October 27th, 2015
Fuming is the process of exposing wood to ammonia vapors that darken the wood and emphasize grain patterns. Like other styles in woodworking, fuming has gone in and out of style but for now it is once again in high-demand.
The process takes place in a multi-chamber closed system under continuous control that utilizes environmentally-friendly vacuum technology. The wood is placed into a chamber where it is exposed to ammonia gas for two weeks. After this treatment has taken place, the residual ammonia is pumped into another chamber where it is neutralized. The entire process takes about 3-4 weeks to complete and results in a dark coloring going all the way through the wood.
Fuming can be successfully performed on any wood containing tannin. The concentration of color being dependent upon the amount of tannin within the specie. This is one reason why from specie to specie the absorption and resultant darkening is so different. Thanks to differing levels of tannin the color from fuming can vary from honey-brown to rich chocolate to almost black. Other effects of fuming are increased smoothness and flexibility of the veneer.
The most common specie that’s fumed is White Oak but Interwood offers over a dozen fumed species.
Fumed veneer inventory: