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Gene Howe

Question About Alcohol Dye

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Been thinking about using alcohol dye on some accent strips for boxes. The strips will likely be maple and about 1/8 to 1/2 wide and 1/2 to 5/8 thick. 

Will the dye penetrate deep enough to withstand sanding without removing the color? Will soaking result in deeper penetration and, do I really need a conditioner first?

Thanks, guys.

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My own experience is with water based dyes Gene, so I dont' have much to say but, water based dyes penetrate enough to allow figured wood to maintain the dye in the figured areas after a light sanding, I can only imagine alcohol based would penetrate deeper?

 

My question is, why do you need to sand after dyeing?

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Sounds like maybe you want to color the strips, then put them in place, and then sand the whole assembly (?).

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I saw the title of this thread, and thought I wuz gonna be reading about how Gene mighta drank too much, and was now a redhead. (Sorry, I know nothing about finishing, so I went for the cheap laugh LOL).

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38 minutes ago, Artie said:

I saw the title of this thread, and thought I wuz gonna be reading about how Gene mighta drank too much, and was now a redhead. (Sorry, I know nothing about finishing, so I went for the cheap laugh LOL).

Strangely enough, before I turned 60, I was a red head. Well, maybe auburn. Maybe you're right, though. Too much Scotch might have caused the diminution of color. I'll need to run more tests.:lol:   

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10 hours ago, Gene Howe said:

Strangely enough, before I turned 60, I was a red head. Well, maybe auburn. Maybe you're right, though. Too much Scotch might have caused the diminution of color. I'll need to run more tests.:lol:   

Let me know if you need a second test case.   I’m with Morris in that I’ve never used alcohol dye.  Water yes, alcohol no.  Since maple isn’t very porous, I don’t know how deep the dye would penetrate.   

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Ron, various woods' porosity is why I'm considering alcohol. Due to the chemical make up of water vs Alcohol, the latter should penetrate further. A lower boiling point equals less mass. Plus, alcohol is NGR. 

Bear in mind that I ain't no chemist but I did pass by a Holiday Inn a few weeks ago.:D

Another test case is always welcome. A larger sample insures greater accuracy. But, are your quantity of test materials adequate?:D ahh well, tis the journey, not the destination.;) To further insure against outlier results though, a good single malt is preferred. Or, some good old Ron Rico 151 would speed the process. :lol::D 

Edited by Gene Howe

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Gene I have used two brands Chestnut Stains and Chromacraft Nick Agar. Yes these will sand off and in turning you can set the dye on the first coat and sand most off to leave color in the curly grain then add another color and so on .

   As Fred said you can get color veneer but I do not think it comes in 1/4 to 1/2 inch. There is then color ply and you can get it as one color but I do not think the color is even. The veneer I bought is maybe 1/16.

     This is the Ply that is available

 

     This is solid wood but may not be available in sizes you need. Not much demand for demesioned lumber dyed throughout.

 

    Here is another thought . With alcohol dyes the grain is not raised and therefore sanding would not be needed other than steel wool or 800 grit polish up. So do finish sand and then dye and ready for film coat. I would test on the species you plan to use as I have found maple to be hard to dye especially hard maple. That said this is a platter I did in soft maple.IMG_2564.JPG.f8e88fbf217f566bc04ae9390385bd33.JPG

 

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Thanks, Gerald. I suppose I could use a softer, more porous wood like poplar. 

The dyed wood strips are to be sandwiched between boards that make up small box tops, sides, etc. I've done several larger pieces with just contrasting woods and no dye. The resulting panels always need sanding due to the strips being purposefully slightly proud. Usually a scant 1/32 or, less. 

So, should I expect the dye to not penetrate deep enough? 

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23 hours ago, John Morris said:

My own experience is with water based dyes Gene, so I dont' have much to say but, water based dyes penetrate enough to allow figured wood to maintain the dye in the figured areas after a light sanding, I can only imagine alcohol based would penetrate deeper?

 

My question is, why do you need to sand after dyeing?

I really don't know whether alcohol- or water-based dye would penetrate more.  I do know that alcohol dries much faster to the point of being hard to apply on large surfaces.   So I'm guessing (and only a guess) that water would have more time to soak in.

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@kmealy, that makes sense. These strips will be small enough so they could be soaked in a covered container like a loaf pan. Might retard the evaporation.

Edited by Gene Howe

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All of the color ply and stabilization colors are done under pressure and I do not think you will get enough penetration to sand off a mismatch level. Just try a test piece and then you will have only wasted a little time.

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Will do that, Gerald. It may be a while but, I'll report my experiences. 

Thanks to all who responded.

Edited by Gene Howe

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