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Thread: Any hint how to ebonize??

  1. #1
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    Question Any hint how to ebonize??

    Hi anyone.

    I have a very antique card playing table made of mahogany with a veneered top of walnut and olive tree, and a front drawer also veneered with walnut.

    Originally it was finished with black shellac but I stripped it all because it was very damaged.
    As the colour of mahogany is lighter than walnut I'm hesitating about going back to black shellac, leaving it brown and try to unify the colour with some tung oil finish or ebonizing it.

    The only problem is that I have no idea on how to ebonize, and wheter mahogany is a good wood to do it. If I knew I guess that would help me to make up my mind.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated

    Best regards

    Toni

  2. #2
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    You can ebonize wood by taking viniger and putting schredded steel wool in it and letting the soultion site for a week or so. It will turn a brownish color then you can take the pieces and soak them in the solution. For you application this wouldn't be very practicle. There are black stains out there or use india ink.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Thanks Don.

    You are right, I keep forgetting how many new products are in the market.
    I'll post the whole process when I'm done with it.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  4. #4
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    toni, this sounds like a perfect aplication for dyes......being as you`re working on an antique i`d suggest mixing alcohol soluable dye with shellac and layering on the finish using a brush to achieve the color match you desire....once achieved, top coat with a repairable finish........not polyurethane or a waterbased "lacquer".....either nitrocellouse lacquer or more shellac then wax......good luck! and please post pics
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Tod's solution is probably the best way to go. Another easy system is to use artists's acrylic paint. This stuff can be diluted with water allowing application a bit at a time until the desired depth of color is reached. Carvers use this almost exclusively to get shades and tones they want. Of course, the water raises grain and requires sanding, sealing, etc. to finish.

  6. #6
    Bob Wiggins is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Any hint how to ebonize??

    This probably doesn't qualify as ebonizing but when the wife wanted a dark frame for a beveled mirror the only suitable wood I had on hand was a very light mahogany.

    I begin with brown leather dye I had on hand but ran short after an application or two. I really don't think the brown dye would have achieved the dark color she wanted anyway. So then I went for the black Kiwi shoe polish and finally got it dark enough to pass inspection. Sample pieces are always nice to practice on but probably not available with your project. Good Luck

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