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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:28 am 
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Cocobolo
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I thought it might be of interest, posts of my little experiment.

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We were talking about rosewood substitutes in another thread and fuming Black Locus with ammonia came up. I only managed to get some general purpose cleaner with about 5% or less concentration and just thought I would have to let the reaction go longer to get a change. It seems to work better than I thought it would, a few hours later.

Image

I am going to have to clean up the sides and find me a big plastic bag to put it in.

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Since I have the solution in a jar might as well try a few others. Walnut seemed to get a little darker with the ammonia, maple not so much. Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) seemed to react more so.

Image

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Well that surprised me. Both samples seem to have been changed all the way through. Cut the Jatoba on half to see the interior, the Black Locust I filed the wood at an angle down to nothing so we can see the whole cross section across a greater span. It appears to be darkened all the way through also.

Image

I wonder what other woods could be treated?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:44 am 
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Orange Osage fumes nicely as well. In tap tone and density it is close to the rosewoods, but has a light color. But it responds well to fuming.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:48 am 
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I have some really ugly pink looking padauk. This might be the answer to making it useable. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:21 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Fred,

Did you soak those samples or fume them?

The results you got are really beautiful.. I really want to experiment with this - as so many woods (like oak) are just too light in lumber form...

And Osage Orange... I love the stuff except for the day-glow ox snot color... Luckily it darkens to a honey golden brown with sunlight... But still..


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:36 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Wow I'm surprised that got so dark. I tried fuming oak which is supposed to be high in tannins and it barley turned. Soaking it with iron solution on the other hand though really ebonized it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:26 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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There are articles in arts and crafts woodworking books detaiing from FW on how to get the old fumed oak look without ammonia .but by using stains and dyes, Some one might have the recipe .


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:36 am 
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I have been reading a new book The Art of Coloring Wood by Brian Miller and Marci Crestani that describes fuming and a bunch of other ways to color wood. The book has pretty practical information including methods and recipes.

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Coloring-Wood-Woodworkers-Understanding/dp/1610353056/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1523637086&sr=8-1

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These users thanked the author johnparchem for the post: J De Rocher (Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:24 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:48 am 
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Watch out for those ammonia fumes! They are as bad as lacquer fumes...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:56 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Ammonia fuming only works on white oak.

The wood is not wetted; it's the fumes of the ammonia that react with tannins to turn it brown.

Some woods, such as maple and cherry, that don't color up with ammonia will darken nicely when wiped down with a mild lye solution. I prefer to make my own from hardwood ashes. It brings up the natural color of the wood, mimicking age.



These users thanked the author Alan Carruth for the post (total 2): TimAllen (Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:22 am) • jack (Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:53 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:23 pm 
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@Alan, I seem to recall you were fuming persimmons and quebracho bark. I don’t remember the details, but did you get good results?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:00 pm 
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I read a book out in 1992-4 by maybe, Sam Allen. "Adventures in Finishing". Great fun to read. He was Hungarian Jew that started out in 1920 in Paris. Move to US in 1930s where his family lives now. He also wrote for FWW in the 70-80s.

Book was full of pictures and recipes for dyes and mordents. A lot about fuming oak and other woods.

Examples of open grain wood dyed with rainbow of colors and then wiped with black or white pigments. Seems this was popular in Paris during Art Deco period.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:16 pm 
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BobHowell wrote:
...by maybe, Sam Allen. "...



George Frank [:Y:]


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I've ever had any luck with persimmon, but then, I've not tried quebracho bark either.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Thanks for starting this discussion. I am sure it is going to be useful knowledge. I have recently done some ebonizing using iron acetate solution and that gets a really black finish on some tannin-rich timbers (and nothing on others) - but it is quite superficial. I am amazed that the ammonia effect extends all the way through the timber.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Bob Shanklin gave me a bag of quebracho bark powder last year. I'm planning on doing some experimenting based on a few things I read on the net. Will post results both good and not so good.

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:51 pm 
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Cocobolo
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As Alan has said, just fumed. The Black Locust was only in about three hours. I don't know how soon it takes to change, I was assuming days and was not checking it but walked by and saw it. The Jatoba took longer, a couple of days. I thought of it afterward, might have went all the way through the wood as they are short pieces and might have migrated through the end grain. I'll have to try a whole fretboard of the Jatoba. I want to get a few clear garbage bags to fume with doing a whole body. I would rather see through the plastic than sticking my nose in the bag to see how the wood is doing.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:57 pm 
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Mahogany
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Yes, George Franks is it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:58 pm 
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Cocobolo
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truckjohn wrote:
Fred,

Did you soak those samples or fume them?

The results you got are really beautiful.. I really want to experiment with this - as so many woods (like oak) are just too light in lumber form...

And Osage Orange... I love the stuff except for the day-glow ox snot color... Luckily it darkens to a honey golden brown with sunlight... But still..


I would like to get some OO some day. I picked up three crappy sets of Black Locust as a cheap and dirty way to get some experience with wood in the Rosewood end of the scale. I did my Torrifying experiments a while back and did some white oak. I really liked what it did but I ruined one plate as it got direct radiation from the element. Since then I put a sheet of aluminum between the wood and the element. It was a shame as the oak had some wonderful looking rays.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:31 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Fred PM ed you about OO , ernie


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:10 pm 
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The fuming story (that I heard) begins with Stickley, who loved the white oak in stalls of a horse barn that had been turned dark. He figured out that the horse urine (comprising ammonia) was the reason that the ordinarily light tan colored wood turned chocolate-brown. Apparently, the technique was known before Stickley, so the story is just another part of the myth.

I have tried the fuming technique with furniture that I have built and it is fun, a little dangerous, and a little tricky to get the right amount of darkness. Of course the reaction is time and temperature dependent, so I include in my fuming chamber a bunch of test pieces and at fixed time intervals I draw out one of the test pieces to get a good look at the progress. It's important to use test pieces from the same wood in your product because different trees have different amounts of tannin.

I am building an OM right now of quarter-sawn white oak and intend to fume it. So, we'll see if I like the effect or not. I suspect that it will be pretty nice.

BTW, don't soak your wood, the solution will raise the grain something fierce. Some people find a way to warm the solution to volatilize the ammonia.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:46 am 
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Cocobolo
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Finally got around to sanding down the bodies, my belt sander needed a new bearing and I had to get my brother to mill a bracket to hold the replacement. Runs quiet now. I cut the binding channel on the two, will go plastic binding due to the cutaway. Thought of doing flamed maple but maybe next time.

I fuming the black locust guitar body in a leaf bag, biggest sort of clear bag I could find. Made a quick frame with a poor excuse of so called duct tape. Managed to support the body so that the bag does not touch it. A pan with the cleaning solution sitting at the bottom of the bag. Seal it all up and see how long it takes.

Image

After 12 hours with 5% Ammonia. Opening the bag gave a big whiff of it, opening the windows for a while afterward. I think it turned out ok. Now binding and start on a couple of necks.

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:44 pm 
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I got good results ammonia fuming Amazon rw. With a 28-30% concentration over 24 hours, the weak-looking reddish brown got deeper and richer looking, without that flat stained-wood look.

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