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Other methods of ebonizing (dye, ink and paint) use pigments, which can obscure the wood’s grain. Dispose the surplus tannic acid (it will be contaminated, too), and let the wood dry a day or two. American Woodworker magazine was acquired by F+W Media (parent company of Popular Woodworking) in 2014.
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When it comes to turning wood black—a process called ebonizing—I prefer the chemical approach, which uses solutions made from vinegar, steel wool and tannic acid. This is important to do now, before applying either solution, because you won’t be able to sand the wood during the ebonizing process. For the woodworkers, the chisel is the simple, multifaceted tool you just can't live without. Watching them transform an ordinary wood, such as the yellow poplar I’m using here, is magical. The technique I’ll show you adds tannic acid to the wood, so you can ebonize virtually any species.


Rather than be stuck with a lifetime’s supply, I’ve shared the surplus with a dozen woodworking friends.




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