A long summer

This summer has been full of visitors.  Children, grandchildren, cousins and friends.  It’s been wonderful just spending time with the people who are most important to us.  Of course, visitors means very little work gets done in the shop.

That said, Les and I have been able to get a few small projects done.  We’ve just about completed two contemporary tables, one for each household.  Les’ is constructed completely of Blood Wood.  Mine has a Blood Wood top and a Walnut base, which will be ebonized and finished in oil.  Les’ table and both tops will be finished with lacquer.



We’re working from a plan on this project, which is very unusual for both of us.  We’ve made very few modifications.  One notable exception was the use of a sliding dovetail to join the cross members to the aprons, rather than a through mortise, as drawn.  The dovetail is pinned from the face, both a structural and decorative consideration.


My next step was the ebonizing process.  As usual, I painted the base with a coat of tannic acid.  When there was no free moisture on the surface, I applied iron acetate (vinegar and iron), creating an almost instantaneous blackening.  After the iron acetate coat was dry to the touch, I applied another wash of tannic acid.  This insures complete reaction with any remaining iron.  A precipitate (iron oxide) raises and this must be removed when the surface is dry.  A buffing pad or steel wool and a little elbow grease gets the job done in fairly short order.  The following images show before and after buffing, prior to oiling.



It’s good to be back to work!

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One Comment on “A long summer”

  1. Matt McGrane Says:

    The tables look really great, Dennis. I always love your work and find it an inspiration. I recently tried ebonizing an oak picture frame that I made after reading your 2013 blog about it as well as some instruction by Richard McGuire. It came out great. Glad you’re back in the shop.

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