Methods for ebonizing wood

Hi,
I recently built a small box of birdseye maple, with Jewitt's early American finish on it. The pulls are carved from ebony. I'd like to make a base for the box, but a base of ebony would be impractical for me due to the cost and availability of the wood.
So I'm trying to figure out the best methods for ebonizing wood. Both Flexner and Jewitt's books recommend black dye stain. I tried that method on a piece of scrap holly veneer (using Behlen's jet black aniline dye), and it oddly imparted a slightly purplish cast to the wood.
A Google search here shows that folks have often used steel wool and vinegar.
Does anyone here have a favorite method?
Thanks in advance, Nate
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The best method for ebonizing wood i believe is black leather dye, use it a few time real easy two coats and your done ready for your final finish wax shellac etc
-- Knowledge speaks, wisdom listen..... Jimi Hendrix

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I used india ink recently to dye maple black for just this purpose. I was happy with the results. In my case, it took two applications to get an even black color. Keep in mind that most india ink (from what I'm told) is water-based and will raise the grain, so you might want to pre-raise it first.
todd
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Thanks for the suggestions, Todd and Martin. I'll give em a try.
Cheers, Nate
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India ink. Cheap and works great.
Good luck Rob
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"Nate Perkins" <n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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One method I have not tried that is of fame in the oldest days of gunstock staining is iron filings / shavings disolved in nitric acid... if you can get the stuff. It will stain the wood a very dark brown. some time back I asked about it in this NG because I had remembered a video I saw of a man who is a gunsmith, using all the oldest methods to make muzzle loaders.
Alex
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On 16 Oct 2004 07:54:11 -0700, n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Nate Perkins) wrote:

All my books on finishing (very old and new ones) suggest india ink, as do the other posters, Never tried it, but soon plan on it. Lets know how it turns out, and the best technique.
Barry Lennox
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(Nate Perkins)

The Woodworks episode I saw today (on Tivo) had David Marks using what he called metal acid dyes to ebonize maple. He indicated that these were more lightfast than aniline dyes. It looked good on television. :-)
Patriarch
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