Can I glue oak or walnut that has been previously ebonized

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Forum topic by grace123 posted 01-03-2013 02:16 AM 1830 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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235 posts in 2788 days

01-03-2013 02:16 AM

I am thinking of making end-grain cutting boards. As part of the overall design, I want to use black wood. It is possible to ebonize oak or walnut prior to glue up and then do the glue up with a satisfactory result?

7 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2716 days

#1 posted 01-03-2013 03:11 AM

Titebond won’t do a good job on wood with any stain but PVA or Epoxy would hold better.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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#2 posted 01-03-2013 03:46 AM

What do your test results show?

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View Edziu's profile


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#3 posted 01-03-2013 05:09 AM

Ebonizing/dyeing/staining wood is only a surface treatment. Unless you can somehow pressure-cook the dye/stain/color into the wood, I can’t imagine it being a very practical cutting board if the color is only ‘skin deep.’

Even walnut end-grain will be nearly black after a mineral oil finish. Consider this project: End grain cutting board with walnut mixed in.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#4 posted 01-03-2013 08:24 AM

Ebonizing, as I understand it, is a process of heat treating wood to obtain color through out the piece. Also called carbonizing and caramelizing. It is a process where the sugars in the wood are cooked to turn dark.

I would think PVA type glue would work on this, but if you can’t test it and if the application is critical, then I would use epoxy.

View WillAdams's profile


81 posts in 2021 days

#5 posted 01-03-2013 11:59 AM

I’ve ebonized red oak w/ the traditional vinegar-rust solution and never had a difficulty in using Tightbond III—but I’ve never depended on gluing end grain—I’d use stopped dadoes and put splines in them to improve the joint—you can add such after ebonizing and take that out of the formula.

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1775 posts in 2209 days

#6 posted 01-03-2013 06:39 PM

crank49, you’re thinking of torrefied wood. Most of the time “ebonizing” refers to darkening wood with iron sulfate, but some people just refer to treating lighter woods with very dark stain as “ebonizing.”

And WillAdams, the end-grain isn’t being glued. The cutting board surface is end-grain, which makes for a better cutting board because the knife cuts into the end-grain, not across the grain.

I personally wouldn’t use ebonized wood in a cutting board, as I’d worry about it leeching into the food.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View grace123's profile


235 posts in 2788 days

#7 posted 01-08-2013 05:24 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments.

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