as regards to the vinigar and steel mix it works superb on Oak and some other woods - on Oak it's true it turns it jet Black in minutes as long as the mix is strong enough
heres how i make mine - use 500Ml Malt vinigar and one good handfull of steel nails (clean not rusty) put them in a jar with a lid on but leave the lid slightly undone so the mixture can breath - give it a stir every days for four or five days then it's good to use the longer you leave it the better it gets
as always try it on some scrap wood before using on your build
i used this mix on both the plank guitars - on sycamore it turns it a silver grey which is a fantastic base for adding a waulnut over stain followed Danish oil - the oak necks on the Plank guitars went jet black then i rubbed it back with some 240 grit to highlight the areas that would wear by constant use
Wes, thanks for this group, I'll mention the Potassium Permanganate again. It is a purple crystal you can buy at the hardware and mix it with water. It produces a purple solution that turns brown when dried on wood. The more you use the darker it gets. Remember the PP is poison so wear gloves.
Hi Steve Hardman here
I use food colouring thinned out with whatever spirit you are drinking [I used vodka].
You can get all the primary colours at a grocery store, and the vodka, do the staining then
drink what's left.
Cheers from the UK. By now.
Addendum -- I recently used the Vinegar/Steel Wool mix and had to add ink to make it blacker. Apparently the oak I was using did not have the needed amount of tannins. A test piece came out jet black, but the real piece came out a dirty asphalt color. I had to use black ink from an old ink jet printer. Worked well but DO NOT subject the stain to alcohol based solvents. This will take the black off. Test any piece for stain ability.
One other thing that I hear and tried -- soak whatever piece you want with a strong tea solution. It adds tannins which cause the blackening.
I have used Ritz clothing dye, roofing tar diluted with Goo be gone, De-Solv-it or other type tar grease, crayon removing solvent. I have used old latex house paint mixed with Ritz dye. Steel wool mixed with vinagar, this mixture works well on maple. I have also discouvered folks selling their half used old commercal stains at garage sales and swapmeets for cheap.
Try using tobacco or coffee with ammonia....Tobo is good for a light brown or honey and coffee is a good midtone brown.
I experimented with some rose buds and alcohol and got a good rosey color but I lost the sample so I dont know how good it lasts in uv light dont know if it goes brown.
I wish someone would send me some black walnut hulls....
Just tried the vinegar and steel mix as a stain on a maple-oak laminated neck.
Turned out great. The oak is turning a nice black, while the maple is a medium
brownish color. The black oak stripe really sets off the neck. Thanks for the tip.