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