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Thread: Bleaching or whitening product or formula?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632

    Bleaching or whitening product or formula?

    Hi there.

    For my second project after I finish the one I'm starting today I will need to bleach or whiten hard maple, is there any product there that will do the job? In UK there is Woodbleach from Rustins but their distributors don't carry it and there are no distributors in Spain.

    Another problem is that being a caustic product there may be some shipping restrictions.

    the guy from the finishes shop sugested me to mix peroxide with a very tiny amount of ammonia, which it seems creates a very agressive whitening agent. Highly toxic and caustic, must wear gloves, googles and gas mask, so I keep it as last resource.

    Any hint, brand suggestion or formula will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    Toni,
    I am sure you remember the Dove you carved for me. I bleached it with a 2 part process that I was able to find at wood craft. Unfortunately I don't know if they sell it in Spain. Here is the thread where I talk about it. The two chemical are sodium hydroxide and Hydrogen peroxide. The Peroxide is stronger than you can get at the local Drug store but i am told that Veterinary suppliers will carry the stronger stuff. The sodium hydroxide I have no idea.
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít 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
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,447
    Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) is a strong alkaline substance that, among other things, is used to make soap. When I was a kid (centuries ago) it was a drain cleaner. Unfortunately some of the other things it is used to make are illegal drugs, so it is no longer widely available. I googled, and found several sites and a UTube video that tell you how to make it at home, like poineers did.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,317
    Here's a U.S. Forestry PDF about bleaching that may help you.

    The lye - at least in the U.S. - is getting harder to find. I've found it in agricultural supply stores, though. (I must admit that I haven't bought any for about the past four or five years, though.)

    The peroxide is available in some swimming pool chemical supply stores. It's used as a clarifier.

    Another bleaching alternative - primarily for removing iron-based stains would be oxalic acid. It's used in canning and making pickles, and in the U.S., it's available in most grocery stores.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632
    Ok guys, thank you verymuchto all for your suggestions and comments. I will let you when I'll do it and post the results along with the project.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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