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September 28, 2016

Ebonizing

The side tables I’m working on have an ebonized base to them. So I thought I would talk about the process I used to get them there.

The first thing I had to do was make the ebonizing mixture.  I used four pads of 0000 steel wool and put them in a quart mason jar and filled it with vinegar.  From there I drilled a small hole in the top of the lid to let the off gasses out.  I let this mixture sit for a week or so and shook the jar every so often to mix it up.  After a few days it will start to look kind of nasty.  After about week the vinegar will have broke down the steel wool.  It won’t be gone, while at least that was my case, but it should be broken up a lot.  I then strained it though a paint strainer.  I did a couple of test on cut off pieces to see how the wood react.  I did three tests, one with just the ebonizing, the second one with black tea brushed onto it first and the third was with tea bark.

I went with the tea bark for these tables.  Once the ebonizing was dry with the tea bark it had a blueish hue that I didn’t see on the test pieces.  But once I finished them with Tried & True the blueish hue went away and left me with these:

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