Dyes for Wood

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by Purelojik, May 8, 2014.

  1. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    Ok so one of my next guitars is going to be a dyed quilt maple top and while i've used some water based dyes, I wanted to hear what everyone else uses if they'd be willing to share.

    At my local lumber yard they sell lockwood's water based dyes. They also have some alcohol based as well.

    I've never used alcohol based dyes and was wondering what the difference is besides the obvious mixing agent. Im looking to achieve a blue/oceanburst effect. I think i'd first use dark blue or black and sand back almost fully, leaving the black dye in only the lowest areas and then proceed to stain further with the darker and lighter dyes.


    any tips, tricks suggestions or pictures would be most helpful. I'll practice on scrap but still I always turn here for information before i make the plunge.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Water based stains can be cleaned up with water... Alcohol based tend to seep in much deeper and aren't as easy to clean up. I prefer water based, though I use both.
     
  3. Jim_E

    Jim_E Active Member

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    IMO, NGR or non-grain-raising alcohol based stains are not meant to apply directly to raw wood, that is a formula for a splotchy disaster, it's better cut with thinners and used to tint your clear lacquer.

    Water based is forgiving and can be lightened, ngr is not forgiving at all and will highlight poor wood prep.
     
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  4. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    I am told that water based dyes will give you "better color fastness", meaning less chance of the color fading or running later.

    I use Transtint, as it is compatible with water, alcohol, oil, shellac, and alcohol based finishes and solvents. To apply it, I dilute it with denatured alcohol and rub it on with a soft cotton applicator strip (t-shirt rags from home depot). I haven't tried it with water yet.

    I rub it directly onto bare wood with alcohol and I have not had splotchiness problems with it on ash, maple, or basswood.
     
  5. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Try it with water, it works great. I prefer TransTint with water. That's what I used when I was slinging finish for Allison Guitars.
     
  6. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    i wuv you guys
     
  7. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I keep meaning to give it a shot. I have a bass body that needs recoloring (because I suck at finishes and sanded through during wet sanding).
     
  8. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

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    I also prefer water based! It's easier to spread and the end result is more even.
     
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  9. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

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    Water-based analine all the way over here. I've never tried alcohol as the general consensus is that it's more difficult to apply directly to wood... plus I've had excellent results with water-based dyes. It's not broke, so I'm not fixing it :)
     
  10. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, and Collings uses water based exclusively.
     
  11. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    Also i've got another question. When people dye woods, and want to do a burst effect. Do they do the burst with black dye on the periphery and blend it inward with water? or do they shoot black over a sealer or something like that. I have no idea.

    I was drooling at Aaron's fire/sunset quilted maple with the black burst and that got me thinking of how to do something like that.


    Also i've been reading that minwax clear gloss rattlecans are pretty good. Thoughts?
     
  12. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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    I just load my black stain in a spray gun and do it like any other burst.
     
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  13. BWGuitars

    BWGuitars New Member

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    There's a million ways to go about it. You just have to experiment and find one that both works for you and your equipment and will deliver the desired results :)
     
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  14. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    yea i've got some scrap quilted maple around and some new dye packets coming in. its gonna be fun to test it all out.
     

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