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Article: Ammonia smoking: The secret behind the fascinating solid wood refinement

Massivholz Veredlung- Ammoniak Räuchern. Durch eine alte Technik das Massivholz in der Farbe einzigartig verändern.
Ammoniak

Ammonia smoking: The secret behind the fascinating solid wood refinement

Basic information:

Solid wood is a timeless and versatile material that has been used in a wide variety of areas for centuries. In addition to its natural robustness and beauty, there are other ways to refine solid wood and achieve a unique aesthetic. One such technique is ammonia smoking.

Origin:

How do you treat wood with ammonia? To answer the question, let's go back a few centuries. It used to be normal for people and livestock to live under the same roof.
This meant that the furniture and beams, which were primarily made of oak, had direct contact with the livestock. The ammonia gases from animal excreta caused the oak wood to discolor. The smoked wood had a noticeably long lifespan because the ammonia made it more UV-resistant, less brittle and more resistant to insect and fungal attack.
Because people observed this, they began to store the solid wood in the stables - ammonia smoking was born.

This traditional technique offers a number of advantages:

  1. Unique appearance: The tannic acid in the solid wood reacts with the ammonia. Since the tannic acid is not present equally everywhere, a unique grain is formed. This gives each piece of wood an individual and natural touch.
  2. Increased resistance: The lifespan of wooden products is extended. The reaction of the wood ingredients (resin, etc.) with the ammonia forms aging and light-stable salts. Furthermore, it is more resistant to UV and moisture and more resistant to insect and fungal attack.
  3. Natural Process: Ammonia smoking is an environmentally friendly method that does not require harmful chemicals. It doesn't leave any harmful residue or anything like that.
  4. Special atmosphere: The dark discoloration and the striking appearance give the solid wood timeless elegance. In addition, the wood structure is emphasized and each piece is individually shaped by the tannic acid.

Choosing the right solid wood for natural ammonia smoking: A key to perfection!

One of the crucial factors that determines the success of the traditional method is the careful selection of the wood! Depending on the type of wood and the condition of the wood, different results can be achieved.

The importance of wood structure:

Woods with an open pore structure, such as oak or ash, absorb the ammonia gases more deeply, which leads to intense discoloration and grain. Solid wood with a more closed pore structure, such as maple, tends to have a more subtle color change.

The importance of wood moisture:

The moisture of the wood used should not be underestimated either! Fresh, i.e. still completely damp, wood is unsuitable for smoking. The moisture can cause difficulties in the reaction with the ammonia, for example uneven discoloration. It is therefore advisable to use wood with an appropriate moisture content.
You can find out more about the topic of wood moisture here .

Tannic acid (tannins):

The proportion of tannic acid in the wood used is crucial for the strength of the reaction. The tannic acid reacts with the ammonia, so it is important that you only use woods that also have a certain amount of tannic acid. Our local oak species is particularly good for this. Oak is the most commonly used wood for smoking; it reacts very strongly with ammonia and can almost turn black.

Our process:

Ammonia smoking is a process in which solid wood is placed in a closed & airtight chamber and ammonia gases are released. The ammonia gases react with the tannic acid in the solid wood and a unique color change occurs.
  1. Preparation of the solid wood: The dry wood should already have the desired dimensions and the surface treatment, except for oiling, should already be completed. Subsequent sanding would result in an irregular color intensity.
  2. Ammonia chamber: The prepared pieces of wood are placed in a sealed chamber where ammonia vapors are released. It is important that the chamber is well sealed to prevent gases from escaping and to ensure successful smoking.
  3. Reaction time: The pieces of wood remain in the ammonia chamber for a certain time, depending on the desired color and intensity. During this reaction time, the wood absorbs the ammonia gases and the chemical change begins.
  4. Ventilation: After the desired smoking time, the home accessory needs to be ventilated a little so that the remaining ammonia gases come out of the wood.
  5. Care of smoked wood products: The care of smoked wood products is not particularly different from other products. If you follow the care instructions in our other block entry, nothing can go wrong!
Tip: Avoid sanding smoked surfaces as this can lead to a change in color.

Conclusion

Ammonia smoking is a fascinating technique that gives home accessories a natural elegance! It's nice to use such an old and traditional process to create unique and long-lasting pieces of furniture. The dark color and special grain make each individual piece a work of art and absolutely unique.
Discover wood finishing in our shop and bring the timeless beauty of solid wood into your home!

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