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g4ghb
06-03-09, 11:40 AM
There has been some discussion regarding colouring leather using vinagaroon in the past so here is how I make and use it. I posted it initally over on BCUK but thought it would probably be of interest here too:rolleyes:




MAKING VINEGAROON


‘Ingredients’ – Steel wool & Distilled Vinegar

This batch was made using an old brillo pad which was washed till no soap remained then left to rust in a jar.
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/7959/hpim1128.jpg

To speed the rusting along I rinse the wool with a little water then pour out the excess to keep it damp for a few days.
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/7605/hpim1130.jpg

Fill up your jar with the wool in it with distilled vinegar (this is Tesco value brand!)
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/4817/hpim1134.jpg

And give it a good shake – it will look like brown muddy sludge – NOTE – ensure you loosen off the lid aftwards! (it will produce gas and build up pressure while ‘brewing’ and it can explode if you leave the lid firmly on.
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/8161/hpim1145.jpg

After a few days it will look like this – you can see the bubbles still being produced!
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/6853/hpim1142.jpg

Lock the lid back on and give it another good shake before loosening off and leaving for another couple of days – repeat this for about a week till the wool is dissolved away.
It will probably still be cloudy sludge looking so I filter through a piece of kitchen paper to take out the big bits
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/9067/hpim1148.jpg

Once filtered it should look a little like weak back tea – ENSURE you label it well!
http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/3802/hpim1149.jpg

You can use it straight away but I have found it better to leave it a couple of days to ‘mature’ – it kinda clears and looks more like a liquid rather than a solution if that makes sense.


USING VINEGAROON

It’s simple - really simple! Either dip your veg tanned leather into the solution or daub / brush it on. It starts to darken almost immediately. You may have to do 2 or 3 applications to get the colour you want although it does darken and look better once it is oiled or waxed (I use mink oil)
To neutralize the acid I soak a couple of times in a strong bicarbonate of soda solution then finally rinse in clean water.

Here is a before shot of my demo piece of leather beside a white sheet of paper
http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/4724/hpim1218r.jpg

A link to a(poor and out of focus) video of the process to show the speed of the change

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkOLb5QOf5U

And finally a pic of the result (before neutralizing and oiling!)
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9431/hpim1221.jpg

Please note this is not a dye - it changes the structure of the leather itself so it will not wear off - however I find it gives a more even effect and is very quick and cheap!


FINALLY..... ONE I MADE EARLIER!

A sheath I made to show the effect on an actual piece
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/8075/hpim1161dr9.jpg

Stuart Ackerman
10-03-09, 01:00 AM
I might try this, Graham...
Great tutorial!

marcus2
20-03-09, 10:56 PM
Think I'll try that too.

caskwith
20-03-09, 11:07 PM
Here is a tip for you. If you want a really dark black colour on your leather soak the leather is a strong solution of tannic acid (available from brewing supply stores). The reaction between the Iron acetate and the tannic acid is what makes the dark colour, so by adding more tannin you get a darker colour.

ANDYLASER
20-03-09, 11:09 PM
That is excellent. Most impressive.

Martyn
05-11-09, 05:24 AM
Superb tutorial. Thanks for posting. :)

It's great stuff, I've used this before. But please remember that the leather needs neutralising with baking soda solution and then soaked in clean water. The solution is vinegar based and is soaked into the leather. It can do to your carbon steel knife blade, what it did to the brillo pad. The leather goes black on contact, so it might be an idea to paint the solution on, rather than dip the sheath. This would keep the black areas away from the steel and reduce the chances of it rusting the blade. Either that or treat, then thoroughly neutralise the leather in sheets before making the sheath.

PredatorEdge
16-12-09, 08:33 PM
Hi,
Is there any good way to speed up the rusting Process?
Its been over a month and there is barely any rust on the scrubber which is kind of funny since in this area anything you don't want rusted up rusts.

Would spritsing it with vinegar instead of water help to speed things up?

Thank You

caskwith
16-12-09, 08:43 PM
Hi,
Is there any good way to speed up the rusting Process?
Its been over a month and there is barely any rust on the scrubber which is kind of funny since in this area anything you don't want rusted up rusts.

Would spritsing it with vinegar instead of water help to speed things up?

Thank You

Dont worry about letting it rust beforehand. I just put steel wool in with the vinegar, it will soon rust up and dissolve on its own. :)

PredatorEdge
17-12-09, 08:10 AM
Thanks caskwith,
I went ahead and filled the jar about half way and it is starting to color-up nicely.
About how long should I leave it like this before filtering it off and putting it to use?

I Appreciate the help

caskwith
17-12-09, 10:04 AM
Thanks caskwith,
I went ahead and filled the jar about half way and it is starting to color-up nicely.
About how long should I leave it like this before filtering it off and putting it to use?

I Appreciate the help

I think Mine took about a week. I stirred it up everyday until there was nothing left to dissolve. A week should be long for you, then just filter it and leave it for a day to settle and clarify a bit. :)

PredatorEdge
19-12-09, 07:37 AM
Thank You caskwith,
I Appreciate the help

parbajtor
21-04-10, 02:18 PM
Isn't it vinegaroon that can also be used to blacken Oak?

NoahL
21-04-10, 03:37 PM
Isn't it vinegaroon that can also be used to blacken Oak?

Ferric acetate (vinegaroon) reacts with tannins, so anything containing tannins will be affected, including oak :)

~Noah

RACK
05-02-11, 10:11 PM
im currently in the middle of staining some oak with some vinegaroon which i mixed up, its working fine, but i want to know more about the neutralising stage...
do i just mix a strong bicarb and water soloution up and soak my oak in it for a while?
i might end up using liners in the knife just so it can't rust the tang...
any help greatfully recieved :)

Rich

c4ck4
19-04-11, 01:10 AM
I just wanted to add on some of my results and notes as well. I bought some really cheap steel wool from the $1 store, x12 pads for only $1 is a steal! They didn't have any oil on them and dissolved very quickly.

My first attempted batch completely failed because I got some stainless steel wool pot scrubbers that were practically impervious to the vinegar.

I have a complete tutorial posted on my site at http://outlandforge....ing-vinegaroon/

This kind of steel wool didn't work AT ALL:
http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/th_ScrubbersStainless.jpg (http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/?action=view&current=ScrubbersStainless.jpg)


This stuff worked really really well and dissolved quickly:
http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/th_1.jpg (http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/?action=view&current=1.jpg)


After one month there was very little metal to filter out:

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/th_2.jpg (http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/?action=view&current=2.jpg)

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/th_3.jpg (http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/?action=view&current=3.jpg)

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/th_4.jpg (http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/?action=view&current=4.jpg)

Results after neutralizing pH in baking soda and quick rinse in tap water:
http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/th_5.jpg (http://s223.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/c4ck4/Leather%20Work/?action=view&current=5.jpg)

badger
05-09-11, 07:12 AM
This is great information, thanks. What are the pros and cons of using this as opposed to spirit dyes? I have never dyed leather before and this looks like an easier and cheaper way of getting a good dark colour.

Red Kite
05-09-11, 09:11 AM
Dear mods, please can we have this as a sticky at/near the top of its page to save me looking for it again and again, please?

Thank you very much,
Graeme :D