Keeping in touch February 23, 2021

February 23, 2021

Looks like Jay Scott has been busy with some interesting projects.


Rick has been blowing me away with the colouring of his pieces, lately. Even before his latest creations, I knew I had to get into dying wood and tried my first real effort with the secondary shifter knob that I made, to accompany the bacon monstrosity I gave to a friend as a Christmas gift. If you haven’t seen it, check back a few posts. It’s just awful. ๐Ÿ™‚
The shifter knob is a piece of ash, turned and sanded to 1200, died with Mixol black, sanded back slightly before colouring with a solution of blue ColorFX dye. It was completed with sanding sealer, polishing paste and then wax. 

The Princess in Black’s sceptre (a children’s book series), made by me and being held by my daughter, Fiona, was originally going to be a Christmas gift. Too much on my plate, and other priorities at the time, meant that it got pushed back. But, I had it ready for a few days before Valentine’s Day, and it was much better saved for that, than at Christmas.
It consists of two separate pieces of poplar, turned, sanded to 1000 grit then dyed with with Mixol black dye in a water solution. I finished it with sanding sealer, polishing paste and then beeswax.

Finally, a simple little dish, made out of a 4 inch by less than 2 inch tall oak blank. My goal was to try ebonizing oak using iron oxide. Using the water from my squelch cup, next to my grinder, yielded no results the first day. I threw in a few more nails and a splash of vinegar. Then, upstairs, I brewed some very concentrated black tea, preparing it for the attempt the next day. After brushing on the tea, to introduce additional tannins into the oak, I dried it with a heat gun and then applied my newly rusted water, which was easily five times more concentrated than the day before. Two rounds of that treatment and it was absorbing light like a black hole. I exaggerate, but was terribly impressed at how well it worked and reacted within a few minutes.

What’s this got to do with bunnies? My daughter told me that they needed a plate. The order was placed by the customer, it was an opportunity to try this new colouring technique, and I could not be more satisfied with the way it turned out. The Midol black dye is good stuff, but this was far more rich and penetrated much deeper. I’m always impressed with centuries-old chemistry working so effectively today. I don’t know how well other woods will accept the tannins from the black tea, but Maple is up next on the trial list. More colours are coming, and I’m pleased that the experimenting is going so well.

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