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Another table, but it's the last one

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bowmaster

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Thank all of you who liked and posted about my coffee table for your encouraging comments. They serve to spur you on to continue making things.

This was my first effort in resin/river tables. It's a small side table (500 x 400 x 450). I really liked the pattern in the resin on this one. I gave it to my mother-in-law once it was finished. I used GlassCast resin again. The top is cherry and the base is ebonized oak. I won't make any more of these unless someone specifically asks for one.

Cheers

Dean
 

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Cabinetman

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Hi Dean, the ebonised oak underframe is very black, I have never managed to get it that black mine always comes out sort of dark navy blue. A few hints and helps would be very gratefully accepted, I used the vinegar and wire wool method. Ian
 

bowmaster

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Hi Dean, the ebonised oak underframe is very black, I have never managed to get it that black mine always comes out sort of dark navy blue. A few hints and helps would be very gratefully accepted, I used the vinegar and wire wool method. Ian
Hi Ian,

I use the same method as you.

Are you making up the tannic acid?

My process for making the iron 'potion' is placing a tennis ball sized amount of (0000 or 000) fluffed up wire wool into a small jam jar (or similar) and then filling the jar near to the top with white vinegar (and covering the wire wool as much as possible).

Punch a small hole in the lid and then leave it to do its stuff - about 5 - 7 days.

I've found that if you use too much wire wool or it's too thick you end up with a murky green/brown liquid - not desirable at all. Also, you can end up with a soggy mess of wire wool in the jar where the chemical reaction has stopped. The potion seems to last for a couple of weeks whereupon the iron settles out of the liquid and you end up with a rust coloured liquid at the bottom and a dark liquid at the top. I think the top part is useable (I have some like this, but I haven't tested my own theory on that....), but the rusty stuff really leaves a nasty colour on the wood.....experience talking there...lol - and then it's a real pain in the backside trying to remedy that situation - so best not to end up there.

When the iron potion is ready it should be nice and dark. Make up some tannic acid by by boiling in water for 10 mins (sorry if I'm teaching to suck eggs lol) and then do the following:

1) Lightly sand with the grain (240/320 grit)
2) Brush the tannic acid onto the oak (it doesn't have to be cool - in fact the heat helps to open the grain a bit) and leave to dry - don't over saturate the wood, but don't be shy with the tannic acid either. Allow to dry.
3) Wipe off any excess dust.
4) Repeat steps 1,2 and 3 twice making sure tannic acid gets right into the grain.
5) Apply more tannic acid - only this time - just before all the tannic acid evapourates give it a little wipe to remove any excess liquid
6) Immediately apply the iron 'potion' and leave it for a couple of minutes and then smooth it out making sure all areas are covered evenly. Leave it to dry thoroughly.

Normally, once dry, you will get a dark blue/purple coloured bloom appear on the wood - this is good!

Get a lightly damp cloth and wipe off the bloom. Hopefully you will have ebonized oak.

I have found that sometimes you get white streaks (dried sap I think) in the grain which is really obvious. If this happens I use a fine brass wire brush such as a suede brush to brush all the sap out of the grain. Unfortunately you might have to go through the ebonizing process again.....a pain, but it does make a difference.

If you feel that the oak is not dark enough then re-apply some tannic acid and then the iron potion. Repeat this process in that order until you are happy. You do not have to repeat the whole ebonizing process, just the adding of the tannic acid and iron potion steps

Wipe off any residue and then buff the timber ready for the finish.

Finally, apply your preferred finish. If you use a wax/polish I suggest you use a dark one to avoid visible build up in the grain.

I hope this helps.....let me know how you get on

Cheers

Dean
 
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Cabinetman

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Thanks enormously for that Dean, it’s the iron potion I hadn’t got, and all I was doing was boiling the wire wool, – and probably not enough of it – after washing it to get any wax off it in the pickling vinegar and then using the resultant liquid, I will try this as I have a beautiful navy blue piece that’s just sat there waiting to be finished.
So just to be sure I’ve got this right you put the wire wall and the vinegar in a jar for a few days then pour off the dark liquid and add it to water which you boil up? What sort of proportions of vinegar to water would that be please. Cheers Ian
 
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Trevanion

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Not typically a fan of "river" style tables but this one is rather nice, especially with the proper, hand-made frame instead of hairpin legs!
 

bowmaster

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Thanks enormously for that Dean, it’s the iron potion I hadn’t got, and all I was doing was boiling the wire wool, – and probably not enough of it – after washing it to get any wax off it in the pickling vinegar and then using the resultant liquid, I will try this as I have a beautiful navy blue piece that’s just sat there waiting to be finished.
So just to be sure I’ve got this right you put the wire wall and the vinegar in a jar for a few days then pour off the dark liquid and add it to water which you boil up? What sort of proportions of vinegar to water would that be please. Cheers Ian
Hi Ian,

Not a problem.

You put the wire wool in the vinegar and leave it until the wire wool has all dissolved (5 - 7 days) and leave it in the jar. You do not have to pour it into another receptacle, add water or mix it with any other liquid - it is used as is. It is brushed directly on to the oak after the oak has been treated with tannic acid.

You will have two separate liquids - the iron potion and the tannic acid that you have made from the oak shavings. They are only 'united' on the wood.

As a side note I would use two separate brushes for applying the potion/acid. If you dip the brush with the iron potion into the tannic acid - the tannic acid will go much darker. Doing it the other way will introduce tannic acid into the iron potion (it won't get darker, but the tannic acid brush will go black - none of this is a problem, but my theory here is that if this occurs - and since it is a chemical reaction, the effectiveness of the reaction on the wood (which is what we want) will become less so if the liquids are continually mixed via the brushes.

Hope that clears it up for you

Cheers
Dean
 

Cabinetman

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Thanks Dean completely understand it now, no wonder it didn’t work the way I was doing it, and I researched it for days but obviously listened to the wrong people! Ian
 
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