Black Splines

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Forum topic by sawdust99 posted 03-14-2015 03:04 PM 976 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 3090 days

03-14-2015 03:04 PM

How can I make some 1/8 splines that need to be black? They are for splines in the ends of boxes. They are 1/8 thick and need to be black all the way thru as they get sanded. Thanks for any help.


9 replies so far

View sras's profile


4941 posts in 3327 days

#1 posted 03-14-2015 03:07 PM

Black wood? Walnut is dark, but wenge or ebony are usually black enough.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1375 days

#2 posted 03-14-2015 03:11 PM

A friend uses black palm for his segmented bowls.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View RogerM's profile


799 posts in 2597 days

#3 posted 03-14-2015 03:30 PM

Try ebony aniline dye on some dark wood

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1420 days

#4 posted 03-14-2015 09:41 PM

Black ink works well too just rub it in and let it dry.

-- I meant to do that!

View Redoak49's profile (online now)


3661 posts in 2187 days

#5 posted 03-14-2015 10:23 PM

It depends on a number of things. I looked at the clock project you made and it is beyond great.

With the high quality of such projects, I would spend the money for ebony. It is the best black wood but I find them to be a little brittle at times.

I have bought ebony on eBay where you can see the picture of the exact piece you are getting. It is not cheap but looks great. I use small pieces for Intarsia for eyes and claws.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3340 posts in 3307 days

#6 posted 03-15-2015 02:00 AM

I bought a piece of black palm to turn. Given the necessity for stabilizing the grain, and the splinters it throws off like a porcupine, I’m going to burn that piece of wood. Expensive smoke, but that’s the way it goes, sometimes.

I use ebony for those sorts of things. Yes, it is expensive, but in the small touches that I use, it isn’t all that bad.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View bondogaposis's profile


5088 posts in 2549 days

#7 posted 03-15-2015 03:56 AM

Ebony or wenge are going to be your best bets. Generally when making splines you make them oversize then trim or sand them flush after glue up. Dye is unlikely to penetrate all the way through the spline and when you trim it back the spline may only be partially dyed. Then the fix will get really complicated because they are glued in place. Make life simple, use some dark wood.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2822 days

#8 posted 03-15-2015 04:15 AM

I use turning stock from Woodcraft. They always have some ebony. Bandsaw off a shade over an 1/8 and sand to fit.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View shipwright's profile


8165 posts in 2996 days

#9 posted 03-15-2015 05:05 AM

If you are using a low tannin wood for the box you may be able to use a high tannin wood like walnut or oak for the splines and ebonize them after sanding with a ferrous ion solution. The solution will turn the high tannin wood black and leave the low tannin wood substantially unchanged.
I would experiment a bit but it should be doable. Something like maple and walnut should work.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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