Dusty - the following is my opinion only, many here may have wonderful
experiences with fuming.
I have not. It is a pain in the ass and does not give consistent
color unless you are completely scrupulous in all phases of prep. An
odd swipe of a damp rag to catch a tiny glue drop, something on your
hands, or something on the wood you purchased (that you didn't know
was there) will screw the fuming process up in a real hurry.
Fuming solid wood and fuming plywood are two different things. They
are also most likely two different woods. Sure, they are oak... but
new growth, old growth, kiln dried, air dried, different type grown in
different parts of the world... what do you really have? And I wonder
about fuming some of that Pacific rim stuff as I don't have any clue
of what kind of glue is still outgassing as evidenced when cut.
Surely those gasses would also penetrate that 1/1000" veneer on the
face of the Chinaply. How would they react to your ammonia fumes?
Would heavy blotches of glue used to fill voids make your surface
splotchy? I have no idea.
Nope, it's not for me. I like the look, but you can replicate it easy
enough with different dyes, toners and stains, and make all of your
project look as it is from the same builder and finisher rather than a
hodgepodge of materials.
Besides the strength of ammonia needed to fume (you know that Mr.
Sudso under the sink won't work, right?) is absolutely toxic. Too
dangerous to have around as far as I am concerned.
Check out something in the colorants and I'll bet you'll be a lot