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Serendipity?

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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 08-21-2014 12:48 PM 1070 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2892 days


08-21-2014 12:48 PM

Serendipity is defined as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”. Not sure the following actually conforms to the definition, but I found it sorta neat.

In order to neutralize some acid, I mixed up a couple tablespoons of baking soda in about 12 ounces of water. I used a short piece of 3/4X3/4 red oak as a stirrer (it was handy). I laid it aside for a few hours and it dried to a pleasing dark (aged?) brown.
Don’t know if this was a reaction to the tannins, or what. Gonna try it on some maple, poplar and walnut. If it does the same with the poplar, might have a solution to the green streaks that relegates poplar to a secondary wood status.

-- 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


22 replies so far

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CFrye

8748 posts in 1304 days


#1 posted 08-21-2014 01:02 PM

As Artie Johnson would say “Verly interesting.” Keep us updated, Gene.

-- God bless, Candy

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lightcs1776

4153 posts in 1118 days


#2 posted 08-21-2014 01:03 PM

It will be interesting to see the results of this chance experiment.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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patron

13537 posts in 2805 days


#3 posted 08-21-2014 02:19 PM

there is always coffee gene

what the mexicans use
for all those things we see imported

makes everything look antiqued

will be good to see how this goes
on the different woods

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Woodwrecker

3926 posts in 3040 days


#4 posted 08-21-2014 03:36 PM

Thanks for the info Gene.
I’m going to add this thread to my watch list to see what happens.
Thanks again.

-- Eric, central Florida

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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2892 days


#5 posted 08-21-2014 05:47 PM

Results of my experiment were somewhat illuminating.

Dipped a stick each of walnut, maple and poplar in a solution of 1/2 cup of water and two tablespoons of baking soda. That darkened the poplar somewhat, the maple not at all and the walnut quite a bit.

Then, I made some tea. A one quart sized bag in 2 cups of boiling water. Let it steep for 1/2 hour. Washed a stick of each wood with the tea. Let it get pretty dry and then dipped it in the baking soda solution.
The maple took on a really golden honey color, quite nice. The light part of poplar got pretty dark and the green part turned brown. The difference between the light and dark became quite muted. Still discernible but not nearly as stark as before. The walnut got a shade darker than the piece just dipped in the baking soda solution.

With all but the poplar, I think the same effect could be had with stain. But, my experience with staining poplar leads me to think that a pre-treatment with the tea and baking soda would at least produce a more even color after staining.

-- 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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Jerry

1768 posts in 1112 days


#6 posted 08-21-2014 06:00 PM

This is very useful, thanks. I wonder if it could sub for ammonia fuming?

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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boxcarmarty

13518 posts in 1824 days


#7 posted 08-21-2014 06:05 PM

Gene, I did something real similar by mixing scotch with 12 ounces of water. I’m not sure what the stir stick was made out of but it turned everything green…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2892 days


#8 posted 08-21-2014 06:38 PM

Marty, Your first mistake was using water.

-- 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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eddie

8439 posts in 2078 days


#9 posted 08-21-2014 08:09 PM

Serendipity i tried that once but found it mixes better with cranberry juice and Canadian blended whiskey

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2892 days


#10 posted 08-21-2014 08:32 PM

Dunno, Jerry. The oak I used was red oak. I’ve only fumed white oak and the result wasn’t the same color as the red oak piece dipped in baking soda and water. I don’t have any more white oak to test. Do you?


This is very useful, thanks. I wonder if it could sub for ammonia fuming?

- Jerry


-- 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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DrDirt

4169 posts in 3206 days


#11 posted 08-21-2014 08:39 PM

Bases will do that to woods. It is the reaction with the tannins.
Challenge is that it is hard to control the concentration/timing – to get even color, or match two tables.
Marc Spagnolo did a video on this this summer – on aging wood with baking soda.


-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2892 days


#12 posted 08-22-2014 03:30 PM

Left to right: Walnut, Poplar, Maple.
Untreated on the left of each treated sample.
Crappy camera. The poplar’s untreated piece didn’t show it’s contrast between the light and dark. But, there is quite a contrast.

-- 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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lightcs1776

4153 posts in 1118 days


#13 posted 08-22-2014 03:51 PM

Very interesting. I wonder how that would work if it was sprayed on a turned bowl or pen? Hmmm ….

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2892 days


#14 posted 08-22-2014 04:07 PM

Dunno, Chris. Probably work well. Apply the tea liberally. Let it set for a couple hours, then wash it with the banking soda mixture. I used about 2 Tbl spoons of baking soda in about a cup of water.
I found that if you set it in the sun to dry for a day, it gets much darker.
Of course, it always gets darker at the end of the day. :-)

-- 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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lightcs1776

4153 posts in 1118 days


#15 posted 08-22-2014 04:13 PM

I’ve got a piece of oakI think could be a candidate for this experiment. Just have to wait until Sherry finishes her bowl, which is looking great so far.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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