ebonizing wood

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Forum topic by DrJosh posted 12-14-2010 07:14 PM 1911 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 2313 days

12-14-2010 07:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing question

I have a beautiful pice of black and white ebony that I want to pair with some solid black wood. Naturally gabon ebony would be perfect but its too expensive for my woodworking budget. I was thinking of simply ebonizing some soft maple that I have in the shop with india ink.

So here’s my question: can I ebonize wood this way and still be able to glue the parts together? I know that traditional finishes (stain, lacquer, shellac, etc) and glue don’t work well together because the finish interferes with the glue bond to the wood. Because the india ink is not a traditional finish, can I ebonize the parts and then put everything together? Thanks.

-- Nashville, TN

4 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3156 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 07:35 PM

I always make the piece complete and dry fit and then pre-finish when staining. Walnut is very good to ebonize. It takes the dyes real deep and takes a finish beautifully. Make sure you tape off the edges that will be glued. This is very important. Do not stain or finish in those areas.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 08:21 PM

I have just bought in a spray can ebonising fluid , however I heard that Black leather die works great too. The spray can is not expensive and I am looking forward to trying it myself.Have fun and let me know please how you get on.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8095 posts in 2848 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 08:54 PM

The ink will not affect the glue. At least, not in my experience.
Sometimes, if the piece is small enough…..and the wife isn’t looking…..I’ll put the piece in a small ceramic dish and pour the India Ink over it and microwave it. Seems to penetrate better.
BTW, some brands of India Ink are water based. The alcohol based stuff works better. No raised grain.

Hey Alistair, When you use that spray can fluid, please let us know what you think and what brand it is. sounds interesting and might keep the wife happier.

-- 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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5839 posts in 3005 days

#4 posted 12-14-2010 09:41 PM

Look up axminster power tools they sell it it comes under the name chestnut brand All of their products are great and non toxic see here many companies supply it.Alistair it comes under the name ebonising laquer

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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