• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Harewood and home chemistry

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
11,274
Reaction score
717
Location
Leeds
I am interested in making some hardwood/greywood as an experiment. I have a piece of sycamore to try it on.

I am struggling to find much info online about making it, other than a couple of references to boiling veneer in ferrous sulphate.

I want to do it on solid timber. I assume that I plane or sand to a finished state first.

What is the ferrous sulphate reacting with? Do I need to increase the tannin content of the sycamore with strong tea? Are iron tablets from the chemist the right product, or do I need something from the garden centre?

Is it similar to the iron and vinegar on oak in application?

I know that I could just use a dye, but I am interested in this technique as much as the result.
 

Glynne

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2007
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
7
Location
Sutton Coldfield
As you’ve worked out, it’s the tannin that it’s reacts with - so Oak, walnut etc are the more common it is used on.
I’ve had a play with wire wool / vinegar on Oak but nothing as pale as sycamore.
 

custard

Established Member
Joined
20 Aug 2008
Messages
7,116
Reaction score
524
Location
Hampshire
I don't believe Harewood veneer (and Harewood was always veneer rather than solid) is sold commercially any more, however Capital Crispin do still offer some of the silvery tones that resemble Harewood in their range of dyed veneers,

https://www.capitalcrispin.com/dyedVeneer.php

Harewood veneer was always made from Sycamore.

William Lincoln describes how to make Harewood Sycamore veneer in his excellent Complete Manual of Wood Veneering, unfortunately it's long out of print now but used copies aren't expensive. He discusses how you can produce either a pearly silver-grey version or you can shift the colour to slate or even to charcoal.

If you can't get a copy Marcros then let me know and I'll send you a photocopy of the relevant pages.
 

rafezetter

Troll Hunter
Joined
11 Jun 2013
Messages
2,872
Reaction score
147
Location
Bristol
As mentioned it's the tannins that cause the reaction, but sycamore might be tricky. Coffee is an OK source of tannin IF the wood already has a decent amount, but for wood with little tannin is won't get you far.

I do quite a lot of ebonsing oak and I was recommended "slippery elm bark powder" (ebay or health food places) to use to get a really good black on oak, but in more diluted quantities it'll still have more punch than coffee.

iirc I think fuming it with ammonia might also get you there. (Edit nvm that's for Oak, beech, cherry or butternut and goes more brown than grey)
 

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
11,274
Reaction score
717
Location
Leeds
Thanks everybody.

Custard, I wasn't aware that Harewood was only for veneers. As luck would have it, I have a copy of that book but hadn't thought to look in it.

Richard, I had seen your tweed table. It is about the only contemporary picture that I have seen. Did you have to increase the tannin in the maple before you treated with the ferrous sulphate?
 

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
2,415
Reaction score
267
Location
UK
marcros":3poa7v3h said:
Richard, I had seen your tweed table. It is about the only contemporary picture that I have seen. Did you have to increase the tannin in the maple before you treated with the ferrous sulphate?
No.

Incidentally, harewood can be created on thick stuff, as in that table. It isn't reserved only for veneer, but that's where it's seen most often. Slainte.
 
Top