Postings on topics that will hopefully be of use to someone...
Vinegar and steel wool, left for a few days, filtered and then applied to paulownia strip – thinking of using this on my kayak. Top of the strip has been painted twice.
I'm also building a paulownia kayak (night heron) at the moment (http://kayak.2la.me). I am interested to see how the ebonizing turns out. How deep did the colour penetrate into the paulownia?
I just tried a bit of sandpaper - seems to have soaked in enough that it takes a bit of rubbing to get to the clear wood. Not sure about using this though. I'm thinking vinegar cleans up epoxy and even after a long delay what's the consequence for the fibreglass? I'm going to epoxy the wood next week and leaving it hanging round to see if anything happens.
I think the key might be ensuring you start with a saturated solution of vinegar/iron then in theory you won't actually have any vinegar left. ie. keep adding steel wool to the vinegar until it won't dissolve anymore. Also soaking/painting the paulownia with strong tea first should help as tannic acid is required for the reaction and I'm guessing given its light colour there is not much in the paulownia naturally. I found this kids science page which gives a nice simple description of the chemical process going on http://www.csiro.au/helix/sciencemail/activities/InkTea.html. I'm going to give this a go myself this week I want to make some thin black strips for some inlay work, I'll let you know if I figure out anything useful :)
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