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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm in somewhat of mad dash to get a whole bunch of pens (30+), pen/pencil/letter opener sets and 7 bowls done in the next 3 weeks, because I won't have access to my lathe again for 6 months after that. The mad dash is just because I can't dedicate all of my time to it, so I'll be putting all my free time into it.

One thing that I've been thinking about is aging the wood, or rather letting it oxidize and I've been whether people do that and if there is a way to speed it up.

For example, say you carve, turn, or otherwise mill or work in some way a nice piece of dark burl wood, except, when you do so, it's no longer that nice dark color it was after sitting for so long - now it's a light color. What do you do:

Sand it etc., but then wait for it to oxidize before finishing it?
Or will it still oxidize even after being finished?

In either case, is there some quasi-simple way to speed up the oxidation/aging process to somehow get everything done in 3 weeks

Will certain finishes stop the aging/oxidizing whereas others won't? If so, please inform me as which type of finish does what in that regards. For example I use Crystal Coat or CA on pens (depending upon the type of wood). I'd been buffing small bowls with HUT polish but will need to figure out something else since these bowls are medium sized (up to slightly larger than 12" diameter). I've been thinking a salad bowl finish but the reviews have me nervous and they're intended as decorative pieces anyways.

Anyways, any info on wood aging is helpful! 3 weeks is not enough time to age wood. That's why I'm wondering if I can speed it up or not necessarily stop it despite applying a finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should mention, I've found some weird info online involving various recipes for faux aging/weathering wood. That's not a route I want to go down. They all seem to involve applying weird concoctions - one involved black tea, vinegar, and rusty nails. No thanks.
 

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I should mention, I've found some weird info online involving various recipes for faux aging/weathering wood. That's not a route I want to go down. They all seem to involve applying weird concoctions - one involved black tea, vinegar, and rusty nails. No thanks.
Whats' weird about that ?

Anyway you could use tannin , acetic acid , and iron oxide instead
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whats' weird about that ?

Anyway you could use tannin , acetic acid , and iron oxide instead
Iron oxide? So I guess that explains the rusty nails. I did some web surfing and I see that iron oxide pigmentation is used to achieve a number of colors.

Is the acetic acid there as a solvent?

As for tannin - would it be a bad idea to use it on light woods like maple and poplar? I ask because I've got one maple bowl blank and one poplar.

If it was me I would bleach the wood and replace the color with dyes. It wouldn't take very much bleaching to get rid of the purple look fresh walnut has.
Walnut has a purple hue when fresh? I've never noticed that. I have two walnut bowl blanks, I'm going to look for that. I've always just noticed a slightly lighter color. That's weird that I never noticed this if true.

intense Ultraviolet Light??? guessing.
How about the sun? I realize that I risk cracking, but perhaps some controlled exposure?

So any thoughts on the second question? Does applying a finish stop the oxidizing process permanently, or just slow it down?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I spoke to the owner of a woodworking and turning/carving lumber supply shop yesterday. According to him, if the finish isn't UV resistant the wood will continue to darken with UV exposure after the finish has been applied. Is he right?
 

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Iron oxide? So I guess that explains the rusty nails. I did some web surfing and I see that iron oxide pigmentation is used to achieve a number of colors.

Is the acetic acid there as a solvent?

As for tannin - would it be a bad idea to use it on light woods like maple and poplar? I ask because I've got one maple bowl blank and one poplar.
Black tea, vinegar, and rusty nails,
are tannin , acetic acid , and iron oxide.


Don't be so hasty in condemning a method without investigating it first .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
he don't like vinegar and rust , it upsets his guts :laughing:
I think it may just be that I hate the smell of vinegar.

I have this extremely vague recollection from my childhood of something horrible and disgusting which involved vinegar. For whatever reason, I seem to recall that I had to soak my feet in a tub of vinegar every day several times daily for a lengthy enough period of time that it apparently stuck in my head after all these years.

I'm guessing that must be what's behind the gut reaction.

I love black tea. Rust bothers me if it's on my tools or other belongings which can be damaged by it - but otherwise it doesn't bother me.

So it has to be the vinegar.

Fortunately, I don't need to age the wood like I thought since I won't be using a UV blocking finish.
 
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