I’ve been doing some finish samples on scraps of White Oak to figure out what how I want to finish the cabinet. I’d previously done an experiment with dyes and gel stains that gave decent results. My only complaint was that the ray fleck figure wasn’t as dramatic as I’d hoped.
I decided to try fuming some scraps to see how that would work. I set up some offcuts on the floor and made a box out of 1/8″ MDF scraps and packing tape for the fuming chamber. I’m using Janitorial-strength Ammonia. I know there are stronger (and weaker) concentrations, this is what I could find at the local hardware store.
I pulled a sample at three hours, another a 7 hours — and then I went to bed. The next sample came out this morning before work, at about 17 hours. I left a few pieces in until this afternoon, clocking in at 24 hours. This pic shows the range from zero to three, seven, 17 and 24 hours. The color is progressive, although it’s not as clear in the photograph as it is in person.
I had a larger piece in with the samples that I pulled at 17 hours. It’s fairly dark compared to the un-fumed sample. I rubbed in a coat of plain linseed oil, gave it a quick topcoat of garnet shellac and a coat of brown wax. Here is the comparison with the original two finish samples. I don’t know if I like the fumed sample, I’ll need to look at it in the daylight. The ray flecks seem more distinct, but it’s “brown-er” than I wanted. Hmmm…