Popular Woodworking 2009-06 № 176, страница 32

Popular Woodworking 2009-06 № 176, страница 32

lo mailer. Incit her ease the liquid should be quite clear rather than cloudy.

Before using the vinegar and iron solution. I always test it with a stick of oak or chrrry dipped inthesohition.lt shouldtum fairly dark in a lew minutes. If not. you can try just waitinganot her day or make another batch. I haven't found a cure for this particular failure. Nor do I know why it sometimes doesn't work well. It might be that I'm not always being thorough in getting the oil out of the steel wool. I highly recommend making this iron solution at least a week or more in advancc of actually needing to stain a project. Youll want to get the feel of the whole process before pulling it on a real piece of furniture.

The iron solution keeps for months in the jug. As the steel wool dissolves, gas is produced. And if the container is scaled it can burst. Just because the iron is visibly dissolved doesn't mean the reaction has stopped. So be sure there is an escape hole in the lid. A '/«• hole is adequate.

The bark tea is easy to prepare and can be made up right before using it. I just put a heaping tablespoon of batk powder in a pint of hot tap water and st ir it up well. (It helps to mix up a slurry of the powder with a couple tablespoons of water first to get all the powder mixed, then add the rest of the water slowly while stirring. This makes it easier to avoid clumping.)

The Process

Be sure >vu sand the furniture well and raise the grain at least twke before (he last sanding I would stop after #320 grit to avoid burnishing the wood. It is possible to burnish with #320. so use a light touch and fresh paper. If you have to sand the wood to remove raised grain after staining, you II

need tostart the staining poxeiui over. I have experimented with usingthe bark tea to raise the grain between the last two sandings. It doesn't take a lot of bark tea dust up your


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none to realize t his is probably not a hcalt iy method, even with a dust mask.

Apply a good soaking amount of bark tea to the assembled furniture and allow it to soak in. Be careful not to rub the wocd; just lightly stroke the surface with the solution. Ifthere are places where the tea can pool, blot off any excessthat collects thee. Once the tea has soaked in you can apply the iron solution. I like to do this when the wood is still damp, but not visibly wet. If tliere is tea still sitting on the wood surface the iron will react tothat tea rat herthan the tea that has soaked into the wood. You want the reaction to happen in the wood. not on lop of the wood.

Once this tea has soaked in. apply a liberal amount of the iron solution with li^ht strokes. The wood should start turning Nxk immediately. Keep applying unlilevery put isturning black Look at the piece from sacral angles to make sure youdidn't leave any pan unstained.

By this time you have put a lot of waier on the piece. I recommend letting it dry lor a few hours before finishing it off with I ne tea rinse. Once dry you can use the Iron deposits left on the surface asa fine abrasive to polish the wood. Just use aclean ragand buff the piece as well as you can Be gen Ic so you don't burnish the wood too much, just in case you need to re-staln. This not only polishesthe wood, but it also removes a lot of the loose iron deposits. Once it is looking pretty even in sheen, it's time for the rinse Just apply anot her coat of the bark tra

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and "wash* the surface withu just like you were washing anything. Let that dry and buff one more time This should polish the piece very nicely.

The last step istowashthe piece off with clear water. This is to remove any residue and to help see if the stain is what you an.- looking for. The water makes it easier to see where you've missed a spot. If you do find a light spot. jvull need lo sand that pan lightly with #320gru before stamngthe staining process at step one. You don't need to re-stain the whole piece, but I have only been able to fix a missed spot by sandingthe whole pan and staningover with that part Youdont need to remove all the stain, just sand enough to scratch the surface every w here so the solutions can pencl rate more easily.

Problems and Solutions

As simple as It sounds I have run Into some perplexing problems and inconsistencies with ebonizing. They all have solutions, but with proper attention they can he avoided.

If you apply the two solutions w ith a rag and wipe with too much pressure, you can compress the fibers. It docsnT take much pressure todothis. Compressed wood will not absorb well so the staining will only hap-penonthesurface.notinthefibers Assoon as you wipe off the surface after cleaning, most of the black comesoff too. If this happens youll need losand again with «I80 then »220grit Then start the process over

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