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Best ebony stain?

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Wouldchuk

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Morning all,

I wanted to make some small ebony finials, but the all important piece is missing..... the ebony! But i do have lots of off cuts of sycamore which being so pale I thought I could stain black.

Does anyone have recommendations for the best stain for this?

Thanks.
Tim
 

AndyT

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Years ago, I made a replacement chess piece from holly.
Trouble was, the missing piece was a black one.
Looking round for a quick solution, I used a black permanent marker pen. I followed it up with some black instant shoe polish. It looked properly black, was quick and cost nothing.

Edit: I don't claim this is the best answer. It's the only one I have tried, and it suited me at the time.
 

Glynne

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The ebonising lacquer works really well if you spray several thin coats, but the finish will be very uniform i.e. the same depth of black all over. I use it myself for finials but only where the body of the turning is a more decorative / figured wood.
 

Dalboy

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I use the ebonising spray by chestnut and as stated it does give a uniform covering the other thing you could use is the black spirit stain.

HERE is an example of the ebonising spray and coated with a gloss spray

Also another example is my competition piece HERE the first piece you come to
 

treeturner123

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Wouldchuk

What about using vinegar with wire wool dissolved in it to paint on oak? It gives a less even finish and, as far as I am aware, is one of the ways that furniture was treated in days past. You can I think build up the coats. I've only used one coat on oak as I wanted a fairly 'light' finish.

Phil
 

jurriaan

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I recently stained some fresh oak with a solution of iron powder (ebay) and 20% acetic acid. It turned the oak blue-black, not true black, see below.
Also, any oak I've seen is a lot coarser than ebony, and the structure remains visible. Oak would not be my preferred wood to create something really ebony like. Holly, pear, something dense and even would by my first choice.
 

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J-G

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Am I missing something here? Why not simply use EBONY ? The amount that is used for finials or Chess pieces is so small that it cannot be a cost issue. Yes, it is more expensive than (say) Oak, Sycamore, Box etc. but the cost of 'treatment' is surely greater.

If your argument is availability - try Sykes in Atherstone (no connection - just local to me). Even going for African Blackwood is a better option (IMHO).
 

richarnold

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permanent black hair dye works really well. this is the 2 pack stuff. We used it on cheap fingerboards on cellos and violins. It comes up jet black
 

duncanh

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J-G":3uguzxvs said:
Am I missing something here? Why not simply use EBONY ? The amount that is used for finials or Chess pieces is so small that it cannot be a cost issue. Yes, it is more expensive than (say) Oak, Sycamore, Box etc. but the cost of 'treatment' is surely greater.

If your argument is availability - try Sykes in Atherstone (no connection - just local to me). Even going for African Blackwood is a better option (IMHO).

I think most ebony species are listed under CITES as threatened or vulnerable. And after a report on the news last year, I wouldn't even trust anything which supposedly comes with a CITES license.

I don't think blackwood is currently listed under CITES but apparently it's been considered for many years.
 

J-G

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duncanh":3rb3ctcc said:
I think most ebony species are listed under CITES as threatened or vulnerable. And after a report on the news last year, I wouldn't even trust anything which supposedly comes with a CITES license.

I don't think blackwood is currently listed under CITES but apparently it's been considered for many years.
As far as I can see from the listing, it only applies to Madagascan Ebony (Appendix III). Though I hadn't heard about the listing (not that I keep my ear to the ground on such matters!). Most Ebony that is available to purchase from 'first line' traders - such as Sykes, Exotic Hardwoods et. al. - as opposed to eBay - is West African which I don't see listed.

It's interesting to see Monkey-puzzle tree in Appendix I as well as Afrormosia & African teak in Appendix II.
 

duncanh

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There's also the IUCN list of threatened species http://www.iucnredlist.org/search, which lists several ebonies as vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/33048/0 comes from West Africa.
Unfortunately, most of the data seems to come from 1998.
African Blackwood is in there as well, as Lower Risk/near threatened.


Pretty much since I started turning I chose not to buy tropical hardwoods for various reasons: uncertain origins, distance needed to transport it, deforestation, the availability of plenty of native timber to work with. Tropical hardwoods do look great and are give a good finish but I have plenty to work with from the UK.

I found a brief exert from the BBC program about illegal logging and faked imports to get round bans - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-23401052


The status of Monkey Puzzle was covered in Country File a few years ago.
 

Wouldchuk

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THanks for all the replies.

I am not convinced I want to purchase Ebony - for many of the reasons stated above, plus the fact that I just don't think the quality of my work is worth buying ebony (and the postage)!

I'm very intrigued by the walking sticks comment.... I will keep an eye out!
 
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