PRS Private Reserve dye job - any idea what they are using in this video?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by DHart, May 13, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    PRS Private Reserve staining process - incredible video!



    Can anyone tell what they are using for dye? Water based, or alcohol based?

    After applying 3 successively lighter shades of brown (from the three cups in the foreground), he pulls out this tall bottle of bright yellow (amber?) dye/stain that REALLY pops the stain job. Any idea what this last intensely yellow dye might be?

    That last yellow/amber dye is in the plastic cup and came from the tall bottle right behind it that just says "WY" at the top. He dipped into that full strength - you can see the bright yellow cloth applicator that he dipped into the dye.

    [​IMG]

    I would like to try a technique like he is using and not sure if I should go with water base or alcohol base. That makes me wonder what solvent base he is using here?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  2. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    I don't have the answer, but he sure knows what he's doing!!
     
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  3. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed... doesn't take him long to achieve an amazing stain-job. Probably not his first rodeo! :lol:

    I hope someone here with finishing experience will take a stab at what kind of dyes he is using - especially that last brilliant yellow/amber dye WOW!
     
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  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I love watching people work who are really great at their job. I think the yellow bottle was just more stain, but what do i know.
     
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  5. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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  6. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    I don't have the answer either, but the finisher works so quickly that it could be either alcohol, water, or some other solvent.

    There is obviously some type of sealer or conditioner applied to the maple to control the dye absorption before the staining video starts. The finisher is able to wipe some of the darker brown stain off with the final application of the amber stain.

    That fella sure makes it look easy, . . he's really got his chops down :)!!!


    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, I'm sure the yellow/amber is just a different color of dye... it looks really intense, though, perhaps not diluted or not by very much?
     
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  8. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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  9. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    How is it obvious that there is a sealer on the top before any stain is applied?

    In the other PRS video, the finisher says the top has just been finish sanded - no mention of any sealer or conditioner?
     
  10. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Would a light application of water to the top, just before applying a water-based dye, help control the absorption of dye into the top?

    Is that a technique that might reasonably be used?
     
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  11. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    My guess at the rate of drying it is solvent based. I coule be wrong though. I am with George on it being possible sealer is already applied to the top to have better control of the absorption of the dye.

    The yellow bottle is the same as the other dyes would have come from. A premixed dilution for the specific burst. Obviously it isn't his first.

    Eric
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  12. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    I no longer bother mixing dyes from powder (which are sold as either water or alcohol soluble) so the distinction is lost at this point. Transtint dyes are already concentrated in a solution that is compatible with either one and then some! IRRC it's described as a "metallized" and not techinically an "aniline" dye.

    Dilute Transtint in denatured alcohol and you have a "non grain raising" stain similar to Mohawk/Behlen's "Solar Lux." It dries so quickly that for me the only way to get it applied evenly is to spray it - even then you wind up wiping as well.

    If, instead, you mix Transtint in water and you have water based dye (and it mixes with water-borne lacquer, too).

    The sealer question is sort of a non-starter. Any sealer that's been diluted enough can be used as a conditioner to prevent the stain from blotching, but plenty of the stain will still get through into the wood.

    DH Hart's question reminds me that after putting on a stain, you can wipe it with a rag with plain water to even it out. if i had to guess, that's what the finisher is doing at 2:49 of the video - after removing excess with a white cloth, he comes back with what's probably just a wet cloth to even out the stain.

    I'm afraid if you tried to put water on first, it would dry too quickly to help control the amount of stain going on after it. Plain water ("sponging") would of course raise the grain so you could de-whisker it with some grey scotch-brite or fine 320 paper before applying the stain. If you plan on sanding-back after the first stain application then you don't need to sponge it first.

    And because Transtint is re-activated by any number of solvents, it's a good idea to lock it in with a light mist-coat of the topcoat and let that dry a bit before proceeding with wet clear coats. That way the dye bleeds less into the topcoat.
     
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  13. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

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    I've had some success with water-soluble aniline dyes, straight to wood, applying multiple coats of weak diluted colors to build up, sanding back a bit in between. They also work with denatured alcohol, but the colors seem a bit more washed out to my taste.

    20180811_095935.jpg 20180826_003602.jpg 20180716_200210.jpg 20180718_172411.jpg
     
  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’ve tried to watch the video several times, and it always quits at the .03 second mark.
    Doh!
     
  15. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    So, if going with water-based dyes AND ultimately finishing with Tru-Oil:

    -apply some water first to raise the grain

    -de-whisker the raised grain with some 320 - going along the grain, not across

    -apply a very dilute solution of a water-based sealer to control absorption ?

    -apply the water-based dyes, even out with plain water if necessary, let dry completely

    -apply the lightest possible coat of Tru-Oil - a few times, let dry completely

    -finish with multiple thin coats of Tru-Oil

    Does that sound about right?

    One of my two figured-maple practice boards have arrived, so soon I will be able to start my practice sessions - before approaching this guitar:

    [​IMG]

    I haven't ordered the TransTints yet, though.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  16. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

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    Test on scrap your figured maple might or might not need any conditioner (diluted sealer). Be careful because if it's a carved-top you'll have some end grain situation as well and it will want to soak up stain.

    I can't speak to how to apply a wiped-on finish like Tru Oil on top of stain, you may have a problem with it smearing but I have no experience with that (I only use oil on things like cherry that I might not be staining at all). One solution is to use a Pre-Val sprayer for a light coat of shellac as a barrier to lock in the stain, then be on your way with all those coats of Tru Oil.
     
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  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yes... I will be experimenting before touching the guitar.

    I will look into the Pre-Val sprayer. It's ok to spray some shellac over the water-based dyes? Then follow with Tru-Oil?
     
  18. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

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    Vizcaster in post #12 lays it out well. I've had better luck blending different colors in a sunburst with alcohol based dyes, water base IME sink in very fast and are hard to move around. I have a separate rag for each color and an extra container of just the solvent with its own rag so I can see how the absorption is going and circular scrub between the two color areas to blend them. Transtints are definitely a different ball game from powdered aniline dyes. I found a 50/50 mix of acetone and flowout enhancer/retarder gave me a workable mix for hand sunbursting. I also lock in my color with super blond shellac before clearcoating.
     
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  19. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    I actually said sealer OR conditioner, which depending on the approach, can be as simple as wiping down with water or alcohol or more involved like shooting laquer sanding sealer or something similar.

    I only watched the single video in your original post, so I can't comment on any others. And I must confess - I watched it with the sound turned off, which is what I do for most videos unless I'm sure they have a good soundtrack ;).
    Otherwise, it's usually just blah, blah, blah :).

    The way the finisher in the video was able to manipulate the dye and pull some of the brown stain back out of or off of the maple, and the very even way the stain went on led me to believe that a sealer or conditioner was used to control the absorption.

    I may very well be wrong about that, I'm definitely not a professional finisher, I'm just basing my speculation on my own endeavors and results working with dyes. I still think "something" along the lines of a sealer or conditioner was used to control the absorption rate of the dye.

    There is no doubt that the fella doing the dye job is a pro :).

    Bon-a-fide professionals generally pick and choose the best methods and means to get the best results in the least amount of time. They may or may not give up all their trade secrets in a corporate sponsored video ;).




    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Geo... perhaps there was some sort of "conditioner" to limit the absorption. I really need to learn more about how that's done, without preventing the dyes from entering the wood to some degree.

    These videos are helpful, but not quite explanatory - that's why I'm trying to do as much digging and research as I can.
     
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