Iron nitrate after stains

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Zutt-man

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Hello folks! First time poster, long time shooter.

I’m putting together my first rifle (.62/20 gauge) and am looking for suggestions, maybe photos, on a cherry stain with iron nitrate on a curly maple stock. I’ve decided on my second rifle (.54) I’ll do iron nitrate with tannic acid (I really enjoy the way Kibler’s rifles look), but I wanted my first build to be a cherry look.

I’ve seen instances where guys start with honey maple and then apply iron nitrate. Just wondered if cherry would have a similar affect, or if it should be applied after (or no iron nitrate at all). Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 
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Potassium dichromate will darken cherry without any other treatment. It has quite a few industrial applications, however it is also considered potentially carcinogenic so it must be handled with care. I have a small quantity i secure to prevent unintentional use by anyone else. I use mask and rubber gloves when handling it. I don't overly worry about it. I've already had cancer so I think I'm immune.:oops:
 

Zutt-man

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Potassium dichromate will darken cherry without any other treatment. It has quite a few industrial applications, however it is also considered potentially carcinogenic so it must be handled with care. I have a small quantity i secure to prevent unintentional use by anyone else. I use mask and rubber gloves when handling it. I don't overly worry about it. I've already had cancer so I think I'm immune.:oops:
Darken cherry wood or stain?
 

58 Caliber

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He wants to know what stain to use with iron nitrate on a maple stock to have a cherry color.
 

plmeek

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Iron nitrate (often marketed as AQUAFORTIS Reagent) is usually blushed with heat after it has dried on the wood. For this reason, you probably want to apply it first to your stock followed by a water base or alcohol based stain such as Laurel Mountain Forge stain. LMF stains come in a number of different colors. The Cherry, Maple, and Lancaster Maple stains will give you varying degrees of red on top of the effect you get with iron nitrate.



Here is a picture where I experiemented with various combinations of iron nitrate stains and LMF stains.

IMG_3079_labeled.jpg
 

Zutt-man

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Iron nitrate (often marketed as AQUAFORTIS Reagent) is usually blushed with heat after it has dried on the wood. For this reason, you probably want to apply it first to your stock followed by a water base or alcohol based stain such as Laurel Mountain Forge stain. LMF stains come in a number of different colors. The Cherry, Maple, and Lancaster Maple stains will give you varying degrees of red on top of the effect you get with iron nitrate.



Here is a picture where I experiemented with various combinations of iron nitrate stains and LMF stains.

View attachment 63870
I haven’t seen the first demographic. It is very insightful. I guess I was under the impression the stain needed to be applied before the iron nitrate as a base and reapplied after to reach desired results. Thanks!
 

oldwood

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Been doing this for 50+ years........to eliminate the need for harsh unpredictable acids or bases that can turn green or very dark over time , try Febing's black alcohol stain first. (Eliminates the chemicals for a base stain , and can lightened by adding 90% strength rubbing alcohol.) Dry the alcohol w/ heat gun and whiskers come up immediately. OOOO steel wool , then after you mix a couple Febing's alco. stains , red , yellow , orange , tan , etc . and try on some wood samples , apply over the black and heat gun dry , and again , OOOO steel wool. No two pieces of maple are the same , as hardness , density , figure , and grain can vary. Once you get the hang of alcohol stains and the control of color they give , you might like it. Alcohol stains , all colors , can be ordered from Leather Unlimited , Tandy , and other places. ............oldwood
 

oldwood

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Capt. "bout the first four guns I built long time ago , I was very disappointed in the chemical stain results. First longrifle I constructed 1972 , I followed the instructions in some book on "how to do it" with chemicals. The maple turned a lovely dark chestnut brown with black back ground. A friend had this rifle , so I could monitor the finish over time. Well with in one year , the maple took on a pale greenish cast with black back ground. In the mean time , a friend of mine had precarved some bicentennial long rifle stocks , and I built one of those for a target rifle for myself, stained as above. Sadly , the wood on that rifle reacted the same as the other one. Not one to become brainwashed into previous published mistakes made by other m/l builder 's , I began experimenting. Having seen many , many original rifles , the colors couldn't be matched w/o doing something different. That began my adventure w/ alcohol stains........................0ldwood
 
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Darken cherry wood or stain?
Potassium dichromate is an oxidizer it will cause cherry to darken as if it had long exposure to light and air. It is not a stain but a way to accelerate the aging process. Cherry is photo sensitive and will naturally darken if exposed to daylight. It sorta sun tans. The chemical is just a way to tan it faster. I have tried PD on a beech wood stock and it caused the wood to turn a weathered gray. PD will react differently on different woods, but it will cause all to look aged.

I believe I found my supply, about 4oz, on ebay. I think it also used to color fireworks.
 

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Oldwood, I have used the acid stain and found it far less predictable than Laurel Mountain stain or a good leather dye. I use a lot of Kelly’s Medium Brown leather dye for that reddish tint found on original rifles. Sometimes it’s the last stain I try, then think “When all else fails”. That way, when I pull one out of the gun safe after a year or so I don’t find a green stock with black stripes, even after neutralizing
the acid per the “how to do it” book.
 

stank

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I’ve only built a couple guns. My advise is whatever you use. Test it on some scrap wood first. Preferably scrap from the same wood the stock was made from if you have some
Stank
 

Flintandsteel

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First of all, properly applied and blushed aqua fortis WILL NOT turn green. I choose to use ferric nitrate ( which is what is produced by dissolving iron in nitric acid) no neutralizing is required. There is nothing that will bring out figure better in maple.
you get the color you get, based on the chemical make up of the particular piece of maple. The tannins in the wood is what reacts with the ferric nitrate. You can even add some with tannic acid.
After the ferric nitrate, you can use an alcohol based stain to tone it the way you like.
 

jfahlingsr

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Capt. "bout the first four guns I built long time ago , I was very disappointed in the chemical stain results. First longrifle I constructed 1972 , I followed the instructions in some book on "how to do it" with chemicals. The maple turned a lovely dark chestnut brown with black back ground. A friend had this rifle , so I could monitor the finish over time. Well with in one year , the maple took on a pale greenish cast with black back ground. In the mean time , a friend of mine had precarved some bicentennial long rifle stocks , and I built one of those for a target rifle for myself, stained as above. Sadly , the wood on that rifle reacted the same as the other one. Not one to become brainwashed into previous published mistakes made by other m/l builder 's , I began experimenting. Having seen many , many original rifles , the colors couldn't be matched w/o doing something different. That began my adventure w/ alcohol stains........................0ldwood
My experience ( only 30 years worth), indicates the need to follow aquifortist
 

jfahlingsr

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with a solution of baking soda or other base chemical to counter the acid that causes the green color. Sorry for the earlier mis-step on posting the incomplete reply.
 

Cpt Flint

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We have used acid stains and it works. I have tried both methods and prefer to blend Laurel Mountain stains.
I do agree that Aqua Fortis keeps on working until you neutralize it.
 

Zonie

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I don't know about others but I would use vinegar to neutralize it.

Baking soda and water will tend to fill the pores in the wood and will become white when it drys.
 

jfahlingsr

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I don't know about others but I would use vinegar to neutralize it.

Baking soda and water will tend to fill the pores in the wood and will become white when it drys.
Never tried vinegar as it's an acid too and don't see how it could neutralize another acid. I never had any trouble with soda turning pores white or leaving any white residue and used Aquafortis in a solution of water and soda on my 1st 10 hard maple guns. I stopped using Aquafortis after my base relief carving got more detailed and was always on edge the heat would ruin some carving. ( it's a little tense when a small raised part starts to char.) Went to LMF without the Aquafortis sometimes adding a little Fiebings black leather dye which seems to bring out a darker curl. About 1990 I went to Dixie to pick up some parts and bought a bottle of Lancaster redish stain, at home saw the Dixie label was a little loose and saw there was another label under it. Peeled the Dixie off and saw the shoe leather dye label under it. Think it was Fiebing
.
 

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