Help needed with wood dye like zoot suit.

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by KingKara, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    Hello all,
    I’ve been trying to do a zoot suit LP copy.
    Got myself birch, nice “eco friendly” (but not wallet friendly ;-)) dye ... and got this :)
    A02812E1-03A0-4BB7-A659-B3B17C3B2E54.jpeg 04890F0D-9298-4999-8581-A25FDECA1DE2.jpeg 081A7B0F-7469-421F-A0D0-05B0FE27C7EB.jpeg

    So as You can see my dye of choice has not penetrated the wood. As a result it looks nothing like the original.

    I will appreciate if anyone can help me with correct “stuff” to use for this job.

    Godspeed KingKara
     
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  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Those Zoot Suit guitars were built with dyed laminates that were then glued together and cut out.
    I suspect they were pressure dyed just like house deck lumber is pressure treated.

    Or vacuum treated like this pickup, see how much air is pulled out and then wax (or dye) goes deep.




    .
     
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  3. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for responding jvin248, that seems the most probable way that Gibson used back in the day. Unfortunately impossible do replicate in my modest “factory” ;-)

    Does anybody know alternative that is doable for an amateur like me ? :)

    Godspeed KingKara
     
  4. steadyriot

    steadyriot Tele-Meister

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    Get pre-dyed skateboard ply's. You can get these colored veneers online from places like roarockit.
     
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  5. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

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    Not that I think you're wrong that the color saturation is a bit lacking. It does seem a bit pale. However, you should test a sample with some clear coat. A lot of color saturation will be deepened by the clear coat. You might be surprised by how much darker it will get.
     
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  6. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

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    Also, you may need to combine coloring methods to get full saturation. Dyes are good to color surfaces. Stains are good for getting into the pores. You might need to combine them to get full color. You would probably have to limit you color choices to those that have both a dye, and a stain. Either that, or use super-saturated aniline dyes, but you have to be careful, and use gloves because they will dye you skin as well.
     
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  7. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    JVin is right.
     
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  8. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure what you've got going on there, whether the pieces are glued yet, whether you're going to steam bend what you have, or how you're going to use it, but the cheapest, easiest way to reinforce the color would be with Sharpie markers. They come in a surprising array of colors.
     
  9. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    Thank you guys for your tips. I might try to combine a dye with stain.

    I also will not scrap existing neck and try to finish it with true oil or clear coat as advised.

    Will get back to you guys with results :)

    Godspeed KingKara
     
  10. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for the tip but I would like to keep it in diy spirit, also I’ve bought like a ton of birch laminate:-D

    Godspeed KingKara
     
  11. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    That would not work as I’m laminating the birch myself from individual layers. First of course I’m dyeing them in 4 different colors. Then cutting out the desired shape, then sanding and more sanding, just like with “normal” wood.

    Godspeed KingKara
     
  12. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    Ah. In that case, I'd go with a good, long soak (measured in days, not minutes) in aniline dye. No guarantees, but it's worth a try.
     
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  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Can you post pictures of what you are starting with and the "original"? I don't understand whether you are dying thin sheets and doing your own lamination or trying to dye thin strips in a premade, bare-wood lamination.

    If you are trying to dye strips in a built-up lamination the glues will prevent dye penetration. As previously noted, for full color depth thin laminations like that would need to be be pressure-treated (with color) prior to assembly.
     
  14. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    Hello Silverface,
    I start with this
    480F46CF-6F78-43C3-A680-D1C527707230.jpeg
    Then I’m using 4different dies ( here is the black one)
    477FFC07-4D27-45FF-8B7D-20E63F8B1BBF.jpeg
    and after getting few days of drying diet I glue them.
    Here is the thickness:
    24F210AA-FB5D-4AEC-8210-876FE171ABE6.jpeg

    Godspeed KingKara
     
  15. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Getting color completely through the thin wood veneers like that requires pressure/vacuum techniques to get full saturation...something difficult to achieve in the typical home shop. There are commercial sources for the stuff, but I'm not sure if the lengths required are available or not. I've never checked into it.
     
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  16. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    What happens if you submerse it in the dye and let it soak?
     
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  17. Muinarc

    Muinarc Tele-Meister

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    Here's a picture of the Gibson he's going for in case anyone was wondering what they looked like.

    thK9Q8650K.jpg
     
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  18. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did some experimenting trying to make colored binding, I put the undyed strips of binding into a pipe, caped it off filled it with dye then pumped it with 120 PSI air pressure, within 30 min. I lost 10PSI then pumped it back to 120 then lest it overnight pressure might of dropped a little. I used a water base dye I got good penetration on most the strips Was a mixture of hard and softer woods of course the harder wood dye did not penetrate as much. The other problem I sprayed a strip with water to do some test bends the dye was not stable at all. Most likely any glue would have made the dye run. What I would do next time is try mixing the dye with thinned out lacquer (or something like that) maybe when it dried the dye would be set/stable. I might try some more experiments. thumbnail 1.jpg thumbnail.jpg
     
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  19. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Dye work would have to be done prior to glueup.

    Correct.

    1. It's doubtful you would get consistent color, or the color as deep as you're looking for. The dye in a case like this doesn't "color" the wood - it's compressed into and becomes part of the wood. That's the only way to get full color strength...but....

    2...ANY home-applied glue/adhesive will change the colors.

    This type of thing isn't done even in a normal wood finishing shop. It's a very specialized type of application, with a fairly high piece rejection rate. That seriously increases cost, one reason you don't see it very often.
     
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  20. KingKara

    KingKara TDPRI Member

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    @SacDAve , wow that is really ingenious!

    Just to give some update, as we speak I have a test piece submerged in the aniline dye. I’m going for a quick mountain hike next week so there will be no updates for a while, BUT ! my test piece will be more than 10 days in the dye. So we may have the answer if it’s possible to obtain the Zoot Suit finish with this dye home method.

    Godspeed KingKara
     
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