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Subject: Ammonia fuming... - [Edit Post] 1 0
I was at the hardware store yesterday and noticed they had some ammonia in a "janitorial" strength: 10% solution. Figured I'd give it a try as a fuming agent.
If you didn't know, this was the traditional Stickley craftsman finish. The ammonia interacts with tannin in the wood and turns this dark color. Then they'd finish that with amber shellac - i.e. unpurified. Traditional shellac is made from beetles. They'd boil them in alcohol and extract a solution of keratin. It had some color to it because its full of beetles.
The YouTube videos I've found on this process generally use a much stronger solution - typically 28%. This 10% was SUPER stinky. Hard to imagine what 28% is like.
But Lo and behold, it worked:
Only trouble is, now this little piece of oak smells like a litter box that hasn't been cleaned in a month.