LumberJocks

Steel wool and vinegar

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by UncleStumpy posted 01-05-2015 02:58 PM 1133 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View UncleStumpy's profile

UncleStumpy

707 posts in 1781 days


01-05-2015 02:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question trick oak finishing

I am really frustrated!!! I have tried to do this several times and …. NOTHING!
I even tried washing the steel wool with soap to get off oils and other junk like some guys have suggested.
Still nothing.
Do any of you have some formula or trick that actually works?

I have 2 projects that would greatly benefit from this type of finish.
Thank you guys in advance for anything that might help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Stumpy (Ray)

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"


16 replies so far

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7175 posts in 2266 days


#1 posted 01-05-2015 03:12 PM

Have a look at this blog.
If this is what you are trying to do, PM me. I’ll give you all the help I can.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7708 posts in 2310 days


#2 posted 01-05-2015 04:55 PM

Using India ink as an alternative has often been suggested.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#3 posted 01-05-2015 04:59 PM

Just have a potion of that stuff sitting around. Mine is about 5 months old and I use it when I need it. BTW, it does not ebonize all woods; works best with oak.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

1923 posts in 1223 days


#4 posted 01-05-2015 05:07 PM

This method requires tannins in the wood. If you’re not getting the effect you’re looking for, it may be the the wood you’re using lacks tannins. Try making a batch of green tea, letting it cool, applying it to the wood, THEN applying the steel wool/vinegar mix. I think you’ll see a dramatic difference.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View dpoisson's profile

dpoisson

190 posts in 2382 days


#5 posted 01-05-2015 05:11 PM

Not related to the ebonizing process at all, however I’ve heard (from rifle finishing reading I’ve done) that to the get the oils out of steel wool, you could put them on a cooking pan and put it in the oven for a little while. That removes all the oils from the wool.

Haven’t actually tried it myself though

Fish

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson

View Woodendeavor's profile

Woodendeavor

276 posts in 2074 days


#6 posted 01-05-2015 06:06 PM

I have used Brian Boggs method successfully many times

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood

View UncleStumpy's profile

UncleStumpy

707 posts in 1781 days


#7 posted 01-05-2015 06:44 PM

Once again, I failed to describe my problem accurately. It’s not that the solution doesn’t work properly, it is that I can’t get any solution in the first place. The steel wool just sits in the vinegar for a week and looks the same as when it went in. Even after I washed it with soap first.
Shipwright, see what that jar looks like? Mine looks like a virgin version of that!
Woodendeavor, Boggs suggests boiling the steel wool with the vinegar first, which sounds like something I might try.
My old buddy Doc, I have used India Ink before and have some now and the results are spectacular. I would urge everybody to give it a try if they are interested. It looks super. However, for a larger project you would need a bucketful and it is kind of expensive in little jars. I got mine from a bookseller like Barnes and Noble, by the way.
Thanks for all of the input guys. I think I’ll start looking for some rusty nails too.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#8 posted 01-05-2015 06:52 PM

You always can go to a machine shop and get some shavings too.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View UncleStumpy's profile

UncleStumpy

707 posts in 1781 days


#9 posted 01-05-2015 06:54 PM

mrjinx007, damn good idea. I’m going to Google right now and see if there is one in my area.
Thank you!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2111 days


#10 posted 01-05-2015 08:12 PM

Here is a process for Chemical Ebonizing:A sure-fire recipe for turning any wood deep black..

You have to add tannic acid to wood as even those who have more naturally, it is not enought

You can buy steel wool without oil from some of the woodworking supply houses.

Also, make sure you use high quality white vinegar.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View redryder's profile

redryder

2394 posts in 2570 days


#11 posted 01-05-2015 08:22 PM

The steel wool just sits in the vinegar for a week and looks the same as when it went in. Even after I washed it with soap first.

Did you try spraying the mixture on your wood????
I found the same thing the first time. I bet you’ll find as I did that your mixture (which doesn’t look dark) will turn your wood plenty dark. I had to add water to thin it down to keep the wood from turning black.

Good luck….................

-- mike...............

View UncleStumpy's profile

UncleStumpy

707 posts in 1781 days


#12 posted 01-05-2015 08:39 PM

Redryder, of course, the thought NEVER even crossed my mind. What made you try it when it didn’t look dark?

Well, now I have tons of ideas to play with. Thank you.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View 489tad's profile

489tad

3102 posts in 2479 days


#13 posted 01-05-2015 10:54 PM

Ray, good luck and keep us posted on what works.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View nadabula's profile

nadabula

177 posts in 1943 days


#14 posted 01-06-2015 12:26 AM

hi my friend did you try use jameson or busmills or guinness ?its a big irish heritage

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nadabula-Linewood/104782159619503

View rantingrich's profile

rantingrich

372 posts in 813 days


#15 posted 01-06-2015 12:40 AM

I too have tried this to use as an aged wood finish. What I ended up with wasted some test wood, got huge stains on my workbench, about a gallon of this crap I can’t use or the trash man won’t touch. AND my shop smells like a Ceaser Salad!

Thats nice

-- Rich

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com