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Ebonising

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Jismacgregor

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Hi,

I have a couple of questions about ebonising which I hope someone can answer:

1) How deep does the finish penetrate? Can you accidentally sand back to the original colour?
2) If you join a non-ebonised piece of wood to the ebonised bit, could it stain the attached wood? Especially during sanding.

Thanks,

James Macgregor
 

marcros

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It doesn't penetrate deep and is fairly easy to sand through. It is certainly easy to sand a spot lighter. You need to raise the grain with some water, then sand, then ebonise. If you don't, the ebonising liquid can raise the grain. I have only done it once, but I got a really nice matt black by scorching first, sanding then ebonising.

It won't stain as such, but the dust can contaminate the other wood- get trapped in the grain etc like any dark wood next to light. A coat of sealer on the light wood may help here.
 

Droogs

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1. It penetrates very little, a few thou of an inch generally and yes it is very easy to sand through it (I've got the T-shirt)
2. if the adjoining wood is open pored then it can be very easy to get inclusions from the ebonised dust. Best to seal with a bit of thin shellac first before sanding

hth
 

Blockplane

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Reminds me of a good (allegedly true story)- back in the late 19th century a harp-making workshop in Wales used to have a visiting specialist in to do the gloss black work. A young lad in the workshop was desperate to learn the technique, but the visitor wouldn't give anything away, and locked his materials and work in progress away each evening. The youngster somehow contrived to get a young cat locked in the room overnight, and the cat obliged by causing chaos and breaking all the bottles.
Said young man was then given the task of taking the polisher round the local suppliers to procure replacements, in the course of which he took careful note of the ingredients and was then able to work out the recipe. The visiting polisher was never called upon again.
 
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