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I Forge Iron

Quick Weathering?


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I have been asked to make some wooden crosses with some iron work attached. Crucifixes.

I have some old weathered barn boards that I think would look perfect for the project, but the board would have to be ripped to 1&1/2 in. width.....maybe 2 in.

Well, the problem is, on every piece there would be a' fresh sawed' side that would not match the rest at all.

Since I know there are a bunch of woodworkers out there, and I have 3 or 4 months to come up with an idea.......

How can you artificially age or weather a piece of wood?....In this case, oak?

Any info greatly appreciated!

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not sure about other species. Place a pad of steel wool in a pint of white vinegar. In a couple of days the steel wool will dissolve. Strain the vinegar (it will have some "stuff" floating in it) an brush on the "raw" wood. May take a couple-three applications. I was pleased with the results a few years ago. I was making some rustic picture frames from rough lumber. The above process made them look aged. Good luck...bart

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  • 3 months later...

Seems like it's been forever since I started this project. (I've been 'sidelined' for a while).

Anyway, I finally finished some crucifixes and took some pictures!

I took a very simple approach to the 'ageing' part of it.

After I pre-cut the wood, I simply brushed some vinegar on the fresh cut sides. Since I couldn't finish the work in a timely manner as I had originally planned, I also placed the wood outside for a few weeks.

So, I guess the results are a combination of vinegar and natural weathering.........oh, well.........

Any way, here are some pics........



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Having made similar items, here are some of the ideas that I have used on PINE. Hardwoods should work much the same.
1. When making a lot of Southwest style furniture, I gang mounted 10 wire brushs side by side on a horizonal shaft over an adjustable bed, powered by 1 hp motor. Strips the soft material right out leaving 'weathered' ridges of the harder stuff. Without a power feed, a SCARY tool to use. Never got around to reducing the RPMs

2. For small quantities, I just use the wire brush on my bench grinder.

3. Make a stain by soaking iron scale/nails/ or floor sweepings in vinegar for 48 hrs. Gives a gray color if diluted or a dull purple color full strength. Test first because it darkens a lot after reacting with the wood.

4. Wood leaching removes the hygroscopic elements- sugar/starch/protein/lignin, leaving harder elements. Only formula I have is water/lime/detergent and 2% sodium hydroxide by volume. Multiple application to desired gray color.

5. Use Minwax Polysealer in spray can. Let dry and buff with Scochbrite pad to denib and then reapply second coat.

Another idea is to make a crown of thorns from black anodized/annealed craft wire.. We make the thorns by twisting short pcs around a small finish nail, thread them onto a longer wire, spacing them accordingly. Add two more long pcs, holding one end in a vice grip with the other end in a drill and twisting. Then trim thorns to length.

Hope you will post pics later

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