Aniline dyes

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by jwade, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I couldn't find any specific thread for this. I'm hoping a few of you can offer some tips.

    I bought an 'ebony' aniline dye (powdered) from Lee Valley. I mixed a small amount of powder with some heated filtered water, and did a coat on a scrap piece of curly maple I sanded up to 120.

    Looking at the included instructions, it says to wait 12 hours between coats. That seems absurdly unnecessary to me. I'm trying to experiment with the ratio between the powder and the water, so waiting 12 hours between doing anything else makes this seem like a ridiculously impractical method to doing staining.

    Little bit of help?
     
  2. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Yeah. Don't wait that long.

    Probably wait at least that long before you put any clear over it tho.
     
  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Stage IV GAS

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    The problem with water based dyes is they tend to raise the grain if you use them a lot in a short amount of time.
    Prep the surface with some warm water. the grain should raise due to the water, so let it dry for a minute or two, then sand down the raised portion til surface feels smooth. That should help somewhat mitigate blotching or having the grain raise while applying dye.

    Best way to mitigate that is use alcohol based liquid dyes (like angelus) or use a dye that can work in either alcohol/water (like keda or other powdered dyes). I find water based dyes to blotch more easily than alcohol based ones, plus it saves you the step of having to raise/sand the grain.

    Also- don't use shellacs with alcohol based dyes, or rub any oils into the dyes (ie tru oil or such) as they'll pull color. The only way around that is if you want an oil finish, then you darken the colors just slightly to account for the color being pulled out when applying the first layer of oil. once that layer hardens it's not an issue anymore.
     
  4. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I only have black aniline dye at the moment, and so far it doesn't seem to be doing what I assumed it would. I put on a coat, waited until it was dry to the touch, sanded back at 120 and assumed it would've stayed in the flame, but the exact opposite occurred. Really bizarre, it's like the dye didn't actually go in to the flamed areas at all.

    I did a second heavier coat, sanded back, same results. Very confused. Definitely not a fan of this at all so far.
     
  5. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    Try adding clear methylated spirit with the hot mix 50% and just do as you please. It will also take the dye further into the wood. Leaving a dye that long will just create a blotchy effect.
     
  6. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    What timber are you dying and did you seal it or do anything else before dying ?
     
  7. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    Leather dye is the best base for a dark sanding coat. I'm on full spam tonight :ban:
     
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  8. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    It's the same curly maple I used for the 8 string top. I sanded it at 60, 80, and 120 grit, then wet the surface with warm water to raise the grain. Once that dried, I sanded the raised grain with 320.

    The instructions say 1 ounce to 1 quart, so I just divided the amounts by 4 to do a test. It's 1 teaspoon of powder in 1 cup of water.

    I don't have anything but lacquer thinner and pre-catalyze nitrocellulose lacquer, and I'm not actually sure what methylated spirits would be. Is that another way of saying mineral spirits? I don't have any of that, either way.

    I was under the impression that a sealer of some sort would affect the dye from penetrating properly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Stage IV GAS

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    part of that could be how fine the powder is and how well you mixed it. Maple has pretty tight closed pores so it'll take a bit to penetrate deeper into the wood. You may need to apply multiple coats to get decent penetration before sanding.
     
  10. pondman

    pondman Build Whore.

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    Your right ,that's why I asked if you'd sealed it. If your having trouble just use leather dye and sand it back. Don't bother wetting it and sanding first if its just a black sanding base.
    It should have taken the dye so I don't get what happened there. Try it stronger and don't wet or sand first.
     
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  11. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I'm wondering if aniline dye is maybe the wrong method for what I'm hoping to achieve. Doing some reading is making me think I should buy some trans tint and just put a couple drops right in the white lacquer.
     
  12. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD SS.org Regular

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    TransTint+1.
     
  13. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    This might be part of the problem. If you burnish the wood too smooth, then the dye/stain can't get into the pores of the wood. This is more of an issue with stain (large particles that settle into the pores/between the grain/low spots) vs dyes (tiny particles that seep into the wood cells).
     

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