Author Topic: Vinegar Stain Help?  (Read 4572 times)

TENdriver

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Vinegar Stain Help?
« on: June 19, 2009, 03:13:56 AM »
I have a batch of vinegar stain that has been brewing for about a year.  My samples are black without a hint of orange/red.

I've added more vinegar but the stain is still black. 

Am I missing a step in the process?

Kevin H

Ephraim

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 05:02:33 AM »
Have you tried it on a piece of maple ? slop it on and heat it with a hair dryer it should turn brown .
Ephraim

long carabine

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 05:48:54 AM »
What type of vinegar did you use and did you use iron or steel wool? I suggest adding more vinegar, cider vinegar works the best. Mine brewed for about a month and turned out great!

Offline Bill of the 45th

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 05:53:51 AM »
What kind of iron were you using.  If your metal had any zinc or tin in it, the batch will be fouled.  If not try filtering some of the mix through some coffee filters, then apply to a test piece of maple, and after it's thoroughly dry apply heat from a heat gun, or gently with a flame.  Most hair dryers don't have enough heat.  you want to be just short of scorching.  Keep the source moving. Vinegar stains were the poor mans version of Aqua Fortis, and react less strongly than AF.  If you don't have scrap practice on a small area of the barrel channel.  It shouldn't take a year, as the small amount of acidity in vinegar will be used up quite quickly, unless you keep adding more.  French guns prefer wine vinegar. ;D :D

Bill
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long carabine

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 12:52:55 PM »
I used a piece of old wrought iron and also used rusted barb wire. Both turned out excellent.

TENdriver

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 11:17:13 PM »


Originally had three separate batches with clean nails, rusty iron and then steel wool.  They all looked the same and gave a black color so I combined them into a large container and added more cider vinegar.

I have scrap to test on to get an initial look at if it works.  I understand the color will change on stock but I'm looking for red-orange-brown so open to what I get but not the current black and blue.

I didn't apply heat.  I'll try that.  Anything else?


pflyman

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 12:12:13 AM »
I have toyed with several different batches...the first were with cider vinegar and steel wool.  I also tried degreasing steel wool.  In both cases the results were acceptable but certainly not red-brown.  Under the right light, they looked grey.  I then turned to rusty South Dakota barbed wire which I have been brewing for months.   The concoction looks like stain and went on a test strip of maple dark brown.  It also seemed to highlight any curl.  Right next to it I tried Aqua Fortis followed by heat to the Aqua Fortis but not to the vinegar.  The initial results were not greatly different...both were brown with perhaps more red to the AF.  I finshed both with a beeswax/ BLO/ Turpentine paste.  The following day, the AF area remained red-brown.  The vinegar area had a grey component depending on the light.  While I am leaning toward AF currently, perhaps I should consider trying the heat on the vinegar.  On the other hand, perhaps even the rusty SoDak barbed wire I found in the pasture had some zinc in it?

Offline Long John

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 01:53:18 AM »
Search the archives for vinegar stain.  There is a lot on it.

I am on the road today so I can't reply in detail but......

If your stain is black you are getting ferrous oxide not ferric oxide.  To get ferric oxide you add vinegar.  Keep in mind this is NOT a Polaroid product!  The reaction takes time!  If you are in a hurry then use the nitric acid. 

You heat nitric acid stain to boil off the nitric acid and leave behind iron oxide (ferric oxide).  Vinegar is an acetic acid solution.  The acetic acid will leave on its own - no need to heat.  If it doesn't smell like salad dressing the acetic acid is gone.

My crock of vinegar stain has been on the shelf for almost 20 years.  I just add vinegar to make up for evaporation.  Every rifle I have made in the past 10 years has been stained with the suff from the same crock.

I would decant the liquid stain that you have into a separate, clean glass or stainless steel container.  Add an equle volume of fresh cider vinegar (not that cider vinegar is special, I just like to support the apple growers).  Leave it for a week or gently warm it for an hour or so.  that should push teh solution toward the ferric acetate rather than the ferrous acetate.  This will work as long as you used fairly pure iron.  Steel wool and other steels often have alloying metals in the mix that might mess with the chemistry.

I hope this helps.

John Cholin

long carabine

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 12:57:06 PM »
I don't know the chemestry part of the stain but what i do know is that if you add more vinegar to your mix it will turn the wood a more brown color.

Offline Z. Buck

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Re: Vinegar Stain Help?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2009, 06:36:12 PM »
the aqua fortis solution i used turned my stock grey green then i heated it and it stayed grey green, and i was really worried at that point, then i used solution of water with baking soda dissolved in it and turned that on the stock and it turned a beautiful red brown color... dont know if it would help with the vinegar stain or not...but worth a try
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