Printer's Ammonia

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Ozzie-x

New User
Randy
Re: Great addition

Mountaincraft said:
Where does one get printers ammonia (30-50%) around here?
I've been getting it at Imaging Technologies in Asheville. I think it's only 15% and works kinda slow, but it works. If someone wanted to get real serious about it, the specialty bottled guys companies have bottled gaseous 100% ammonia available. Not sure about the cost, probably not cheap.
 

SteveColes

Steve
Staff member
Corporate Member
Sorry guys, I could see this becoming a topic all on its own. So I just split it off.

Now to my question. what is printer's ammonia and why would I just in a finishing project. Sorry to be dense:?:
 

woodguy1975

New User
John
Yeah, the ammonia that is used for the old blue print machines is pretty high purity. Not sure where to get it myself though. Drafting supply houses are where you want to go, but don't know where there is one at. You might be finding the strongest that is available in your area.

Fuming creates a wonder color on white oak.

John
 

Mountaincraft

New User
William
An alkaline reaction in wood often darkens it the way age does. This is particularly true in nut woods (oak, pecan, walnut, etc.) but works on other woods as well. You can use red devil lye (not draino) in solution, but you have to neutralize it with white vinegar. This raises the grain on the wood, as well as creates odd reactions and tool corrosion. Fuming the wood with ammonia causes the same reaction, plus all reagents completely evaporate on ventilation.

I feel reasonably sure that 100% ammonia is most illegal. Furley dangerous stuff.

If you feel like fuming wood, make an air tight box OUTSIDE of your house or shop (with cross ventilation flaps). Leave a small hole (about 1/2) near the top. Put in the wood supported by the minimum for complete airflow (I like .060 weedeater line or STAINLESS nail supports). Put between 1/2 cup and two cups (depending on wood and box size) of printers ammonia into a plastic or stainless bowl. You may want to use a full face gas mask, unless you love pain. Place in the box below the boards and seal up. With 30 to 50%, this will take about 12 to 24 hours of fume time. Afterwards, remove excess ammonia in bowl (full face mask) and allow to ventilate until the smell is gone. I generally fume completed or semicompleted pieces, as sanding will cut through the effect.
 
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chris99z71

New User
Chris
FYI. I'd be really careful with the inquiries I made about purchasing ammonia. It's one of the key ingredients in making methamphetamines. It's proably one of the more frequenly stolen chemicals just for that reason.
 

Mountaincraft

New User
William
I noticed this one died with the knowledge of drug manufacturing. The stuff I could do (and any one else here) with the stuff in my (and your) shop, if so inclined. Remember radial arm saw board throwing contests? I still would like a 5 gallon pour bucket of 50% ammonia. Does this put me on a Homeland Security list?
 

chris99z71

New User
Chris
Sorry, my intent was certainly not to try dissuading anyone from finishing techniques with ammonia. Just a heads up that you may have some interesting questions to answer if you ask the wrong person for concentrated ammonia...
 
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