I have a project in mind that will require ebonizing some of the piece. I will probably do it chemically but I have also read that India ink works well, which makes a lot of sense.
I would be interested in the pros and cons or comparisons of both methods regarding application and aesthetics. I will probably use either walnut (no sap) or mahogany for this piece.
From contributor A:
Do some tests to see what works for you. Here is the formula for Tage Frids' chemical stain for ebonized oiled black walnut if you are interested in experimenting.
Mix in a clean jar:
100 grams copper sulfate
50 grams potassium chlorate
615 grams hot distilled water
In another clean jar:
100 grams aniline hydrochloride
The first coat will look a little yellow, the second a little green and the third coat very green. The instant the oil touches the finish it will turn deep black. You can use any oil as the finish - Tung, linseed or penetrating. This is definitely not a production finish but gives a beautiful oiled black finish.
Tint = drop black japan mixed with lacquer thinner. mix ratio about 15-20% black to 80-85 thinner in a cup gun
I just did a google search :"buying aniline hydrochloride" and came up with over 700,000 hits.