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Ebonized Wood - The Manufacturer and Builder, 12/1881

 

A very simple process for ebonizing wood is given in the Art Interchange, as follows:

“The wood is first stained with a decoction of logwood, which may be purchased from any druggist.  It is dissolved in warm water until all has been taken up that the water will hold.

Application to the wood is made freely with a large soft bristle brush, and the surface is rubbed with a cloth to prevent the formation of a gummy coat thereon.  After the article has been left to dry for a few hours, the second application, which consists of vinegar in which a quantity of nails or clean filings have been soaked for several days, is also freely laid on with a brush.

The moment the vinegar touches the wood it combines with a logwood solution in the pores, making an ink which is a permanent jet black stain.  The influence of the iron in the vinegar is all important.  If any tendency to grayness is noticed, a second treatment is necessary; but this seldom happens.  When perfectly dry, the article is varnished and rubbed down, or finished with furniture oil well rubbed in.

Cherry is considered the best wood for ebonizing.  Whitewood, maple and beech are used with good effect. Any close grained, dense wood will answer — ash, chestnut and oak are not suitable.  This process, it is said, is used for fine ebony and gold furniture.”


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