Author Topic: Lighter Aquafortis ?  (Read 10058 times)

Offline ptk1126

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Lighter Aquafortis ?
« on: January 07, 2010, 06:11:11 PM »
I experimented for the first time with AF on a piece of scrap from my current project.
One coat of Wahkon Bay AF and one coat of BLO



Although it may be difficult to tell from the pic, I really love the depth and the way the curl
stands out. However, the color is much darker than what I am looking for:



I have gone thru the archives of AF topics and seen a few examples of much lighter AF applications.
The theme seems to be to dilute the AF with distilled water in varying proportions until the desired
shade is achieved.

For those of you who have done such experiments, would you suggest a starting point or any
other ideas for the lighter shade I would like ? Obviously I would probably never get a match, but
would like it much lighter than the first try.

Thanks
Paul

Offline Lucky R A

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 06:56:36 PM »
     If you want the light yellow color shown in your example use Laurel Mountain Forge Honey Maple stain and dilute it a bit with alcohol.   
"The highest reward that God gives us for good work is the ability to do better work."  - Elbert Hubbard

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 07:31:06 PM »
You would be better off to buy ferric nitrate or make your own with nitric acid rather than using Wahkon Bay. Unless the formula has been changed recently it is adulterated with hydrochloric and makes the color too brown and muddy looking.


This is AF made with nitric, water and iron. Finished with home cooked BLO.



Dan
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 08:01:33 PM »
It's possible to get a lot of different results with diluted batches and multiple applications, and by adding a wash over top of potassium permanganate.  I know that stuff does not wear well, but if you're looking for aging a gun (nother topic) it doesn't hurt to have a top wash wear off.  The KMnO4 gives the purplish casts.  Here is one block of curly maple, unstained, stained with dilute AQF, stronger AQF, multiple applications, +/- KMnO4.

A is unstained.  B used dilute AQF, once.
E is multiple applications of the AQF batch used in B.
C is a stronger batch of AQF applied multiple times.

D and F are like their partners to their right except they have the KMnO4 wash.  See the purplish cast.


« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 08:10:05 PM by richpierce »
Andover, Vermont

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 08:16:29 PM »
Where can ferric nitrate be purchased?

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 09:13:10 PM »
Where can ferric nitrate be purchased?

Search the WWW for chemical suppliers or ferric nitrate.
http://secure.sciencecompany.com/Ferric-Nitrate-100g-P6384C670.aspx
Dan
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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 01:33:21 AM »
Jim Kibler kindly gave me a jar of his AF last Dixon's.

This is one application; no, two, actually, if my Roger Fisher serves me right. I didn't dilute at all, but the darkest I could get it is not as dark as the Wahkon Bay dark in the first post. You've got nothing to lose by watering it down a bit with distilled water.

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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 01:38:12 AM »
Rich, what's the "KMnO4" ?
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2010, 02:26:35 AM »
KMnO4 = potassium permanganate. I'm not a pre-med dropout for nothin'.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." Mae West

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2010, 03:38:36 AM »
Quote
Rich, what's the "KMnO4" ?

It's a chemistry test
BaNa2
HIOAg
K9P
Dave Kanger

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Dean D.

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2010, 10:35:45 PM »
I really appreciate this question and the replies on this thread.  I am building my first rifle and rapidly approaching the point of staining the wood. 

I found Rich's illustration especially informative as this will be my first attempt using AF.

Thanks for asking this question Paul!

Dean D.

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 11:14:17 PM »
If you don't want to mess with acid etc. Just get some Ferric Nitrate and try different dilutions in distilled water to do your testing. No acid. easy to  mix and a small bottle of crystals does a lot of guns.  The precipitate from Nitric acid and iron (aquafortis) that makes the stain is Ferric Nitrate.  I appreciate original methods but the acid situation wouldn't fly around my suburban house.  :o :o
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Offline Pete G.

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 01:55:20 AM »
As a safety measure always dilute acid by adding it to water, not by adding water to acid.

I couldn't help but remember my old chemistry proffessor's admonition....
"Acid to water, just like you oughter".


Offline Metalshaper

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 06:33:43 AM »
As a safety measure always dilute acid by adding it to water, not by adding water to acid.

I couldn't help but remember my old chemistry proffessor's admonition....
"Acid to water, just like you oughter".

 and the second line ...   Water to acid, prepare to be blasted!

 at least that's what my old Lab director use to tell all of us!

Respect Always
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Offline E.vonAschwege

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 07:51:10 AM »
I tried a bottle of WB aquafortis a couple years back and found it to be way too dark for my tastes.  I meddled with it by adding some more iron to it, helped it immensely!  I never dilluted it with water though, I wonder what that'd look like?  Here's a link to the archives with some pictures.  http://americanlongrifles.org/old_board/index.php?topic=9786.0  Hope this helps,
-Eric
Former Gunsmith, Colonial Williamsburg www.vonaschwegeflintlocks.com

Offline E.vonAschwege

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 07:53:33 AM »
Oh yeah, I've also used ferric nitrate crystals dissolved in water.  Creates a light amber color that gets lighter with a rinse of ammonia (whether ferric nitrate in water actually needs to be neutralized, I don't know). 
Former Gunsmith, Colonial Williamsburg www.vonaschwegeflintlocks.com

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 04:27:07 PM »
That's great Eric. Good to have you back on line!
Tom
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California Kid

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 11:35:55 PM »
Eric what proportions did you mix it with? I just got a jug of crystals and am going  to experiment with it.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2010, 12:10:41 AM »
Oh yeah, I've also used ferric nitrate crystals dissolved in water.  Creates a light amber color that gets lighter with a rinse of ammonia (whether ferric nitrate in water actually needs to be neutralized, I don't know). 

Did you get good clarity with the ferric nitrate compared to AQF?  I know there should be no difference, but sometimes some stains look clearer, and others, not so much.
Andover, Vermont

California Kid

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2010, 12:23:43 AM »
Rich, I'm curious as well. Eric, got pics? Would like to see the color you got.

Offline E.vonAschwege

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2010, 03:01:19 AM »
Are the crystals you have purple-ish in color?  I found a little goes a long way.  I mixed them in by the teaspoon, maybe 1tsp per half cup of water?  That's really a rough estimate, dump some in, see what you like, then add or subtract. 

It's weird, they're purple, and don't have any smell... then you add them to water, the water turns amber in color, and smells just like home brew aquafortis. 

If you use too much of the crystals, I did find it muddied the grain a slight bit, but didn't make things significantly darker. 

Here's a photo of my first rifle 6 years ago, I cringe that I'm posting this online...  This had two or three coats of the stuff, because I wanted darker, but didn't have real aquafortis at the time, and didn't know about LMF analine stains either.  One coat alone is lighter than the stock shows.  I used one light coat on a pistol I'm finishing up, I'll snap a photo of the base color and post it tomorrow. 
 
Former Gunsmith, Colonial Williamsburg www.vonaschwegeflintlocks.com

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2010, 03:16:18 AM »
How could you post a rifle like that?  :o

I wish I had my first rifle to post. You'd be feeling a lot better about yours, Eric.
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California Kid

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2010, 03:23:32 AM »
Just looked at them, and are more of a pinkish cast. Got them from the Science Co. Flint riflesmith recommended 50-50 mix. I've seen 2-1, and 3-1 posted here as well. I'm looking for a darker more reddish color than your pic. Have to experiment.
Don't listen to that ACER guy, nothing wrong with that rifle. HA HA
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 03:25:11 AM by California Kid »

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2010, 09:56:16 PM »
you can use the Ferric Nitrate to set your base stain and then use an aniline stain to darken as you like, or even garnet shellac as a sealer will darken and redden it..... too dark, steel wool will lighten it
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California Kid

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Re: Lighter Aquafortis ?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2010, 10:34:35 PM »
It depends on the paticular piece of wood you have as well, they all stain differently.