Author Topic: Ammonia fuming...  (Read 344 times)

Online OkKeith

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Ammonia fuming...
« on: March 01, 2019, 01:42:27 PM »
Has anyone tried using ammonia to put a fumed finish on a bow? From what I have read it works well with high tannin woods like oak and such.

I was watching a woodworking video where it was used and it looked real nice.

Just wonderin'
OkKeith
In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
Theodore Roosevelt

Online BMorv

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2019, 02:27:02 PM »
I haven't done it.  There's a few guys on Primitive Archer who have and you should be able to find some threads there. 
You might find this interesting:

http://primitive-bows.com/staining-with-ironchloride/
Life is too short to use marginal bow wood

Online Flem

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2019, 02:45:16 PM »
Not on a bow, but no reason not too. It could look awesome. Limiting factors would be, as you mentioned the tannin content of the wood and the strength of the ammonia. Household ammonia won't get you a deep color and the industrial stuff is real toxic. You can also get a similar effect with potassium dichromate and it works on wood that does not have a high tannin content, just have to adjust the concentration of the solution. The pic is of dichromate on western red cedar, extra strong solution, next to an unstained piece from the same 4x4.

Online Mike L.

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 03:21:28 PM »
I just read an article about dyeing wood with potassium dichromate; it was a chemist and he was astonished that anyone would take such a risk in a woodworking environment.  He says it’s toxic through skin contact and inhaling, and it’s so expensive to dispose of that it would be prohibitive.  Is that your experience, or was he maybe not aware of some mitigating factor as it’s used to dye wood?  I’m asking because that’s pretty damned cool what it did to the cedar... but uhhh not cool enough to die for.  Get it?  See how I did that with the dye/die?
Mike L.

Online BMorv

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2019, 03:36:36 PM »
Yeah I won't ever fume a bow.  The reward is not worth the risk of storing and using toxic chemicals.  But that's just me.....I do enjoy looking at pics of others doing it though :)
Life is too short to use marginal bow wood

Online Flem

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2019, 04:23:42 PM »
Yeah Mike, dichromate is known to be very posionous. it comes in a dry crystalized form. Even though its not powdery, I wear 2 pairs of nitrile gloves and a half mask and mix it outside. Once its in a water solution, the inhalation risk is minimal, but you don't want to get it on your skin. As soon as the water flashes off, I get some sealer on it immediately. Also I always wear tyvek arm covering and wipe it on with a rag, so there is no chance of flicking it around, like with a with a brush. Disposal is not a problem, either mix only what you need, store it in a marked glass jar, or let it evaporate back to its crystal form.

Online Flem

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2019, 04:27:20 PM »
Forgot to add, it looks amazing on Cherry and of course White Oak.

Online OkKeith

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 07:25:50 PM »
The video I saw, the guy just used household ammonia. He did mention that it wasnt as strong so you need to leave it longer.

He also related that the idea came to folks by way of leaving cows in a barn all winter and the ammonia from the urine darkening the lumber also stored there.

OkKeith
In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
Theodore Roosevelt

Online Flem

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Re: Ammonia fuming...
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2019, 02:18:12 PM »
Something I remembered last night, you can buy tannic acid powder and treat low content woods before you fume or chemically stain. I have not used it myself.
Funny you mentioned the pee wood. I have some Doug Fir, I salvaged out of a shed floor that was in a pig enclosure. Its dark all the way thru and hard as hell. Almost like its petrified. Of course I have a pic, with it next some plain Doug Fir.

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