Ebonizing wood

I have several species of hard, close-grained wood I would like to try to ebonize. How is this done? Is it simply a dye, or are there other processes/methods? Does it depend upon the species of wood? (the two I'm looking at right now are some pieces of particularly hard and tight grained walnut, and some African pear).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Smaug Ichorfang wrote:

Several ways:
Pigment stain - fine dirt in a carrier solution.
Dye stain - dissolved colour in solution.
Chemical stain - something that changes the colour of the existing timber's chemistry.
Usually the third is hard to control the colour of, but gives the best results. If what you want is "black, just black" rather than "a slightly teal-flavoured tincture of taupe" then it's a good choice. Otherwise go with a commercial dye stain.
Pigment stains make an obscuring surface layer. Tends to wear badly and hides the grain too.
If the timber has tannins in it, the chemical stain has a good, easy and long-established solution. Works fine on walnut, I'm not familiar with african pear. Web search for "vinegar + wire wool + tannin" ebonising stain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here is one answer to ebonizing wood: http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/ezine/archive/2000/eleven/qanda.cfm#2
snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Krylon black (gloss or semi) spray paint.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leather dye works well.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Smaug Ichorfang wrote:

India Ink if you don't mind a purplish tint.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
India ink fades. Tried it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

containing tannic acid and viola. Black wood in a short time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Modat22 wrote: <snip>

jar is NOT air tight, a gas (probably toxic) is produced ever so slowly and needs to escape.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CW wrote:

India ink doesn't fade (it's lamp black!) - however much of it these days isn't real India ink and they'd obviously used a fugitive modern dye instead of the genuine pigment.
India ink also contains shellac, which tends to limit penetration. You can get a much more hard wearing surface if you use something that soaks in further.
PS - iron and vinegar does outgass. It's not toxic, but it will burst a glass jar. Knock a few nail holes in the lid first.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all the replies. I'll try the vinegar/steel wool as well as India ink/dyeing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.