Question About "Iron Buff" (Steel Wool/Vinegar Stain) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old 09-26-2014, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Near Chicago
Posts: 113
View Sirnanigans's Photo Album My Photos
Question Question About "Iron Buff" (Steel Wool/Vinegar Stain)

This is actually for a leatherworking project, but iron buff is much more often used with wood projects. Veg tanned leather often uses oak bark for the tanning process, and imparts a hefty dose of tannins into the leather and this allows me to soak iron acetate into it to create a base color for darking staining.

I have experienced in wood, as well as in the jar that I keep the iron buff, an orange cast to an iron buffed piece which I am almost certain is unspent iron oxidizing to create rust. In the jar, this reappears every time I filter it out, likely due to the tennacity of the iron to oxidize with the air in the jar. So my question for anyone familiar with using iron buff is this...

Is the rust 'residue' from iron buff avoidable or removable?

I ask because my project is a hanging strop for a straight razor. It must not have any unknown abrasive qualities to it, and iron oxide on the surface is exactly that. The iron buff is promising because it reacts chemically inside of the leather, avoiding any addition of solid materials to the surface as with some leather stains and dyes. This is all moot, though, if I end up with iron oxide in the surface grain.
Sirnanigans is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 09-27-2014, 08:03 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
I've never been fond of homemade concoctions for finishing such as Iron Buff. I'm wondering if you could re-create the look you want with dyes made for leather. I would feel more comfortable using a leather dye.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 09-27-2014, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Near Chicago
Posts: 113
View Sirnanigans's Photo Album My Photos
I am only concerned for the surface texture of the leather. All of the dyes I have used created a waxy surface, even those without scaling qualities.
Sirnanigans is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 Old 09-27-2014, 05:14 PM
Senior Member
 
RandyReed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,311
View RandyReed's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirnanigans View Post
I am only concerned for the surface texture of the leather. All of the dyes I have used created a waxy surface, even those without scaling qualities.
Most dyes doesn't leave any residue on the surface. However, alcohol-based dyes produce a stiffer leather product while water-based dyes leave the leather soft and supple. An alcohol-based dye will also rub off leather that has a finish onto clothing or whatever rubs against it. You also have to remember that a dye will look different than you think it will once applied to leather. Always start off lighter than the final color you want.....and its always best to test on another piece when possible before applying to final project.

Im curious to know what dyes you have tried that left a waxy surface.
RandyReed is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 09-27-2014, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Near Chicago
Posts: 113
View Sirnanigans's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyReed View Post
Most dyes doesn't leave any residue on the surface. However, alcohol-based dyes produce a stiffer leather product while water-based dyes leave the leather soft and supple. An alcohol-based dye will also rub off leather that has a finish onto clothing or whatever rubs against it. You also have to remember that a dye will look different than you think it will once applied to leather. Always start off lighter than the final color you want.....and its always best to test on another piece when possible before applying to final project.

Im curious to know what dyes you have tried that left a waxy surface.
It may not be a physical residue, but the softness of the leather surface is changed at least, making it feel waxy and with more friction.

For a razor strop, a softer surface might round the edge, and any particles can have an effect. The compounds I will use on another strop to sharpen the blade have particles of 0.3 microns across. Even particles of 0.1 microns (around 200,000 grit equivalent) have an effect. For this reason, the unknown particle size in some stains and dyes might be an issue. It's mostly my ignorance, I must admit, that turns me away from them. Some dyes may very well not use particles of any significant size.

Most of all, I already have a quart of iron buff in my tool box, so using that would be convenient and the color is desirable. If dyes are definitely safe and iron buff is not, then I will have to skip dying or purchase the right product.
Sirnanigans is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 09-27-2014, 11:48 PM
Senior Member
 
RandyReed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,311
View RandyReed's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirnanigans View Post
It may not be a physical residue, but the softness of the leather surface is changed at least, making it feel waxy and with more friction.

For a razor strop, a softer surface might round the edge, and any particles can have an effect. The compounds I will use on another strop to sharpen the blade have particles of 0.3 microns across. Even particles of 0.1 microns (around 200,000 grit equivalent) have an effect. For this reason, the unknown particle size in some stains and dyes might be an issue. It's mostly my ignorance, I must admit, that turns me away from them. Some dyes may very well not use particles of any significant size.

Most of all, I already have a quart of iron buff in my tool box, so using that would be convenient and the color is desirable. If dyes are definitely safe and iron buff is not, then I will have to skip dying or purchase the right product.
7 micron is equal to about 2800 grit, and thats equalivalent to somewhere around a pigmented stain once left to dry. You want to stay away from "pigmented" dye stains.

Im pretty sure you can dye a leather strop. Concentrated dyes have very little to no particals. A concentrated dye would not hurt the leather at all when dissolved in water or solvent and applied to the leather.

I would try this website to obtain a positive answer from some leather gurus just to make sure. Im sure they can also point you to "diamond paste" and other compounds as well:
http://leatherworker.net/content/

Last edited by RandyReed; 09-27-2014 at 11:55 PM.
RandyReed is offline  
Reply

Tags
iron acetate, iron buff, rust, steel wool, vinegar

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boiling Iron Buff for Penetration? Sirnanigans Wood Finishing 3 04-10-2014 09:08 PM
"no voc , low voc stain question eheine20 Wood Finishing 4 01-11-2014 04:00 PM
Steel Wool and Vinegar to age wood walleye vision Wood Finishing 30 10-17-2013 06:56 AM
Vinegar and Steel Wool finish Old Bark Wood Finishing 6 10-17-2013 04:02 AM
question about steel wool and briwax... Daniel501 Wood Finishing 1 05-26-2008 09:55 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome