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 Post subject: Grebe CR-8 cabinet in sad shape
PostPosted: Mar Thu 08, 2018 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Sep Mon 22, 2014 5:50 am
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Location: California 95404
This is my first encounter with a fumed oak cabinet. It will need some new wood because of water damage and corners that appear to have been gnawed away. But by using the back of the radio as donor, I should need just one new piece of oak. I've read up on ammonium hydroxide fuming but I am not sure what the finished wood should look like. Existing wood, where not water damaged, is so black that it completely obscures the wood grain and color and I hope I don't need to go that dark in order to keep it looking original. I'd appreciate comments by anyone who has done fuming or has personal experience with this radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Grebe CR-8 cabinet in sad shape
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2018 3:25 am 
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Location: Tiger, GA 30576
I've fumed a few pieces in the past. As you probably know, a strong solution of ammonia is recommended (the kind that use to be used for developing blueprints). I, however, used off-the-shelf household ammonia and was able to develop a nice deep caramel tone to the oak over a week or so - changing out the ammonia solution every couple of days. You need to be aware of species - I can't remember which. but one (red vs white oak) fumes much better than the other. I've seen the dark black oak cabinets you describe on some of the Grebe sets - and I believe that's probably from ebonizing - rather than fuming..... I'm not sure ammonia fuming would ever get it that dark. You would probably be able to achieve a better match from a dark (? ebony) stain - or you could try the ebonizing process described in this video....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPArMP3zkYQ

Hope this helps....

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 Post subject: Re: Grebe CR-8 cabinet in sad shape
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2018 5:48 am 
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Joined: Sep Mon 22, 2014 5:50 am
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Thanks jgj. A search on youtube for ebonizing turned up several techniques worth experimenting with, especially for the blackish interior and I am going to explore a couple.
Ace Hardware was the only store that I could find that stocked 10% NaOH solution (at $6/gallon). Household ammonia is about 2% and the expensive industrial stuff is about 28-30%. Working with the 10% ammonia is nasty enough and convinced me that I didn't want to work with anything stronger. I am sure that my Grebe cabinet is white oak and it responds nicely to the ammonia fumes, though I haven't yet tried a long duration fuming to get an extremely dark stain.
Because the cabinet bottom had both some warp and pretty bad cupping, I made a simple steambox for that single piece and had a go at my first attempt at steaming. I couldn't have hoped for a better result.


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 Post subject: Re: Grebe CR-8 cabinet in sad shape
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2018 2:01 pm 
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DL,

Here are 2 examples of items that I fumed. Both were white oak - and were really quite white, new wood when I started.
On the repro crystal detector, it was only the base that was fumed. The darker piece isn't oak and was stained. Both pieces
were waxed with Briwax after fuming.

Image

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"Uva Uvam Videndo Varia Fit"


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 Post subject: Re: Grebe CR-8 cabinet in sad shape
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Sep Mon 22, 2014 5:50 am
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Location: California 95404
Yes! And very close to what I think would be appropriate for the Grebe, though I think I will try for a bit darker look.


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