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Daniel W

White vinegar and scale makes?

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In order to remove scale from some of my projects I've been using just pain old white vinegar, been suing the same gallon for a while.  It's slow but safe in that if it were to spill its not going to eat away at my floor like more potent acids would. 

The gallon has now turned to a nice rich red which I should change out.  I'm no chemist and I think it is just liquid rust at this point but what is it, technically? 

 

It's silly, but I do know that whatever this mixture is, it can be used as an aging agent on wood. 

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Certainly. The old Kentucky rifle makers would put cut nails in vinegar and use it on the maple rifle stocks. Exposing it to flame gave a certain unique coloring.

 

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O boy Vern I saw that on a really old PBS show of a gunsmith that used ferric chloride and heat to make that nice rich red stain!!!

I never used it that way, and never this concentrated with rust, when I used it before, it turned the wood to a really gray/green weathered look.  Maybe I should try it again?

 

 

I did not know if this was ferric chloride although it resembles it, in viscosity and general look. 

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Did you run the stained wood through a flame ?

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You can use that stuff on leather too, as a black dye replacement. It gives it a nice even finish That won’t come off on your handles like dye does. If it’s not potent enough it will just turn the leather grey.

edit: just remember it will smell like vinegar!

Edited by Mason Simonet

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It's ferric acetate, not ferric chloride.  It turns stuff black if it is black, gray if it's not.  The stuff used on maple is ferric nitrate.  Far better at bringing out the curl. The acetate seems muddy in comparison, and not nearly as vibrant.  It will blacken oak pretty well if it's strong enough, but burning it off is required.  On leather it's called vinegaroon, and makes a soft black that smells like pickles for a few days.  No heat on leather, though!

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Iron acetate is used to ebonize woods with a high tannin content. Red oak and walnut are the most common.

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