Is potassium dichromate worth the risk?
George Frank, a renowned finisher, wrote about its use on mahogany and I was interseted in using it myself, but the toxic nature and not being able to find a complete explanation of how to use it safely has kept me from trying it.
I myself have played with this chemical and have found the results not worth the hassle. You can get the same color with dye stains.
Bob Niemeyer, forum moderator
I have used this chemical on mahogany and I thought the results to be very dramatic. Besides, it was fun -- but you should wear the safety equipment.
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Comment from contributor H:
I have found that potassium dichromate is well worth it. Because it is a chemical reaction (oxidizing agent) it does not have the same effect as a wiping stain. It retains the same relationship between the winter and summer growth. A stain will darken the soft summer growth more than the winter growth. Potassium dichromate will darken the two equally, resulting in a very even and very convincing "old" look.
George Frank also said that gasoline is a very dangerous substance, and yet, we all use it safely. It is important to be safe and wear gloves.
As for concentration: try 3 grams of potassium dichromate for 1 litre of water (warm is better). This is a very light colour change. Go as high as 40 grams per litre for a very rich dark colour (beautiful).
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