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Thread: Alkanet Root Oil Recipes

  1. #1

    Alkanet Root Oil Recipes

    Hi,

    What do you guys use to prepare your Alkanet root oil for your walnut stocks? What ratios do you mix the root with oil/alcohol/solvent? And how much is enough usually to do one stock?

  2. #2
    1) Chop the root up finely
    2) Put the chopped root into a glass jar (with a lid that seals well).
    3) Add sufficient boiled linseed and GENUINE (not substitute) turpentine mixed in a ratio of 5:1 by volume to cover the chopped root and seal the jar.
    4) Place in a warm and dark place for a couple of weeks, shaking every couple of days and opening the jar (to ensure the lid doesn't glue itself on) once a week.
    5) After a couple of weeks, strain through a old pair of tights to remove bits.
    6) Dilute using just boiled linseed until you have the shade you need.
    7) Store in the dark.

    The primary colour change occurs with the first and second coat - subsequent coats deepen the colour slightly but can be dispensed with depending on personal choice - and so you don't need much at all. Although I never measure it and always make more than I need, 25ml would probably be plenty (obviously depending on stock porosity/grain filler) - however, it doesn't keep for more than a few weeks.

  3. #3
    Over the course of 2 weeks, does it just get darker? What happens if it is exposed to sunlight and air?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by canuck87 View Post
    Over the course of 2 weeks, does it just get darker?
    No, the colour is governed by the 'colour' of the root used (and there is a substantial variation in red/purple tones), it doesn't get darker in shade but the colour gets more intense.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuck87 View Post
    What happens if it is exposed to sunlight and air?
    You need to restrict the air because the boiled linseed and turpentine will lose volatile components, making the resultant mixture more viscous and affecting the colour takeup on the stock - particularly if the walnut is less porous. The sunlight seems to accelerate the inevitable colour change from red/purple to red/brown, and the resultant colour on the stock seems to lose something.

  5. #5
    Okay thanks for the tips. I had just read that people were putting it out into the sun to expedite the process. It's probably just the same as heating it over the stove to make the reaction faster.

    I don't have an air sealed container, so I just wrapped plastic wrap over the mouth of the bottle and then screwed the lid on tight.

  6. #6
    I have only ever used the "Trade Secrets" version, what am I missing by not making my own ?

    Neil.

  7. #7
    My original lot came in the Warthog Purdy's stock finishing kit the lot I am using now came from CCL in their kit.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet 6 View Post
    I have only ever used the "Trade Secrets" version, what am I missing by not making my own ?

    Neil.
    In practice, there is much to recommend a good quality commercially prepared one - the colour will normally be consistent across batches, the dilution will be appropriate, and (since it is supplied in small quantities) you don't end up with lots to spare. The only qualifiers would be to ensure that the base oil will dry in your lifetime and that it is actually coloured by alkanet (if that is what you want - I wouldn't dismiss other ways of staining to that colour).

    I have used commercial preparations, prepared it from powder and from the root - it all depends on whether you want the 'authentic' experience. Personally, I prefer electric light to candles but they do say that in life, you should try everything except incest and morris dancing...

  9. #9
    I put the first coat on my walnut stock, rubbed it in so the pores opened up and took the alkanet oil in. Pictures to follow.

    How long in between coats do you recommend? And do you recommend a light scuffing to in between coats for better oil absorption?














    Last edited by canuck87; 11-05-2012 at 06:16.

  10. #10
    After 7 coats of mixed BLO/alkanet root oil. Got that English red walnut colour I wanted.







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