Author Topic: Neutralizing AF?  (Read 833 times)

Offline mupperm

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Neutralizing AF?
« on: July 15, 2018, 03:43:37 AM »
I recently stained my rifle stock with AF,  do i now need to neutralize the AF, and if so what is the best thing to use?



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Offline davebozell

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 03:44:44 AM »
I use ammonia.  No residue from baking soda and the ammonia smell does not last very long.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2018, 03:49:14 AM »
Im not sure the ferric nitrate crystals AF needs neutralizing.  Mr. Bubbles finds that neutralizing with lye gives a very warm color to the staining.  Course then you have to neutralize the lye with acid..... just kidding.

With nitric acid and water saturated with iron Ive always neutralized with baking soda.  Just convenient and safe.
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Offline deepcreekdale

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2018, 05:54:27 PM »
I did one stock in AF without neutralizing, looked great but did darken considerably over the years. All others I have neutralized either with ammonia or baking soda/water paste. They seemed to hold their color better.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2018, 08:46:30 PM »
I use ammonia.  Easy, and no leftover 'grit' or white haze as with baking soda.  I used to not worry about neutralizing but about 15 years in when I began to see guns that I had stained that were 10-15 years old, and were practically black, figured I better do something about it.  Very few people today use these guns consistently enough or hard enough to keep an AF stained stock from going excessively dark overall.

Offline SingleMalt

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2018, 10:51:22 PM »
I've used a lye solution.  Maybe a teaspoon to a gallon of water.  It reddens the AF treated stock a tad.  Then flush with plain water.  Works great.
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Offline mupperm

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 12:08:03 AM »
when you use ammonia,  what are you all using?  the amount in Windex, is that enough, or where should i source it?
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Offline J. Talbert

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 12:38:32 AM »
You can get ammonia in the cleaning supplies at the hardware store.  No doubt, Lowes or Home Depot i would guess.

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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2018, 01:33:41 AM »
The grocery store.  Plain old household ammonia - you do not need a strong concentration as then you end up with the same issues as using lye solutions, the need to rinse.  The idea is to use as little H2O products on the stock as possible.

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2018, 02:27:13 AM »
when you use ammonia,  what are you all using?  the amount in Windex, is that enough, or where should i source it?

I picked up a half-gallon at Sav-a-lot grocery today and next door at Ace hardware they have double-strength (which I bought once--and it's REALLY righteous stuff).  I have no need to buy the "extra stout" again.




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Offline Scota4570

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2018, 03:28:40 AM »
Anyone ever actually test AF treated wood....AF from crystals, to see if it is actually acidic?  IT would be a simple matter to wet the treated wood and test the wet wood with pH paper.  If it were significantly acidic I would expect to rust the heck out of the metal parts.  Sounds like something I should check out on the next stock finish job.

10 minuets later...

I tested my AF made from crystals, using pH paper for fish tanks.  I got 6.2.  Could be the paper is not right for this sort of thing, or it's not terribly acidic. 
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:37:05 AM by Scota4570 »

Offline tallbear

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2018, 04:08:45 AM »
I have always used household ammonia to neutralize my homemade Nitrate of Iron stain.When properly made the stain should not be very acidic but I've always done it an am pleased with the results.It does impart some red hues to the wood although sometimes the reds fade a bit over a long time.After staining  and blushing twice I whisker the stock with a fine scotch bright pad.Then I use the ammonia on a rag to clean the dust left from whiskering.Then on to finish, The ammonia does not seem to raise the grain much which is a benefit over other solutions.

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Offline Stophel

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2018, 08:22:13 AM »
I was about to ask the same thing, if you all were using blue glass cleaner or what.  What kind of mixture, more or less, are you using of household ammonia?

I have been using lye for years.  It does eat my fingerprints off, but it works, and does turn the color a bit more red.  I rinse the stock off afterwards with the garden hose.  By the time I'm done staining, there is NO more grain raising anyway, so that hasn't been a concern.

Many years ago, I did two modern gun stocks (one birch, one beech) with A.F. and didn't neutralize.  Within 5 years the birch was almost black, and the beech was VERY dark red.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 08:24:42 AM by Stophel »
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Offline tallbear

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2018, 03:14:43 PM »
I just use it straight out of the bottle on a rag.

Mitch




Offline WadePatton

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 05:06:02 PM »
Anyone ever actually test AF treated wood....AF from crystals, to see if it is actually acidic?  IT would be a simple matter to wet the treated wood and test the wet wood with pH paper.  If it were significantly acidic I would expect to rust the heck out of the metal parts.  Sounds like something I should check out on the next stock finish job.

10 minuets later...

I tested my AF made from crystals, using pH paper for fish tanks.  I got 6.2.  Could be the paper is not right for this sort of thing, or it's not terribly acidic.

I have seen this topic brought up repeatedly over the years. 

And in these discussions some folks say that you should dissolve -more- iron into your solution (if you bought it or made it) until it will "take no more iron".  This should "use up" most of the acidity and therefore require less or no "neutralization".   I'm no chemist. I cannot recall if I neutralized or not. 

But personally and for lots of things, I prefer to use lye (but have yet to do so on a gunstock). Also you can make your own lye if you want to be old timey.


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Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2018, 05:43:57 PM »
So, I'm one of those who don't neutralize.  It just never has caused me any trouble, so I don't.  Believe me, I'm all about not doing any step that I don't think is necessary.  I've not noticed any considerable change in rifles I've built over the years as well. 

As far as those who don't neutralize, there's a pretty good number of highly respected builders who choose not to as well.  Guess it's just one of those things that you have to find out what works best for you and what you prefer.

Jim

Online Mauser06

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2018, 08:03:46 PM »









Same rifle about a year and a half apart.  First pic was right after I finished it. 2nd was about 6 months..last about a year and a half..  I will agree the pics have different lighting etc and it does look different in different lighting...but it's definitely darker.


It was not neutralized.

But, I don't have a problem with it turning darker. I actually like it.  Maybe I will neutralize the one I'm about to finish...but, I plan to take it darker prior to finishing and hope to "lock" the colors down.

Offline little joe

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 08:46:10 PM »
I use Majic Maple 50-50 with water. One coat usually does it. I still have my 1982 flinter and it has not darkened any. I never neutralize.

Online Mr. Bubbles

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Re: Neutralizing AF?
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2018, 12:19:03 AM »
So if you neutralize the AF with a highly concentrated batch of lye, the stuff that will burn you, you will get a very basic pH.  Will that cause a discoloration later on as well?