Dye for wood

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Tom Lewis, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    These handles are made of stabilized mesquite wood. I like the figure but would like it to be a bit darker. What kind of dye would you recommend?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. J-T-K

    J-T-K

    58
    May 11, 2020
    I had a related question: how do you work with dye? Do you oil before or after applying dye? Or do you use a different finish. Thinking specifically of colour dye like q classic Mora handle.
     
  3. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    I’d be surprised if they would take a dye after being stabilized.
    But I’m interested if there is a product or technique out there.
     
  4. Travis_Wright

    Travis_Wright

    32
    Jan 27, 2019
    Leather dye seems to work pretty well for me. Fiebings or something like that.
     
  5. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    Either fieblings leather dye, or the analine dyes from Lee valley. I like the light brown fieblings, and dark amber analine from Lee valley. The colors are quite similar once applied.
     
  6. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  7. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    If it's properly stabilized, no dye should soak into the wood, and it would sit on the surface only.
     
  8. Willie71

    Willie71 Warren J. Krywko. Part Time Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 23, 2013

    I’ve dyed wood stabilized before, including k&g stabilized wood.
     
  9. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    970
    Dec 9, 2010
    Stabilized wood from K&G will easily take leather dye. Stabilizing makes them absorb less but they will still absorb
     
  10. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    970
    Dec 9, 2010
    I have wondered how deep the dye went so lets do a test. This is maple stabilized by K&G , Picture is green dye wiped on and wiped off. Currently letting it soak in the bottle for a while then will see hot deep the color goes.
    phone 203.jpg phone 202.jpg
     
  11. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    The mesquite was stabilized by K&G. I have begun experimenting with different dyes. The mesquite does take the dye. How deep it goes I don't know.
    Thanks to those who offered suggestions.
     
  12. i4Marc

    i4Marc

    Oct 19, 2011
    I use TransTint dyes, mostly on unstabilized woods. My experience has been as Bill describes. The dye will sit on the surface of stabilized pieces but will wear away in time, or will be susceptible to lifting if it comes in contact with a solvent.
     
  13. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    970
    Dec 9, 2010
    This is interesting , the first picture I posted I put the piece of maple in the jar and touched bottom , pulled it right out and wiped it down right away so you see how deep the dye is in the bottle. This next picture was after the same piece sit in the jar for 2 hours. It had absorbed the dye almost to the top
    phone 204.jpg

    I'm going to wait and let it dry before seeing how deep it went.
     
  14. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Very interesting.
     
  15. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Watching....and waiting.
     
  16. kdnolin

    kdnolin Basic Member Basic Member

    215
    Jan 16, 2017
    @Spalted, how thick is that piece? I never even thought about dyeing stabilized wood, but I might be trying it.
     
  17. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    970
    Dec 9, 2010
    I put a different piece in the dye last night, stabilized at a different time than the first. First picture shows how deep the dye was in the jar and second picture shows how far the dye soaked up in 12 hours.
    phone 205.jpg phone 206.jpg
     
    Willie71 likes this.
  18. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    970
    Dec 9, 2010
    phone 209.jpg phone 210.jpg

    The bottom piece was the first one that soaked 2 hours top piece soaked for 12 hours. Then I sanded the pieces - 20 strokes each on new 80 grit paper.
    The piece with a 2 hour soak didnt penetrate that much and after seeing this I am thinking if you just wipe the dye on one day it will probably wear away. The 12 hour soak went deeper and most of the color was still there after sanding. I am thinking if you really want it dyed at home you need to soak for maybe a few days to make sure its deep enough to not wear off with use.
    The wood was 1/4" thick 1" wide and 4-5" long
     
  19. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives

    970
    Dec 9, 2010
    Just tossed a piece of maple in the dye that was not stabilized. Give it @12 hours and we will see how they compare.
     
    Willie71 likes this.
  20. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    I wiped Birchwood casey brown dye and also some leather dye on a piece of stabilized mesquite. I let it dry then applied a couple of coats of Tru oil. This morning I buffed both pieces with a lot of pressure and the color stayed. If the handle was given hard use the color might wear away, but I think buffing would give a good indication of whether or not the color was there to stay.
    Thanks to all of you who have done and are doing experiments on this issue.
     

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