acid coloring maple

LRB

Well-Known Member
What you're looking for is Aqua Fortis. Nitric acid, water and iron filings, steel wool, ect. When heat is applied it turns red, red brown, or near black depending on how much is used, and how much heat it is given, and how much iron is dissolved. This was the most widely used stain for maple in the 18th c. and well into the 19th. You can buy it ready to use, or do a search for a formula.
 
Aqua Fortis is available through Track of the Wolf, a company that sells muzzleloader kits and supplies. Google the name and you should find their site. From what I've read, nitric acid can be pretty dangerous stuff -- buying the mix from Track is the safest route.
Good luck
Wayne
 

James Terrio

Well-Known Member
Straight nitric acid is indeed very powerful. Just the fumes can cause serious burns. Follow all the safety precautions.
 

Kentucky

Well-Known Member
We use Aqua Fortis but I have used muriatic acis and homemade vinegar/steel wool mix. Chromic acid works but is caustic as heck and can turn the wood green after ten years or so.. Track of the Wolfs Aqua Fortis is good and so is Wahkon Bay. The Wahkon bay is a bit "hotter" and needs less application..
Sand the wood to 400 grit or so and then finish with #0000 steel wool. Then burnish the wood with a heavy cloth or piece of denim. Have a heat gun or a propane torch. If you use a propane torch be careful to not burn the wood.
Wear gloves and apply aqua fortis with a cotton swab. heat with a heat gun until it turns a rusty brown. There are several colors before this but your shooting for rusty brown. When it gets there go over again with #0000 steel wool until nice and shiney. Burnish again. Burnish until it almost burns your hand. Then we use boiled linseed oil. Several hand rubbed coats..
 

James Terrio

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info, Kentucky. Any further tips on using the vinegar/steel wool mix? I already have plenty of both.
 
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