia should I purchase? Pint, quart?

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."


18 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

9754 posts in 3263 days


#1 posted 05-05-2017 01:09 AM

Quart. Make sure all your pieces are exposed to the fumes on all sides.
Make your tent as small as possible. Have as little metal exposed as possible.
28% is used to make blue prints. Office supply stores carry it. I’ve only seen it in quarts.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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JerryinCreek

201 posts in 1676 days


#2 posted 05-05-2017 01:15 AM

Thanks Gene! Have been calling blue print shops, pool stores, all for naught! Was going to buy on line but didn’t want to pay the high shipping. Will check the office supply stores. Much appreciated!

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

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Dark_Lightning

2916 posts in 2943 days


#3 posted 05-05-2017 11:35 PM

I’ve used heavy duty cleaning ammonia from Home Depot in the past. Don’t use any that is “lemon freshened” or anything like that. You also may be able to find it at a cleaning supply store that caters to contractors. If you’ve used ammonia before, you know what it’s like. But be warned, the industrial strength stuff can hurt you bad if you aren’t careful, especially inhalation.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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runswithscissors

2558 posts in 1859 days


#4 posted 05-05-2017 11:45 PM

And don’t let any chorine bleach get anywhere near it!

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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mrbob

182 posts in 403 days


#5 posted 05-05-2017 11:52 PM



And don t let any chorine bleach get anywhere near it!

- runswithscissors

Yes as a kid, I wanted to clean some thing, I was home alone in the basement, dumb kid, about 11, I mixed ammonia and bleach together, I figured great cleaning agents, I barely made it up the stairs. Live and learned!!!

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Dark_Lightning

2916 posts in 2943 days


#6 posted 05-06-2017 03:23 AM


And don t let any chorine bleach get anywhere near it!

- runswithscissors

Yes as a kid, I wanted to clean some thing, I was home alone in the basement, dumb kid, about 11, I mixed ammonia and bleach together, I figured great cleaning agents, I barely made it up the stairs. Live and learned!!!

- mrbob

Chlorine gas being heavier than air, that running upstairs saved your life, or at least a lifetime of respiratory problems.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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pontic

500 posts in 443 days


#7 posted 05-06-2017 11:42 AM

Mixed Chlorine bleach and Ammonia! Holy Yipers Batman!

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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splintergroup

1694 posts in 1057 days


#8 posted 05-06-2017 01:58 PM

I use the “janitorial strength” stuff from the local HW store, works fine.

I have a “booth” frame made from 3/4 PVC pipe and fittings, covered with whatever drop cloth plastic I have handy.

The ammonia is poured into an old dog food bowl (about a quart) and a computer muffin fan is suspended near the bowl to circulate the fumes.

Time really depends on the tannin content of the wood. Be sure all the wood is matched (best if from the same tree) since any differences get highlighted. Keep tabs on the process (every hour until you get a feel for the progress). It can take anywhere from 2 hours to a day. Stronger ammonia will speed up the process, but as you have discovered, finding a stronger mix is expensive and difficult.

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JerryinCreek

201 posts in 1676 days


#9 posted 05-06-2017 05:44 PM

I was able to purchase some 28% through Amazon for a reasonable price (Gallon was $46) and shipping was only $8. I had called all over and couldn’t find it, so this deal was pretty sweet. I understand all the wood should be from the same tree but I don’t have that luxury. They are all pretty close in color except for the center panels which are darker. But, I think that will work out pretty well as those panels also get maple stringing, so I think the difference and the contrast will be nice.

Thanks to all for the excellent advise! Much appreciated! Especially like the idea of using a computer donut fan1

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

9754 posts in 3263 days


#10 posted 05-06-2017 05:50 PM

Good luck Jerry. And be sure to post your result. Sounds like a beautiful piece.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2916 posts in 2943 days


#11 posted 05-08-2017 02:53 AM

If you use an electric fan to circulate the gases, make sure that it is brushless. Ammonia is flammable. Here’s a reference sheet-

http://www.mathesongas.com/pdfs/products/Lower-(LEL)-&-Upper-(UEL)-Explosive-Limits-.pdf

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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JerryinCreek

201 posts in 1676 days


#12 posted 05-08-2017 03:42 PM

Wow! Thanks for heads-up on that. I would have never thought of it!

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

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Schlemans

2 posts in 160 days


#13 posted 07-05-2017 11:21 PM

Jerry—I’m working on the same bed. Did you do the inlay on the head and footboard? I’m wondering how the ammonia would react (if at all) with the pewter.

Thanks,
Warren

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JerryinCreek

201 posts in 1676 days


#14 posted 07-06-2017 12:10 AM

The photos clearly show that I did the inlays on the head and foot board. The ammonium hydroxide reacts with tannic acid, not metal. You’re good to go!

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

867 posts in 1787 days


#15 posted 07-06-2017 12:11 AM


And don t let any chorine bleach get anywhere near it!

- runswithscissors

The problem is chloramines, not chlorine.

Yes as a kid, I wanted to clean some thing, I was home alone in the basement, dumb kid, about 11, I mixed ammonia and bleach together, I figured great cleaning agents, I barely made it up the stairs. Live and learned!!!

- mrbob

Chlorine gas being heavier than air, that running upstairs saved your life, or at least a lifetime of respiratory problems.

- Dark_Lightning


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