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Thread: ammonia fuming purple heart UPDATE

  1. #1
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    ammonia fuming purple heart UPDATE

    I’ve been working on a blanket chest with kind of a greene and greene influence. I’ve made raised box joints for the corners with square purple heart plugs. I happened into some industrial ammonia a while back and was wondering what the cherry would look like fumed, so I put a scrap of it and the purple heart in a tub and closed it up.

    I haven’t taken the cherry out yet but I did the purple heart. It turned GREEN! Here's a picture of the fumed piece and what it looked like when I started for comparison. I put a light coat of oil on to see what it would do. The oil muted the color some. Before the oil it was the color of grass.

    I just noticed looking at the picture there is an area at the bottom of the fumed piece that is darker. That's where I had it laying on top of the cherry with the bottom hanging off.


    I took the piece of purple heart and put it in the sun for a few hours today. It went from green to almost black. If you move it back and forth in the light it has sort of a really dark purple hue. Odd is all I can say.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fumed purple heart.JPG   purple.JPG  
    Last edited by John Daugherty; 07-11-2009 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    sounds like yu discovered green wood cant imagine wanting to loose the purple, it will go in time to a nice brown.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  3. #3
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    Interesting experiment. I wonder what time and exposure to light will do to the green piece.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the tip. I've seen some fuming but never tried it. I know that some guys who make reproduction furniture will fume to get that old antique look.

  5. #5
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    That's interesting. So does the wood have a bad smell to it after fuming?
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    Interesting result, I'd like to see if that green color is maintained or mutes to other hues.

    If you can control that I can foresee a vast number of possibilities.
    I'd urge you to keep on trying with other wood types and keep track of the results.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  7. #7
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    Darren,

    The wood does smell strongly of ammonia when I get it out of the container. You must let it air out for awhile.

  8. #8
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    REMEMBER ammonia at the level you are playing with will burn your eyes and respitory tract, you must use proper PPE (full facemask with proper cartridges). house hold ammonia products have a low %.

    please be carefull.

    p.s. if you have it in gas form you can bend with it.

  9. #9
    Ammonia can be your friend but it can cause much harm...

    Back in the dark ages (60s) we experimented with freezing Anhydrous Ammonia (back in College, one fellow did his Master's research on it) In the liquid form, when wood was placed in it you could form it like rubber and as it dried it would stay in the form stronger than before. Some nasty stuff... Ever see a bow tie made from Veneer? Press a sheet of 1/4" wood into a bowl. Emboss a stamp into the surface, permanently.

    I use Ammonia as an agent to extract the color from Walnut Hulls and make a Walnut dye for coloring the sap wood to near match the heartwood. Hull some walnuts save the hulls and allow to darken and dry, soak overnight in a container full of ammonia and then strain the juice into a container, lasts for years and the smell dissipates as it dries.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    ...I use Ammonia as an agent to extract the color from Walnut Hulls and make a Walnut dye for coloring the sap wood to near match the heartwood. Hull some walnuts save the hulls and allow to darken and dry, soak overnight in a container full of ammonia and then strain the juice into a container, lasts for years and the smell dissipates as it dries.
    Why not just use the commercially available Van Dyke crystals?
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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