Iodine as a stain? Other alternatives? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Iodine as a stain? Other alternatives?

I've been playing with alternative coloring looking for some interesting results. I am getting some more traditional dyes, but one of the experiments that I tested out that is working out nicely is iodine. I bleached the wood, sanded fine, applied iodine, sanded, more iodine, etc., till it came to an interesting orangy color, then rubbed in with tung oil. and terry-cloth buffed.

The result is nearly iridescent, and on a pretty common piece of walnut. The grain is showing nicely. I'm considering doing some additional testing by layering some dye of another color, sanding back, applying more...

But what I don't know if there is a reason NOT to use iodine?

I've done some experimenting with the following and wonder where I can find more information about alternative finishes.

* pureed tea leaves as a paste to impart tannin (like a tannin mask), and vinegar/brillo to black the tannin

* torching to burn and cook (some interesting results with sugar/carmelizing that regretfully could not be sustained)

* charcoal rub

* gentian violet

* india ink

* aquafortis

Considering I have been thinking about wood finish for about a month, and woodworking has been around for centuries, there have to be some good sources for alternative finishes... or does it really end with stain, dye and laquor?
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 09:18 PM
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Make test pieces.

Color your wood, seal it, topcoat it, see what happens.

Post some pics., irredescence is intriquing.

Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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I bought a few bum stocks to play with and that is what I am testing on. when it gets to the stock i'll be using a process on I plan to test on the butt end as it gets covered anyway...
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscopes View Post
I bought a few bum stocks to play with and that is what I am testing on. when it gets to the stock i'll be using a process on I plan to test on the butt end as it gets covered anyway...

If the butt is end grain, it wont finish the same as face grain.

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-14-2011, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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right... but it will give an idea. I can also use the barrel inletting.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-15-2011, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a sample of the iodine finish... I've only got about 2 coats of tung oil on there. I experimented in this same area a few times, but the spot just above and left of the small knott -- between there and the glare from the flash -- is what I consider nearly done... You can see how rough and awful the stock is/was -- the black/gray is just a little of the other testing I was doing... I tested coating some of the black/gray with the iodine and that is the blotchy result to the right of the knott...
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-24-2011, 04:24 PM
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very nice look. It has a lot of depth.

Can I build that? There's only one way to find out.

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-25-2011, 09:06 PM
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Very nice looking wood. You asked if there was any reason not to use iodine. Iím pondering this: Iodine turns starches and carbohydrates purple - remember dropping iodine on a potato when you were a kid? Iíd be curious about whether the brown will develop a purple color with time since wood is related to carbohydrates. I donít know of this will happen, but it would be interesting to find out.

You probably know these, but Iíll throw this out there for general info: Walnut husks soaked in ammonia, plain ammonia and rusty nails soaked in vinegar all chemically color wood.

Please post some photos. Your experiments will be interesting to follow.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-26-2011, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGRANT View Post
Very nice looking wood. You asked if there was any reason not to use iodine. Iím pondering this: Iodine turns starches and carbohydrates purple - remember dropping iodine on a potato when you were a kid? Iíd be curious about whether the brown will develop a purple color with time since wood is related to carbohydrates. I donít know of this will happen, but it would be interesting to find out.

You probably know these, but Iíll throw this out there for general info: Walnut husks soaked in ammonia, plain ammonia and rusty nails soaked in vinegar all chemically color wood.

Please post some photos. Your experiments will be interesting to follow.
That's an interesting theory. Other than the cost and the smell, it may be one of those untried products that makes for a different finish. The times have changed somewhat when natural sources like berries, roots, and earth borne pigments were used . We now have over the counter a wide selection to pick from.

Trying new sources of coloring that retains its look can be challenging. I do know that certain foodstuffs have permanently changed the front of a few of my shirts.








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post #10 of 13 Old 02-26-2011, 07:14 AM
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Very interesting airscopes and looks nice.BW
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-27-2011, 06:57 AM
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I have had reasonable success with food coloring for kids toys. I dilute with water and they need to soak for a while Next I am trying RIT dye...
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-27-2011, 07:12 AM
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For toys, I've used Kool Aid. I too, will try Rit Dyes.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 01:22 PM
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I thought I was the only one who used iodine as a stain until I saw this post. I put it on all sorts of woods and then seal it with a white shellac. But if you are going to use it don't get in a hurry and just blot it on thick. It you do it will blotch. It is time consuming to keep putting thin coats on but I've found that is the only way to make it look its best. I've use it on light maple and oak and am convinced that many of the early finishers must of used this technique. It looks incredible on maple.
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