What stain has Gilsonite (tar)?

I'm trying to replicate a Art & Crafts finish and need a pigment stain that contains Gilsonite (alphaltum or tar). However, any stain I look at lists no ingrediants at all... So, how do I find out for sure????
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On 9 Oct 2004 15:54:22 -0700, brian_j snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (brian roth) wrote:

I do use Gilsonite (which you can get from Liberon) but I can't think of any A&C or even woodstain recipe that uses it. All the times I've seen it (usually as Asphaltum) it has been for stove-enamel recipes on metal, such as original Pontypool japan.
A fried recently gave me a Black Mirror, made from bitumen and Gilsonite on the back of glass.
Avoid "tar" as a description - too many sorts. Some of them are practically turpentine.
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On Sun, 10 Oct 2004 01:11:23 +0100, Andy Dingley

One of the woodworking magazines (wood or woodsmith I believe) had an article on using this to make an arts and crafts look stain. Looked really good. Although I read it recently, it could have been from current to 5 years or so ago...I'm a little behind on my reading!
If the OP can't turn it up, email me and I'll scrabble around for it.
Paul
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What or who exactly is "fried".....mjh
(brian roth)

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(brian roth) wrote:

Phil Laird posted his formula that might be something you can make up yourself. I haven't seen any posts from him in a long time.
Stuart Johnson Red Oak, Texas
---------------------------------------------------------
My standard mixture
4lt ( about 1 gal) Mineral turpentine Small tin of brushable roofing tar ( 250/500g) I use a brand by the name of "Ormanoid" This is basically runny bitumen used for sealin roofing and gutters.
Mix some turps and afew dollops of tar together to form a slurry ( into a 2lt icecream container - remove ice cream first!) and pour into container of turps. Test for colour - darken by adding more goop - or lighten by adding more turps. About half a 500g tin ( thats 250g for those of you that have bother doing sums ) should give a nice depth of finish to four litres of turps - If that is more than you are likely to use,adjust accordingly. Usually it stays in stasis but some sediment will form - I chuck some old bolts into the container and shake him up a bitty.
This stuff sprays, wipes and brushes with very little wastage. The turps act to soften and break down the tar goop and as a carrier which evaporates off - leaving a nice coppery bronzed pigment when applied to light woods - especilly Pine.
This will take any manner of finish - good with poly or resin based finishes and remains colour fast.
Remember though if you are spraying it - This is atomised tar , either dont breath for a goog hour or so, or wear a mask ( organic mist carbon filter type - you know, a proper one.) The responsibiliy is yours.\
Aveago
Phil
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I purchased the Rockler Mission gel stain. A friend of mine that is on the local historical society said it was the closest stain he's seen to the original stickly. And while were on the subject, I saw David Marks the other evening and he was fuming some white oak with amonia and he said to use Aqua Amonia 26%. I called several print shops and newspaper and they said they don't use it any more. I called a blueprinting service and the woman didn't know much but she said they have #1 amonia 26%. Is that the same thing? I plan on building a plate rack for SWMBO and was wanting to try fuming the wood. Thanks, Mike
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Yep, likely the same thing: Aqueous Ammonia. I got mine at a blueprint supply. I only bought a gallon and it's lasted several years now. After the fuming process you can pour any remaining ammonia back into the container to conserve the stuff.
Be careful when working with it. Wear eye protection and only do it in an area that, should a spill occur, you and others can evacuate the area quickly and also ventilate it quickly. Secure all kids and pets out of the area before uncapping the ammonia. It's nasty stuff - the vapors when pouring it out and placing the fuming dishes will make you feel *every* nick and scratch on your body in very short order.
Don't let the warnings scare you away from trying it tho - just use common sense, eye protection and prepare for accidental spills. Fuming white oak and cherry is one of my favorite techniques.
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I use asphaltum all the time and have been for at least the last 30 years . You never hear about it because it is such a good stain and so cheap the likes of minwax etc cant compete against it ...........mjh
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"brian roth" <brian_j snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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This site has some info about Gilsonite, they claim boiled linseed oil, Gilsonite and turpentine became Danish Oil. Lots of information on their information page about finishing, no affiliation. http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/PigmentStains.htm
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Well here goes, Asphaltum has been used for well over a hundred years as far I know. I buy gallon cans of it and basically a gallon will last a life time . Take a dollop put it in a coffee can or similar container and thin it with mineral spirits, you then have a basic stain the depth of which depends on the amount of mineral spirits you mix with it.
The color of the stain is pure brown ,no red whatsoever, being mixed with mineral spirits it is slow drying and thus very easy to work with. You never see it advertised in paint shops because it is so cheap I suppose they cannot make a profit on it .
I have used it for thirty odd years ,and it can be used under practically any finish .
I use it in two ways ,as a basic stain and as a glaze,primarily the latter. As a stain it will tone mahogany to a walnut color [which is handy because wide walnut boards are nonexistent these days ] and is good for oak and ash and walnut as they stay brown [no redness]. As I make mainly antique repros these days I use it as a glaze to give that antique look . I shun brutalizing pieces with chains and the like . My process is to stain the piece with a conventional stain to get the base color you want, then seal the stain in with a couple of sealer coats ,perhaps shellac or sand and sealer. Then cover the whole thing in a heavy [dark] coat of asphaltum. Now wipe it off with a rag, after which you will see that the basic stain color is a shade or two darker,so bear this in mind when you do the initial basic staining. what you will be left with is asphaltum stain in the wood pores and any crevices. You will note that the moldings will be more noticeable and any details will also show. You can experiment with how much you leave on the piece so you get the desired effect. let it dry and then overcoat it with a clear finish . Prior to overcoating if you think it is too dark take a clean rag with mineral spirits and most will come right off and you can repeat the process.
I forgot, if you question this procedure take two pieces do it on one and not the other and you will see the one has that much more depth and character than the other.
My logic, if you think about it people like antiques because how the look . most of these pieces have lived in dwellings that have had coal fires in the winter with the ensuing coal dust .If you ever lived in this environment the ceilings needed to be repainted almost every year due to the soot generated by the fire . Every time the furniture was dusted or polished this dust was ingrained into the surfaces and left in crevices and moldings .......mjh
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mjh responds:

snip of good treatise.
I'll be trying this as soon as some spare time rears up and bites me.
Thanks.
Charlie Self "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith
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The last issue of Woodsmith has an article on Old Fashioned Finishes.
It mentions Asphaltum Varnish Stain, made by "mixing equal parts of boiled linseed oil and asphaltum varnish. Asphaltum varnish is nothing more than Gilsonite (asphault) and mineral spirits..."
It then suggests Letterhead Sign Supply as a source for Aspaltum varnish. www.letterheadsignsupply.com
dickm
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