Author Topic: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish  (Read 2916 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« on: May 18, 2016, 08:54 PM »
Anyone try it? Working in a small dresser/cabinet made in QSWO, and was considering experimenting with the Stickley method. I've read some things online, and I'm uncertain now because there have been cautions about eneven results when mixing boards from different trees (which I am doing). There are some fixes mentioned that involve using a mix of dyes and shellac, but I'm not sure I want to get this complicated, given that I'm not all that experienced with finishes.

Any tips/cautions? Can I reproduce the same effect using other products?
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5702
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2016, 09:16 PM »
Be exceedingly cautious while fuming.

Tom

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 820
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2016, 10:07 PM »
It's a result that you really can't get by other processes.

As Tom says be careful. You'll need to source a 28% solution of aqueous ammonia. You should be able to find it in the big city.

You'll come up with some way to keep the piece and the ammonia in a sealed environment. On a smaller piece we use a big Rubbermaid tote and tape the lid seams. For a bigger piece we might make a tent out of pvc sheeting.

The stuff is nasty. You'll want to AVOID skin contact. So gloves, long sleeves, etc. you DO NOT want to get it in your eyes. So goggles are a must. Respirator is a good idea. Outside is a good idea or at least a well ventilated workspace.

The longer you expose the oak the darker it will get. You can obtain a chocolate color. Sap wood doesn't darken as much and the rays and flecks are more pronounced. You'll need to check on the piece to determine when to pull it. If you can make a clear window or port in your containment, it makes it easier.

Works on white oak not red oak.

Sounds scary but just take proper precautions and you'll be fine.

I think that Fine Woodworking had a good article a few years ago.

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 728
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 11:44 PM »
I've done a good bit of research on the ammonia fuming technique and perhaps more importantly seen a lot of original Stickley furniture.  The problem with the fumed Oak "finish" is that decades later much of the furniture from the early 1900's ends up dried out and nearly black in color. 

I'd rather use a modern finish that produces a very similar appearance but will hopefully last for much longer.  Check out Jeff Jewitt's "Mission Oak" finish.  It's somewhat involved but produces excellent results.

Here's the PDF - www.homesteadfinishingproducts.com/stickley.pdf

And here's the YouTube video -



« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 11:47 PM by deepcreek »
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 07:04 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I'm going to reassess once the thing is built.  Project pics coming soon...
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 768
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 07:13 AM »
Anyone try it? Working in a small dresser/cabinet made in QSWO, and was considering experimenting with the Stickley method. I've read some things online, and I'm uncertain now because there have been cautions about eneven results when mixing boards from different trees (which I am doing). There are some fixes mentioned that involve using a mix of dyes and shellac, but I'm not sure I want to get this complicated, given that I'm not all that experienced with finishes.

Any tips/cautions? Can I reproduce the same effect using other products?

Rubio Monocoat makes 2 interesting products you might want to look into that work on high tannin woods like oak. They are called Smoke and Fume. Not as easy to damage yourself using these.

http://www.monocoat.us/Creative-Effects/

John

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 820
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 07:36 AM »
Edward - Save small offcuts from your different boards. If you decide to proceed, yo can experiment with the offcuts and decide if you like the effect.

To do that you won't need anything fancy or big enough to contain the completed piece. Just the ammonia and maybe a clear plastic storage container in addition to the safety gear.

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 737
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 12:59 PM »
I considered fuming for the A&C furniture I build, as a hobbyist, but decided not to go down that path due to the danger of working with high concentrate ammonia. 

After a lot of experimentation I came up with a system of using transtint mission brown dye, followed by a coat of Minwax red mahogany stain, and then finishing with sprayed semi-gloss lacquer.  This gives me a finish that is a very close match to an original Stickley chair we have in our living room.

I use the Transtint concentrate and mix it with distilled water.  It is important to use distilled water when working with white oak.  If your water has a high iron content it can interact with the wood and cause black streaking.  After sanding I also wipe down the wood with distilled water to raise the grain.  Then I do a a final fine sanding round to knock the grain back down.  If you don't do this the dye/water mix will raise the grain and you won't get a nice smooth finish.

Hope this helps

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 03:02 PM »
Thanks @jbasen for the reminder on the distilled water.  I completely forgot about this when I was wiping off the glue during assembly with a wet rag, and sure enough, got some black streaking on one of the sides.  Took a while to work out with a sander without dishing the surface.  Such a fickle beast this white oak.

I considered fuming for the A&C furniture I build, as a hobbyist, but decided not to go down that path due to the danger of working with high concentrate ammonia. 

After a lot of experimentation I came up with a system of using transtint mission brown dye, followed by a coat of Minwax red mahogany stain, and then finishing with sprayed semi-gloss lacquer.  This gives me a finish that is a very close match to an original Stickley chair we have in our living room.

I use the Transtint concentrate and mix it with distilled water.  It is important to use distilled water when working with white oak.  If your water has a high iron content it can interact with the wood and cause black streaking.  After sanding I also wipe down the wood with distilled water to raise the grain.  Then I do a a final fine sanding round to knock the grain back down.  If you don't do this the dye/water mix will raise the grain and you won't get a nice smooth finish.

Hope this helps
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3594
Re: Stickley Ammonia fuming finish
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2016, 09:46 AM »
Just a follow up question.  I'm building an arts and crafts stile lamp with all the white oak offcuts I've accumulated, and so weill now attempt the ammonia fuming method on this.  Wondering what a good source for ammonia hydroxide is?  Not the sort of thing they carry at Home Depot.  I see some options on Amazon, but maybe there's a brick and mortar shop someone knows of in the NYC area?
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3