QSWO primary material, 12" square, 1/4" tempered hardboard secondary
material, and that must be pre-assembled before finishing.
Fuming with ammonia is the desired/preferred method of finishing.
Question: Would the ammonia fuming process have a detrimental/any effect on
the tempered hardboard?
Lots of conjecture already, thanks ... need some BTDT, if possible.
I do know that some tempered hardboard is made with a tannin based adhesive
to reduce formaldehyde emission, and guess what ammonia reacts with ...
Based on what little of my organic chemistry I remember, I suspect that any
reaction with the ammonia may just make the hardboard harder/brittle, but I
don't have time to do the testing and was hoping for a chemist in residence,
or "...a yeah I tried that, don't do it".
Damn ... I just hate to do $omething for someone that is going to bite me in
the butt two years down the road.
More conjecture I fear, but based on a bit of experience.
Tempered hardboard seems to have an affinity for absorbing moisture
if it's not sealed. Learned this via my TS cast iron top which I cover
when not in use with a piece of HB. Surface rust within days even
through TopCote. Sealed the HB with a wash coat of shellac and the
problem went away.
Ammonia fumes (NH3) and water (moisture) combine to form ammonium
hydroxide (NH4OH) which is, depending on concentration, a pretty
powerful base. If it won't eat cellulose fiber it's the only strong
base I've ever heard of that won't. I used a nail board made from HB
to support some cherry I fumed and it was real spongy after 48 hours
in the fumes - I suspect moisture in the HB, and then good old
ammonium hydroxide had its way with the fiber.
Suggest you seal the HB with a coat of varnish, poly, anything but
shellac before fuming.
I did, and not only did they reply back, they also called this afternoon ...
this despite the fact that they no longer make any sheetgoods whatsoever.
Very nice fellow (Director of Communications) said they turned it over to
their wood science department, got back a "ton of information" and:
"Bottom line- the Ammonia shouldn't cause a structural problem. The board
surface might get a little fuzzy, but it should still be ok."
I told him I would no longer hesitate to put Masonite doors in some of our
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