ebonized oak - finish - finishing techniques

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Forum topic by JOAT posted 03-14-2009 05:58 PM 7589 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3597 days

03-14-2009 05:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: red - oak

Hi guys thanks for the warm welcome.

I am an ametuer woodworker, but always find myself chasing/doing advanced projects. Currently, I am building a mock sleigh bed that i saw at bassett funiture. I like to do it the hardway. I like to re-create peices that have no plans, which here lies the problem. I feel finishing is the most advanced and hardest to learn aspect of woodworking.

I am looking to do the finish on the bed that I have constructed and want to make sure it is done right the 1st time.

The bed was said to built of oak, it had a raised grain, so I thought to use red oak to acheive the raise grain and keep costs down. I want to ensure that the finish is correct, they say that it is an ebonized oak.

I don’t have the shop or tools to produce the old school method (amonia) of ebonizing the oak. I thought I could use an oil based stain and finish it with a sealer. This is the big kicker……..the bed in the store appears to be sealed/finished with a wax substance or a low gloss urethane. I sure could use some help. I have really enjoyed seeing all the work on the site and hope someday I will produce such work as well.

9 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3694 days

#1 posted 03-14-2009 06:56 PM

I used a India ink then ebony stain on a maple table I built for my wife

Click for details

I can’t tell from your link’s photo, but the finish looks similar

-- San Diego, CA

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3596 days

#2 posted 03-14-2009 10:07 PM

here’s an old school trick that works every time.. viniger rubbed on with fine steel wool.. try it on a test board.. but be carefull unless you want the bed completly black.. you’ll need a poly on top of that.. or a good finishing wax

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View JPBatts's profile


41 posts in 3613 days

#3 posted 03-15-2009 02:58 AM

I’m building a table with the top being spalted maple and an ebonized mahogany base. I’ve used water based black dye to start the ebonizing process and then use a black stain if there is any uneveness in the dye finish. Woodworking supply stores carry more than one brand and I’ve used Stedfast and Behlen brands.

-- If she asks please tell my wife that I can sell my tools for what I paid, okay?

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 3950 days

#4 posted 03-15-2009 04:25 AM

Hey Joat… Welcome aboard.

I started putting together some finishing links some time ago, you may find what you are looking for in here.

If this topic grows, I may post it on there too.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out.


-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Sean Benetin's profile

Sean Benetin

7 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 03-15-2009 08:29 AM

testing if it works

-- Fabricators of exquisite custom cabinetry and woodwork

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4003 days

#6 posted 03-15-2009 03:12 PM

Leather dye works well and so does aniline dye.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View JOAT's profile


10 posts in 3597 days

#7 posted 03-15-2009 05:28 PM

!Here are some better photos…...close ups————- Would I still use the ink die if I wanted some light spots of the wood to show through. I want to acheive a brown/black look like the photos enclosed. What you guys think?

View JOAT's profile


10 posts in 3597 days

#8 posted 03-15-2009 05:30 PM

View unknownwoodworker's profile


221 posts in 3939 days

#9 posted 03-15-2009 06:32 PM

Here you go Joat. Allison covered this awhile back.

-- ??? My mistakes heat the house. It's very warm in here. ???

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