yet another thread on ebonizing walnut...

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Forum topic by Millo posted 08-31-2012 05:49 PM 1425 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3043 days

08-31-2012 05:49 PM

I want to ebonize some small walnut parts for 2 drawer and one box pull handle (this one is about 10-1/2” long). The drawer pulls are going to be screwed to the drawers, so I can “ebonize” and topcoat separately from the drawer, but the one for the box will be glued, inset in a rabbet, with two little shoulders protruding (about 1/4” on each side) and I was going to topcoat at the same time as the box lid, after gluing it of course.

I want to know if there will be any eventual bleeding from the tinting/huing/or natural wood oils from the ebonized part to the non-ebonized walnut.

I plan to topcoat the box with either Tried and True Danish Oil or General Finishes Gel Topcoat (a rub-on-and-off urethane varnish). Either way, the topcoat will be rubbed-on.

Will it bleed if I use TransFast black dye, then a washcoat of shellac on the pull (covering the soon-to-be-glued section of course)? This is not lightfast, right?

Do you suggest going with Brian Boggs (vinegar, steel wool, tree bark powder) so that it’s lightfast? Should I throw in a washcoat of shellac before gluing (taping the section to be glued in the rabbet, of course) and topcoating, to ensure nothing will transfer to the natural walnut? Or will it simply NOT bleed any way with any kind of topcoat? Where can I get that tree bark powder?

The reason why I ask is this walnut REALLY leaves your fingers purple. It seems to glue fine, though, but it being air-dried has strongish purplish hues, and I can only assume these are some sort of natural wood oils. It is well-seasoned; has been measured for moisture % by a professional, a long time ago.


3 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2354 days

#1 posted 08-31-2012 09:01 PM

Check out Ronan Japan Colors. They can be intermixed in any combination and thinned to get any shade of non-reactive color wanted. Much better than unpredictable homebrew concoctions.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#2 posted 08-31-2012 09:06 PM

Just use some water base Indian ink, works great.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 09-01-2012 03:04 AM

Thanks for your replies! OK, but: will it bleed when I spread and rub the topcoat? Should I seal with shellac? Are these stains/inks lightfast?

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