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India Ink For Ebonizing Rosewood?

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Hey guys!

i have heard of a lot of people using leather dye to ebonize rosewood, but has anyone ever tried black india ink for the same task? i have an ibanez that has a very light reddish brown board, and i've always been partial to darker shades myself.

the only thing i am concerned about is the amount of water in the ink causing some mischief with the frets. anything to be worried about?

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You can actually use tea bark powder to make any wood that nice deep ebony tone, even something like poplar or pine. However, the application becomes trickier. Look for ebonizing wood in the articles section of popular woodworking. Oak and walnut are the woods with naturally higher tanin levels, but the tea bark introduces more into the wood.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been looking a LOT into that method for ebonizing. It uses vinegar and any iron/steel material, usually steel wool.

The method calls to soak/dissolve the steel wool in vinegar for 24 hours, some people do it a week or more. Rubbing that on the wood causes a chemical reaction to the tannins in the wood turning it black. I found an old woodworkers article that said he got the best results using rusty nails as opposed to steel wool.

Also, Ripthorn mentions bark powder but I'm going to go straight to the source and get some powdered tannic acid. Just make it into a "tea" and brush it on before the iron/vinegar wash. I've got a bass guitar with some relatively cheap parts that I'm willing to try it on.

My only question is how well chemically changed woods will react to oil finishes, as I'd rather not deal with shellac.

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