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Thread: Get the Black on

  1. #1
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    Get the Black on

    I want to ebonize (Blacking) some wood for some small boxes I'm making. What is the best wood for this and what kind of dye, powder, liquid, vinegar and steel wool?

    If vinegar and steel wool, how is a batch made.
    Do you seal the wood first or let it soak in. (the latter seems to make more sense)
    What finish can be applied over it.
    Is drying time an issue.
    I tried some RITE cloth dye on a piece of veneer without success.

    I want a fairly smooth finish so I'm not going to use much oak.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    okay you wanna use cherry wood then you want to use number 2 steel wool steel wool and vinegar for 24 hours, then remove the steel wool . brush vinegar on the cherry cherry will turn black within an hour. now if you wanna get really black , without sealing the wood I will take black die mixed with a little lacquer sealer lacquer thinner, brush the black on , let it dry , then seal and finish .
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  3. #3
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    I tested the Vineger and steel wool on various wood and found that cherry, walnut and sapele all worked equally well. I keep a container of the brew around so I have it ready at all times. I just took a quart of the vineger and shreaded a steel wool pad #2 like dave said and let it sit a few days. The steel wool will disolve and you will have a brownish colored mixture left over. I find it best if possible to just place the piece to be blackened into the mixture for a few hours.
    "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

  4. #4
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    My preference is TransTint liquid dye. You can use it on pretty much any wood you want, and you can control the "blackness" by how much (or how little) you dilute the dye concentrate. If you dilute it with denatured alcohol, you will have minimal grain raised as compared to water-based dyes like Rit.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, so if I understand you right you take a #2 steel wool pad (I guess just one) and add it to about a quart of vinegar

    What kind of vinegar, white, apple etc?

    What kind of shelf life does it have?

    Any reason why #2 steel wool instead of #00 or something. (I know I'm getting picky now)

    So again vinegar; type please.

    I'm going to try the Trans dye too. Boy you have to shop around. I found some price differences.

    Thanks again

  6. #6
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    you wanna use white vinegar im you can use double ot steel wool , the problem with the double ot steel wool is it breaks up a lot easier than the oo. I like to keep the excess particles down. vinegar acid changes the chemical makeup of the woods so when the dyes begin to break down the darker under tone holds true keeps the fading to a minimum k
    now 1 of the problems I have wood dyes is that they will bleach out over time, that is the main reason I like to use the vinegar acid wash before I apply and dye.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  7. #7
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    Dave, have you had any problems with fading when using metal acid dyes like TransTint? Modern metal acid dyes are supposed to be very lightfast.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Vaughn I have noticed that over the past 35 years that dye's will fade in direct sun light. The purpose for acid etching the wood 1st is to give the wood a deeper darker richer look.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  9. #9
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    Here's a picture of a walnut spline I ebonized using the steel wool vinegar method on a piece of walnut.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mahogany end table 006 (Medium) (2).jpg  

  10. #10
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    Nice John. I like the contrast.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

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