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Thread: Stabilizing/Dyeing Wood Question

  1. #1

    Stabilizing/Dyeing Wood Question

    I have some really nice tiger maple that I would like to send for stabilizing and dyeing. I have not dyed wood during stabilizing before, so I wonder if more experienced members can chime in on it.

    What colors are the most common to dye wood it, to get a nice contrast but still to preserve the figure?

    I typically pick the boards at a local lumber yard. I use the premium section for handles, and the rest for sayas and other projects that I plan to take on when time allows.

    I also have some quantity of premium curly koa that I would like to stabilize, but would like to retain as much of a lighter look as possible. Is this feasible?

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  2. #2
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Here is a photo showing how curly maple can look dyed brown, black, blue and orange (dying and stabilizing by K&G).


    For the Koa, I would definitely use K&G. The colors always stay vivid and the flash does not diminish.
    Some of the lower cost stabilizers can cause your wood to darken or appear muddy because of old chemicals.
    Mark Farley / Burl Source
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    Here is a photo showing how curly maple can look dyed brown, black, blue and orange (dying and stabilizing by K&G).


    For the Koa, I would definitely use K&G. The colors always stay vivid and the flash does not diminish.
    Some of the lower cost stabilizers can cause your wood to darken or appear muddy because of old chemicals.
    Thanks for posting the picture. I can see the colors I like.

    I have used K&G before, so but I never dyed wood, so your picture is very helpful.

    Marko


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  4. #4
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    As you can see in the photo every piece will react a little differently to the dye.
    I did some blue as an experiment and really liked how it turned out.
    Mark Farley / Burl Source
    Phone 541-287-1029, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  5. #5
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Not much to add. I had maple burl dyed and stabilized by K&G, results depend on whom you ask: I had a few extra blanks for Dave in there which he found a bit softer than other stabilized woods whereas the maple burl in my batch was perfectly fine. So, the quality of the original product really plays a role. And the 'softer' ones will still be fine for wa handles, just more tricky with the metal pins on the Western handles.

    One thing to keep in mind: You get an idea of the colors from the pictures, but there can be variation. I had mentioned that I wanted mine rather darker than lighter (to avoid baby blue and pink), and the Western handle pieces came out very dark, almost blackish when finished. In the wa batch I had maple, box elder and buckeye burl, and they all came out fine for my taste. So, it's like a box of chocolates...

    Stefan

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    One thing to keep in mind: You get an idea of the colors from the pictures, but there can be variation. I had mentioned that I wanted mine rather darker than lighter (to avoid baby blue and pink), and the Western handle pieces came out very dark, almost blackish when finished.
    I believe I have both ends of the spectrum from you.

    A red dyed maple burl that turned out pink:


    And a teal dyed maple burl (I think? Can't remember) that came out very dark:


    They are both still awesome, but not what you were expecting I bet when you got them back from stabilizing.

    I personally love dyed maple burls, they get such great color variation and contrasting eyes.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  7. #7
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Perfect examples, thanks for showing them! I bought the pink for being pink, it's just funky But the teal colored pieces came out darker that I expected. This is one of the 'softer' pieces that Dave got, I have to say I still like the darker pieces. Dave is hesitating because he finds them a bit dark, but I think I will still use them for wa handles. That said, I was weak today and spent some un-budgeted money on new wood. I just need to avoid wood sellers, I think. Not sure how the addiction potential of other drugs could be higher... I'll post pics as soon as I get to it - and before I send them for stabilizing.

    Stefan

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  9. #9

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    A little off topic but for you do it your self guys who may only need to stabilize a few pieces at a time. I have hade great results stabilizing small pieces (knife scale size) wood, bone, and horn by using nelsonite and a roof saver vacuum packer with the mason jar attachment. As you may guess I pur the pieces in a 1/2 gal size jar, fill the rest of the jar with nelsonite leaving a few inches so the vac don't suck up the stuff. I then vac the jar, you can see the scales sucking up the stuff. When the bubbling stops I make sure that the scales are still covered as softer wood can suck up a lot of juice. Ok so once the bubbling stops I let it sit. the denser the wood/ bone the longer I let it sit, usaley just over night but you can let it sit as long as you like as the nelsonite will never harden as long as it's in a air tight container. When you take the scales out the stuff dryed pretty quick you can handle the scales in about a hour, but it does take a day or two ( maybe longer?) for it to fully set and harden, once again depending on how dense the scales are. I think this is pretty cool as I don't know anyone that stabilizes bone or horn? The finished pieces look amazingly natchurale and I have put this stuff up to a full kitchen test. Any way hop this helps, you can get the stuff from Wayne:
    http://www.HighTempTools.com/nelsonite.html

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Niloc View Post
    A little off topic but for you do it your self guys who may only need to stabilize a few pieces at a time. I have hade great results stabilizing small pieces (knife scale size) wood, bone, and horn by using nelsonite and a roof saver vacuum packer with the mason jar attachment. As you may guess I pur the pieces in a 1/2 gal size jar, fill the rest of the jar with nelsonite leaving a few inches so the vac don't suck up the stuff. I then vac the jar, you can see the scales sucking up the stuff. When the bubbling stops I make sure that the scales are still covered as softer wood can suck up a lot of juice. Ok so once the bubbling stops I let it sit. the denser the wood/ bone the longer I let it sit, usaley just over night but you can let it sit as long as you like as the nelsonite will never harden as long as it's in a air tight container. When you take the scales out the stuff dryed pretty quick you can handle the scales in about a hour, but it does take a day or two ( maybe longer?) for it to fully set and harden, once again depending on how dense the scales are. I think this is pretty cool as I don't know anyone that stabilizes bone or horn? The finished pieces look amazingly natchurale and I have put this stuff up to a full kitchen test. Any way hop this helps, you can get the stuff from Wayne:
    http://www.HighTempTools.com/nelsonite.html
    This is very cool, Collin.
    I am a little unsure on the setup. Which food saver vacuum do you use and how do you hook it up to the jar? Sorry, I am completely ignorant about this.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

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