Hello the fire,could somebody please repost the recipe or tell me where to find it in the archives any help is much appreciated
How I do it most times:
Use iron/mild steel shavings/scraps or de-oiled 4/0 steel wool: to de-oil dip in acetone, squeeze out the extra and hang to dry - then tear or cut into small pieces. Add one pads worth of the de-oiled steel wool to one quart of white or cider vinegar to start with - I use those plastic coffee "cans" and punch a single small hole in the lid to let of any gas buildup. Let it set in the hot sun whenever possibe which will speed the reaction. I let it set for at least two weeks or until there is only a hint of a vinegar odor left and/or the bulk of the steel wool has been dissolved. Whenever all of the iron/steel is dissolved and there is still a strong odor of vinegar (the odor comes from the acetic acid) I either add more iron/steel or leave off the lid - acetic acid is highly volatile and tends to gas off quite quickly. After it's all cooked up I decant the liquid - any fines I use to "mother" the next batch. I also keep a new batch "cooking" all the time so I have a constant supply.
For the deepest black, apply a bath of strong black tea first (this increase the tannins) and let it soak in good, then apply a generous amount of the vinegar black. Let set for about a half hour and then rinse with a mix of baking soda and warm water, about a 1/8 cup soda to a half gallon of water, apply let set for a few minutes and then rinse off. While still damp apply a light coat or two of your favorite saddle oil. Once dry top coat as normal
Experiment - I test a piece of each new side without oiling to see how well it takes the blacking, if need be I'll do a second black tea mix to darken, then apply the oil which also helps darken.
Instead of steel wool you can use chopped up bailing or fence wire - the smaller the better since it will dissolve in the vinegar bath faster.
an original recipe from the 1800's
VINEGAR BLACK (aka Vinegaroon)
For giving color to the grain of leather there is no blacking that will at all compare with the well known vinegar black. This may be made in various ways. The simplest, and, without doubt, the best, is to procure shavings from an iron turner and cover them with pure cider vinegar; heat up and set aside for a week or two, then heat again and set in a cool place for two weeks; pour off the vinegar, allow it to stand for a few days, and draw off and cork up in bottles. This will keep for a long time, and, while producing a deep black on leather, will not stain the hands.
aka Chuck Burrows
Thank you Sir,much appreciated
And, not to repeat the instructions but the stuff will develop PRESSURE. If you cap a bottle it could blow up- so a hole in the lid, etc.
Might I suggest testing a few pieces of leather with the dye and letting it sit for at least six months. Then, maybe, it will prove stable enough to use on a project.
I have tried vinegaroon a few times before. Always with disastrous results. Blue leather which cracks and tears like tissue paper. Finally, earlier this year, I thought I had succeeded. I applied the dye, which came out pretty much black, not too blue, I washed it in a baking soda solution, and all seemed well. I made a little belt bag out of it, and oiled it. Well it sat there for several months, and just recently I picked it up, and kind of bent the leather flap and ... crack. It cracks and self destructs with every bend. So, that's that. Others may have resounding success with it, but for me, well, I'll NEVER even think about attempting it again.
That is not encouraging to hear! I've only used it on knife sheaths, in which any flexing is minimal.
Well I have only used it on wood. I have used the brown from Walnut hulls for leather, with good effect though the smell is "interesting".
I would conclude from the amount of good reports and results with "vigaroon" that there may have been a chemical reaction to the acid with the chemicals used to tan and or preserve the leather. It may be a narrow problem and Stophel was unlucky in his leather, or it may be that the tanning industry has changed formulas due to EPA restrictions or increased costs for the chemicals, and thus the vigaroon is now becoming a problem.
It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
I haven't poured off my newest batch yet,but I used this same recipie before on a facine knife sheath and I don't have any problems with it,it was 9oz veg tan and get s used pretty hard,might even have to shovel snow with it,but doen't fade or wear through
Some leather is Veg tanned some are Chromium could be the differance.
I have only used vegetable tanned leather from various sources.
Oh, well, I really don't like black leather anyway!
I dye all my leather brown in the ever-popular black walnut hulls.
I've been using vinegaroon on my vegi-tanned leather for years and love the stuff. I prefer brown leather items, but the times I've used it for black it has always come out good.
Sometimes you made need to give it two or three coats to really blacken it up. After oiling it up with bear grease it becomes jet black and looks great
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