Ebonizing


I am going to build a desk for the SR a-la Pottery Barns' new line and find myself in need of knowldge on ebonizing techniques. I've done some research and found a few ways to go about it, but none of them seem to fit my "one-bucket of slop" desires. I really don't want to mix vinegar and steel wool as the first of eleven steps, so I was hoping there was some way out there to turn white pine and birch plywood (from the BORG) black, aside from painting it. Minwax has a black stain that is *almost* black, but not quite.
Is there a product out there that I can use to produce a black color and then finish off with a satin "cover" for protection? I'd like to be able to see some grain, but not necessarily all of it.
Thanks in advance for your wisdom.
---Hedley Remember to Binge in Moderation
PS - Before you ask, it's pine and birch because it's inexpensive (<200$ for the whole shebang). I don't know how long said desk is going to be used in it's intended room, and there's no way I'm forking out premium wood prices for a maybe.
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Hedley wrote:

While I have never tried it, I have heard that India Ink does a nice job as a ebonizer. India ink is normally available in craft stores and is used for caligraphy. I dont know how much you would need, but it sounds like you want to do a large area and it might be a bit expensive that way.
Ken
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wrote:

If you're too lazy to do that little, then I'm too lazy to post anything more helpful. 8-(
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Less out of laziness than practicality. I could acutally go buy a desk a lot easirer than make one.
My problem is more one of inexperience in this type stuff. And I would hate to work for weeks here and there making this desk only to screw it up at the end with a nine step process that I wasn't sure of in the first place. I'd like one bucket to color (however many times application is necessary) and another bucket to protect. The article I read on the steel wool/vinegar was so complicated, it actually lost me a few times. They guy used at lest three liquid products and all kinds of between-coat procedures. I would rather buy than try that kind of stuff because I know I'd screw it up.
wrote:<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt;&gt;I really don't want to mix vinegar and steel wool <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; If you're too lazy to do that little, then I'm too lazy to post anything<BR>&gt; more helpful.&nbsp;&nbsp; 8-(<BR>&gt;</FONT></BODY></HTML>
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I've had excellent results with leather dye -- available at good shoe repair shops. Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
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Behlen's Solarlux, a very black dye. Maybe $15/pt, for enough to do three desks or so. You'll want a top coat(s), nullifying the 1-bucket approach somewhat.
By the way, the reason to use better woods on the desk is that your major investment in the desk will be in the time and craftsmanship. 'Useable prototypes' have a way of hanging around, sometimes embarrassingly so, for a very long time. Soft maple is modestly priced, workable, and takes dyes well. Maple ply is marginally more expensive, in similar grades, to birch.
Patriarch
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On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 22:29:53 -0500, "Hedley"

india ink. it's cheap if bought as calligraphy supplies at a chinese grocer.
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On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 14:17:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

I've never seen indian ink anywhere near a Chinese grocer. Chinese inks are quite differerent. They're both coloured with lamp black (soot from burning turpentine or white spirit) but the adhesive bases are different. For Chinese inks it's a water-soluble base like gum arabic, for indian inks it's a mixture of water soluble gums and shellac. Once dried, indian inks are no longer water soluble.
In practice, both of these inks will tend to sit on the surface of timber and not soak in at all. They thus give a good solid colour, but it has poor wear resistance. For a desk then you'll be better off with a commercial stain, formulated to penetrate. IMHE these are also cheaper than leather dyes, because a small quanitity to a woodworker would be a large quantity to a leatherworker and so the pricing is much cheaper by volume from woodworking sources than leatherworking sources.
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FWIW . . . In ALL these answers the key operative word is DYE. At least for the first {and maybe second} application. 'Water Soluble type should go deep into the fibers {relatively speaking}. Additional coats of a 'glossy' stain, etc. could then be applied for 'visual depth'.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
wrote:

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Actually it's _stain_. Although modern ones will be a dye stain, there's no real reason why a non-dye pigment like indian ink can't be used instead. The key factor is penetration (stain vs. glaze) rather than what makes the colour (dye vs pigment).
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Andy, Thank you.
That's exactly what I meant - just 'forgot' to add the phrasing. 'Brain Fart'? Indication of 'Gezzerdom' ? Brain working faster than fingers? {Aye, Matey. Ya git more sloppy n' yeel be steppin' on yer cutlass of a mornin' ! }
Regards & Thanks, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
wrote:

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