Taking a run at Ebonizing - Router Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
GulfcoastGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Patrick
Posts: 882
 
Default Taking a run at Ebonizing

I've decided to try my hand at ebonizing. I have red oak which is supposed to be a prime candidate. I googled "ebonizing with steel wool and vinegar" and got more than enough info to get started.

First the basics for those that don't know. Ebonizing is the process of darkening wood grain in varying degrees by causing a chemical reaction in the tannins in the wood. Some wood has more tannin, (walnut, oak, cherry) some not so much (sycamore, birch and aspen). The wood is washed with a Ferrous Acetate solution that reacts with the tannins producing a dark color. The more tannin that combines with more Ferrous Acetate in a given area the darker the result.

The solution(s):

Ferrous Acetate is produced when Acetic Acid comes in contact with Iron. The common method is to emerse a washed #0000 steel wool pad (simple dish washing soap and water to remove manufacturing oils) in simple 5% household vinegar. The steel wool is left to pickle for days to weeks till the pad is dissolved. The maximum strength is achieved when all the Acetic Acid is consumed and the reaction stops. Adding a drop of the "pickle juice" to some baking soda and watching for a reaction is the indicator. If the baking soda fizzes, add more steel wool and try again in a couple of days.

Here's my first test solution. One shredded steel wool pad in a quart jar fill with vinegar. Note there is a hole in the top. A must if you want to avoid a burst jar as the reaction produces traces of hydrogen gas as a by product.

[IMG] Pickled steel wood by pat w1, on Flickr[/IMG]

To give the reaction a little boost, tannin content can (read: should) be augmented by first washing the piece with a separate tannin rich solution. I'm going to try a very strong black tea (10 standard bags to 2-1/2 cups water) but if more tannin is desired the use of bark tea is recommended. Bark tea is made by adding one heaping tablespoon of Quebracho Extract to one quart of hot water.

My tea:

[IMG] tea by pat w1, on Flickr[/IMG]

There's more but I have plenty of time to continue while the Ferrous Acetate cooks.

More later.
GCG
GulfcoastGuy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 05:23 AM
Registered User
 
Iceman567's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Ted
Posts: 242
 
Default

Your correct about the oak. Not so good on pine, also try a piece of walnut, it will be almost black.

The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you never know if they are genuine. - Abraham Lincoln
Iceman567 is offline  
post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 06:01 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Andy
Posts: 577
 
Default

I've been trying that recently too. I had good results with walnut, better than oak. The depth of colour was more even on the walnut. After finishing, under strong light the walnut shows as black with a hint of red, on the oak the undertone was more yellow.
AndyL is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 08:37 AM
Registered User
 
Gene Howe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Country: United States
First Name: Gene
Posts: 10,949
 
Default

Anticipating your report on it's use.
Thanks for posting this.

Gene Howe
Snowflake, AZ

'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

Please edit your profile with a name and location so we can better assist you and make for a friendlier forum.
Gene Howe is offline  
post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 09:08 AM
Registered User
 
bobbotron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Rob
Posts: 231
 
Default

I just played with this recently on pine. It produces different results, not ebony but makes it look quite weathered like barn wood. I should post my results up here when I get a good photo of it.

I tried this on white cedar, and it turned it a slightly green/grey that wasn't very appealing. :P
bobbotron is offline  
post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
GulfcoastGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Patrick
Posts: 882
 
Default

I checked the Ferrous Acetate this morning on my way out and it was bubbling nicely but no apparent changes otherwise. That lets me know I have a good reaction going. Now the waiting.

GCG
GulfcoastGuy is offline  
post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-31-2012, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
GulfcoastGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Patrick
Posts: 882
 
Default

Did the first test and no surprises. I made small test cups out of aluminium foil and placed a little baking soda in each. In one I put half an eye dropper full of straight vinegar in and in the other I put half a dropper of the cooking Ferrous Acetate solution. As expected both fizzed up about the same but the straight vinegar left the remaining bubbly mass a bright white while the Ferrous Acetate turned it somewhat brown.

[IMG] IMAG0164 by pat w1, on Flickr[/IMG]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For those interested there is a very good description of the Ebonizing process on the Popular Woodworking site.

Ebonizing Wood - Popular Woodworking Magazine

I'll be testing every day till the cooking is complete. I'll post the results as I go. Till it's done that's about all I can do.

GCG
GulfcoastGuy is offline  
post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 06:53 AM
Registered User
 
Gene Howe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Country: United States
First Name: Gene
Posts: 10,949
 
Default

Thanks for the up dates, GCG.

Gene Howe
Snowflake, AZ

'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

Please edit your profile with a name and location so we can better assist you and make for a friendlier forum.
Gene Howe is offline  
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 08:49 PM
Registered User
 
bobbotron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Rob
Posts: 231
 
Default

So this is steel wool and vinegar, after a few days, on a normal pine board + two coats of linseed oil. I really like the look!

Sorry for photo quality.


Untitled by bobbotron1, on Flickr
bobbotron is offline  
post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
GulfcoastGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Patrick
Posts: 882
 
Default

Update: Checked the progress; still making bubbles but no difference in the reaction to baking soda from the test I ran yesterday. Also of possible concern is that a piece of the pad I shredded and washed clean (I had hoped) was left out in the open air since this began and it's showing no signs of rust. I placed it in very shallow water partially (mostly) exposed to air in hopes it will corrode for me. If not I may be the unwitting victim of high quality in the steel wool pad and may try again with another brand of lesser standards.

@Rob: Did you get a very noticeable change in the color and/or clarity of the vinegar in your brew? Even though I see bubbles forming on and in the steel wool (I'm assuming it's hydrogen) I don't see any change in the color. No color at all and still very clear.

GCG
GulfcoastGuy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Taking apart an IMA router Matt2222 CNC Routing 3 12-15-2011 09:11 AM
How to run wiring..... Wizard1500 Table-mounted Routing 30 10-30-2010 09:35 PM
Taking the "plunge" yukonsigncrafter New Member Introductions 2 12-16-2009 09:35 PM
Test run Hamlin Tools and Woodworking 1 01-15-2008 10:54 PM
Dewalt 621 Help taking it apart jschen General Routing 2 12-29-2006 05:27 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome