Ash ebony tiger

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Forum topic by Chrrriiis posted 05-24-2012 03:14 PM 1256 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chrrriiis's profile


22 posts in 2162 days

05-24-2012 03:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ash ebonise ebonize beeswax zebra tiger rustic arts and crafts modern

This is my second post so hello to you all. This looks like a grand community and i look forward to it.

I’m halfway through building a magazine holder in ash wih a little mahogany and would like to give the open grain a ‘tint’ in the form of ebonising. It’s quite a curvy piece with a lot of meandering plane carving, and as i only want to tint the open grain, i’m wondering if anyone knows of any shortcut techniques to ‘filling’ the stripes But missing the flat surfaces, other than scraping back atterwards. I’d like to use a vinegar, tannin and iron mix for the ebonising. Perhaps i’ll need to use a stencil of some sort, or shellac seal areas that I don’tb want to ebonise. Also with regard to his method of ebonising, i’d love to hear from anyone whose used this successfully. I’d like the final finish to add off white creaminess to he ash, perhaps beeswax.

Any help or banter would be appreciated.

Cheers and hello!


-- Hear today, gone tomorrow

6 replies so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2240 days

#1 posted 05-24-2012 05:00 PM


Welcome to LumberJocks , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

As i am not familiar with vinegar, tannin and iron mix for the ebonising I will have to pass, on advising you, but I’m certain other LJ’s will be here soon to lend their experience.

Again, welcome. – 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 bondogaposis's profile


4688 posts in 2319 days

#2 posted 05-24-2012 06:04 PM

I know that the vinegar/iron solution works on oak. I have no idea about ash or mahogany. I suggest some experimentation is order on some scraps.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Tennessee's profile


2862 posts in 2482 days

#3 posted 05-24-2012 06:32 PM

I would think ash should be similar to white oak. Mahogany I have absolutely no idea, I’ve never wanted to ebonize mahogany. Just goes against my “grain”! LOL

And welcome to the best wood site on the net!!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2745 days

#4 posted 05-24-2012 06:54 PM

Amomia works on oak as well. The best thing is to get about 4 matching scraps and test your idea and set them in the sun a few days and see what happens. This way you can document what level of darkness you want to end up with or none at all.

I normally do not dye or stain my projects. If I want a dark project, I use the wood that will give me the affect I want. Most times I paint poplar.

Welcome to LJs

-- David in Damascus, MD

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 2197 days

#5 posted 05-24-2012 07:03 PM

The only way I know of for you to fill the pores and leave the surrounding wood relatively untouched is to fill just the pores. On open grained wood like mahogany, you tint the pore filler. There are various ways to apply this. If you pore fill first without any sort of seal coat of finihs, the color of the filler will also color the surrounding wood. If you seal first with a coat of 2lb cut shellac and let it dry, then you can go over the top of that with pore filler and the color will only stay in the pores which are still open. Pore filler dries extremely fast though, so you have to have proper technique to make this work and speed. Behlen makes Por O Pac grain filler which can be tinted with artist oil color, UTCs, or oil based paint. I would make a number of practice boards. another way to do this and this is a reeeeal old fashioned menthod used by old time finishers in New York City, is to use asphlatum which is basically roofing tar thinned with mineral spirts. You apply it in the same manner as pore filler

View Chrrriiis's profile


22 posts in 2162 days

#6 posted 05-25-2012 05:26 AM

Yeah i’m trying to find a good pore filler, tar sounds interesting, but in this case I don’t really want to obscure he texture of the wood by filling the grain, just tinting it. It would be a shame to fill Ash completely I think.

Mahogany ebonises well i gather, all woods high in tannin apparently. My iron filing and vinegar is doing nicely so far and I was expecting to have to leave it dissolve for a week. I’d like to find a tannin brew that’s obtainable locally. All the guides I’ve seen use a bark from a south american tree, think i might just try it with oak bark.

Dbray – have you used the ammonia method? A guide i read recently talked o this usig a fume tent with ammonia which seems simple enough if you the space, but i dont at the

-- Hear today, gone tomorrow

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