Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Potassium nitrite — sunlight before applying?


Recommended Posts

I placed a maple rib strip in sunlight for several days. Then I got another strip, which had no sunlight treatment. I applied 4% pot nitrite to both. Then placed in sunlight. After only one day of sun, one of the strips show much more darkening. Both pieces are from the same batch of wood. I wasn’t expecting this result, therefore I had not kept track of which one had been pre-treated with sunlight. I’m wondering if pre-treatment was the cause. I shall be investigating this. Does anyone have guidance or explanation for me?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's interesting, intuition would tell me that the piece that already had some UV tanning done would be the darker one. But I guess repeating the experiment exactly the same and labeling which piece is which will give you a definite answer.

Shouldn't be hard to do because it's always sunny in Wellington right ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard:  "UV, nitrite, UV"  from a pro as the way to use nitrite.  So I would assume the darker one had that sequence.

It may not be relevant, but torrefied pieces that have had some pre-processing UV exposure come out of the chamber extremely dark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/29/2023 at 1:10 PM, FiddleMkr said:

Does potassium nitrate highlight annual rings or does it just make the entire piece darker?

In my experience potassium nitrate does very little. Potassium (or sodium) nitrite makes the entire piece darker and does not highlight annual rings to a noticeable degree.

Pre-tanning before application of nitrite significantly enhances the effect and gives a nicer color. I have no idea why. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Violins88, you should repeat the test with better note keeping.   There is nothing stopping a person from adding more coates and more UV until you get it really dark.  

Old nitrate solutions should also contain nitrite since bacteria will grow and make the conversion.  And of course, you can always use horse pee which will contain both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...