Dark wood???????


Looking for a natural dark wood. As close to black without a finish as possibly can get.
Any ideas???
TR
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wrote:

Ebony.
Bring a fat (or plastic) wallet.
Barry
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"Wenge" is not over the top for price and can be found quite easily.
Cheers, aw
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wrote:

How big ? How strong ? Can you allow visible grain texture?
Ebony is pretty much off the menu these days. The close substitute is african blackwood, which is very close to it but is variegated into black and pale zones. You need to be careful selecting your blank and sawing out just the black part.
Both of these are brittle and not especially strong. If you want something of "structural" size, then you might be better with something pale and easily ebonised, like oak or even maple. These can be ebonised well without needing to apply a visible film-forming finish to them.
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It's for a large wall mounted display cabinet. It will need to hold metal, ceramic, glass etc etc collection pieces. The largest piece to source will be the backing board but that may have to be made up of smaller pieces.
How do you ebonise a pale timber?
TR
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wrote:

Google the group - it's a regular discussion.
Oak (also walnut, chestnut and a few others) contains lots of tannic acid, so there are traditional recipes based on iron and vinegar that give an easy black on it. Maple would best be done with something like a commercial spirit dye. As always, experiment on scrap first.
I wouldn't use oak for a display case with valuable metalwork. If I did, I'd line the insides.
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TrailRat wrote:

In ebony that's going to be hideously expensive (on the order of $50/bf) and weigh a ton (ebony is one of the densest of woods).
The trunk diameter of ebony is typically under 2 feet. Don't expect wide boards. If you do find any expect to pay a huge premium.
You might want to consider either veneering or lacquering. A good lacquer job will be a deal of work but done right it's definitely in the "fine furniture" category.

For oak or other woods with lots of tannins, there's a method that relies on the reaction of tannic acid with iron--there are some nice photos of the result at <http://sdksupplies.netfirms.com/cat_bokuto.htm about halfway down the page and a description of the process at <http://hryh23.sasktelwebsite.net/Recipes/recipes.html . Getting a trueand uniform black may be chancy.
Various dyes have also been used to blacken wood and the process called "ebonizing" although a purist would insist on applying that term only to the tannic-acid method.

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--John
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If you're ambitious (and rich) enough, you may want to consider Wenge. It is a beautiful, very deep colored African wood. A few thinks to keep in mind: - Cost: about $13/bf - Weight: Heavy, but not nearly as heavy as Ebony - Color: Very dark brown (especially when finished with something like lacquer); it resembles a deep-roasted coffee bean, but with a lot of straight-grained texture - Other Characteristics: Very brittle (splinters easily), and oh yeah... it's toxic (I read something about it being used to stun fish in Africa, or something like that) - Workability: Not very user-friendly; difficult to sand, hand plane, etc.
With all of the fears aside -- IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!
Btw... I was going to make a dining room table from this stuff, but chickened out at the last minute. I'm using Walnut with an Ebony stain now. =-)
I'm curious to try the ebonizing process mentioned here though!
X_HOBBES
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wrote:

I'll toss it in just for the sake of your wallet. If you select black walnut carefully, it can be awful dark without much of a stain. It's not black by any means, but it is a fine looking dark wood- and you won't have to morgage your house to build a shelf out of it :)
BTW, I know ebonized maple was suggested, but I wouldn't count on that unless you're exceptionally gifted. It's hard to get much of anything into maple, and it's light to begin with. Oak ebonizes fine.
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Starts out pretty dark, gets darker with a coat of oil or rubbing poly..
mac
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