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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 12:52 am 
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Saw a pipe with a really deep black contrast "stain". I asked the maker what he did expecting a reply with the 2 stains he used. He replied back it was an oxidation method. I asked him to elaborate on the "oxidation method" and he got quiet. I searched and found out about an oxidation method using vinegar with steel wool soaked in the vinegar. It pretty much melts the steel wool but it creates a really weathered look and it does not seem like that is the finish I am after. Pic below of the pipe.

*****Edit***** is this Tom's methed or "laboratory stain"


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 12:52 pm 
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Eltang's process is purported to be pretty nasty.
The process you want to explore is ebonizing which has been around for a very long time.
There are variations of it around but basically you create an iron acetate solution to apply to the wood (hence the oil-free steel wool in vinegar routine).
What you failed to mention in your post is the application of a tannin solution to the wood first. The iron acetate reacts with the tannin and turns black. Some woods such as oak are naturally high in tannin. Briar is not. Powdered tannin can be had from the wine making crowd.
If you don't want to wait around for the vinegar and steel to produce you can use ferrous sulfate.
The resulting black finish will have to be sanded back just as if you had used a black stain. One has to be careful as the effect does not penetrate very deeply.
Also the results can vary wildly all over the place depending on the particular piece of briar and what kind to figure it possesses.
To boil it down: experiment.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 1:18 pm 
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Thanks for taking the time to reply but dyeing black with Fiebings will produce pretty much the same results?, and less fuss. Sand too much and you are back where you started.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 1:57 pm 
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rx2man wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to reply but dyeing black with Fiebings will produce pretty much the same results?, and less fuss. Sand too much and you are back where you started.

A lot will depend on your skill level. Virtually all black stains are actually blue/black which can cause issues and of course there is the problem of bleeding when applying the contrast color. The various ebonizing processes do not have these problems. A chemical reaction takes place to create the black rather than by "staining".
Besides Eltang's usual voo-doo his process used aniline dyes and copper sulfate. He developed allergies to this concoction and has supposedly found something else.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 5:27 pm 
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I use an ebonizing process. I wouldn't recommend ebonizing to anyone starting out. If done correctly it's beautiful. Until you master basic staining and sanding techniques you will not see the benefits of it.

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 7:21 pm 
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I am interested in trying this out. There is a wine and home brew beer place down the street that would have tannin. Thank you for clarifying everything!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:20 pm 
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Resurrecting this thread.
I just tried this method on a non salable pipe and have a couple of observations.
I didn't think that the preparation was particularly odious. These were brief tasks which may have taken 15 minutes.
I made my solution of ferrous acetate from filings and white vinegar. Some folks use nails etc. I left it in the jar for 2 weeks, then strained it through cheese cloth.
I made the tannic acid solution from some powdered tannic acid from Amazon- a couple of tsp in 6 oz tap water.
After coating the pipe with the tannic acid, I allowed it to dry for an hour, then applied the ferrous acetate.
This turned black with a fuzzy surface and dried for about 2 hours. I only used a single application, and will experiment further with multiple applications.
To me, this color is deeper into the surface and it is more difficult to inadvertently remove too much.
After I have tried it on several more pipes, I think that it will become my go to black under stain.
I will post a photo of the pipe I am working with, but the grain is pretty mediocre.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:33 am 
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Pssst. Try it without adding the tannic acid. You may be surprised.

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:09 am 
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Lovely!
I will try that. I have 8 in the works now and will designate a couple of the less distinguished for experimentation.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:46 am 
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Thanks for resurrecting this thread!

FWIW, this solution sounds like what I've used to ebonize walnut and mahogany. Steel wool also dissolves nicely. Leave the jar in the sun and the solution "cooks" quicker, if you cannot wait two weeks.

Headed to town for vinegar! :D


edit: Oh yeah, a fabulous pipe there, Ratimus!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:32 am 
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Ratimus wrote:
Pssst. Try it without adding the tannic acid. You may be surprised.

Image


The reason it works is that there is already some naturally occurring tannin present in the wood. I would suspect the amount could vary considering the various regions where the shrub is found.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:33 am 
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terryR wrote:
Thanks for resurrecting this thread!

FWIW, this solution sounds like what I've used to ebonize walnut and mahogany. Steel wool also dissolves nicely. Leave the jar in the sun and the solution "cooks" quicker, if you cannot wait two weeks.

Headed to town for vinegar! :D


edit: Oh yeah, a fabulous pipe there, Ratimus!


That's pretty much the same process I use. I pulled on the ear of a KC club member who is a wood turner about the process....as well as a member here. Basically just do what you do with the others and it should turn out fine.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:36 pm 
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I posted 3 pipes with this understand in the Gallery under three for review. Now I have to work on the overtrain and buffing and waxing.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:57 am 
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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
May i ask if anyone use black tea as a substitute for tannic acid?
I tried the vinagre+steelwool solution without any tannic with a good result and was reading some brazilian books about aging wood and some authors talk about using black tea before the solution and reading about black tea i found it has tannin but it is not the same as tannic acid. I am not a chimistry and i havent had the time to try. Have anyone?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:51 pm 
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I use lipton tea bags

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:52 pm 
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Here in SA it's Rooibos for me, but coffee is still best.
And loads of it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:41 am 
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I just had some thoughts on this tannic acid pre application.
Ratimus' use of the ferrous acetate without the tannic acid makes sense, because as Oklahoma Red points out, the object of the understain is to produce contrast and the natural differences in the wood tannins should produce that contrast.
I am going to skip the tannic acid solution and see what I get. I will always have the option to restrain if it doesn't work out.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Some of it's the briar too, not just process.

But doing stain/sand, I've gotten results that I think are if not quite Eltang-y, at least as good as what most of the "I soaked this in Yak urine" crowd manage.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/M1JILBP.jpg

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Uh oh, the secret is out now. I predict a shortage of yak urine. The difficulty in obtaining Penzance will pale by comparison.

Sasquatch wrote:
Some of it's the briar too, not just process.

But doing stain/sand, I've gotten results that I think are if not quite Eltang-y, at least as good as what most of the "I soaked this in Yak urine" crowd manage.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/M1JILBP.jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:34 pm 
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I thought you guys in B **t F**k, Canada were using moose urine, walrus urine, or polar bear urine. I didn't know you had yak urine available.
DocAitch

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