Ageing Cherry


I posted before about ageing cherry, I have been using the suggestion of Drano it works great the color is perfect, the only problem is I some times get small black specks almost like mold. The parts I am making now are small so I dip them in a diluted solution of drano and then dip them in vinegar, then dry them off the spots show up very quick only a couple minutes. I was thinking it might be from the type of draino (kitchen sink) maybe I should use plain lye? Or if any one knows of a stain that would give me the same color I would appreciate knowing what that might be since, I can get larger parts to quote on but I don't if I can control the color, and if I keep getting the black speckles that will be a problem Thanks Joe
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Joe - Would you mind describing this process in a little more detail ? I've never heard of it. Thanks.

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Joe, try using plain lye, like Red Devil Lye. Drano has little pieces of aluminum in it to help the drain cleaning action. Perhaps this is what's causing the specks.
As a chemist, I can tell you that lye (and Drano) is EXTREMELY dangerous. Always wear rubber gloves and mix up your solution slowly (add the Drano to cold water a little at a time) so that it doesn't overheat and boil.
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wrote:

Dunno... but I've always used Red Devil lye, never Drano, and I've never seen spots like you describe.

You might look into ammonia fuming, too. There have been a few posts here in the last year or two describing the effects of ammonia fuming on cherry. Google is your friend: groups.google.com
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

I fume most of my cherry, and the effect is stunning. Beautiful ageing, and absolutley no obscuring of the figure whatsoever. The richness of the resulting wood is unlike any I've ever seen.
Cherry is rich with tannin (what causes the reaction with ammonia in the first place), but you may run into a difference in tannin content between boards from different trees. If you're not using boards from the same tree, best to mix up a weak solution of tannic acid and brush it on before fuming. (Tannic acid is commonly available in a powder, you mix it with distilled water yourself.) It's very safe stuff, so don't worry about using it. The ammonia fuming, however...best to read up big-time before doing it. It's quite safe if you're cautious, quite dangerous if you're not.
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

FWIW... you can find tannic acid powder at any place that sells winemaking supplies.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Good tip...the mail-order chem-supply place I get mine from isn't cheap, and I also have to pay shipping if I use them.
On the other hand, there's wine-making places all over where I live, so when I run out, it's nice to know there's a ready supply 20 minutes away.
Thanks again, Doug!
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Joe wrote:

Drano has flakes of aluminum in it which reacts VERY vigorously with the sodium hydroxide to heat up the solution thus helping to melt grease. The spots you are getting are possibly a reaction to the aluminum ions.
Besides, doesn't drano also have a blue dye in it?
Yes, use straight lye, you can vary the shade (so I've been told) by adjusting the concentration of the solution.
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FF


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Drano?? That stuff is full of other crap. Never put your projects in drano
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I use pure lye to age cherry. Once I encountered small black spots. I think it was caused by aluminum oxide left over from sandpaper. A more careful cleaning after sanding got rid of the problem.
Some of my cherry projects can bee seen at:
http://webpages.charter.net/ray93402/Woodwork/woodwork.html
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While it seems a little obvious (and I don't wish to disregard the subtle effects the other techniques may deliver) why not just leave your piece out in direct sunlight? If you're in moderate northern latitudes, the time is right for it (although late spring is better).
Sincerely,
Dudley
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