How to dye curly maple?

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

nobdyspecial

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Edmonton
Hello everyone.
I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to dye curly maple. I have a nice 8' plank of curly maple in my garage, and I'd like to make some dyed blanks out of some of it, rather than spend money to buy them.

Any suggestions?
(I also have a full setup for stabilizing and casting, if I need it)
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,349
Location
NJ, USA.
Turn down the blank first and then dye it. Saves on agony. I like to use Trans Tint dyes. They are some of the strongest dyes out there. They are woodworking dyes. Practice on scraps to get a feel for what color depth you want.
 

dogcatcher

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,810
Location
TX, NM or on the road
Read this link for ideas http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1790
Pipemakers have ben dyeing briar for centuries. they use techniques that other woodworkers cannot even dream about. You might also want to look at the finishing techniques in that forum, it includes other dye tricks.

Experiments and good notes of what you do in the experiments will help get a good basic knowledge and a better result. Not enough info??? Spend some time reading about how the muzzleloaders dye rifle stocks. Again good notes and experments are your best best.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,307
Location
Surprise, Arizona
I agree with John on the Transtint dyes. A bottle seems expensive but it will last a long, long time. You won’t have to filter it either like you do when using powder aniline dyes. I like to use a two tone scheme - amber & brown are the most common combo but you can use any dark & light color you want. Make a highly diluted solution with the dark color, apply and immediately wipe off and allow to dry. Lightly sand (I use 400 grit) and if the curl is to your liking go to the next step, if not repeat until you get the curl where you want it. I find 2 coats to be sufficient. Next apply the light color mixed as directed, again you may want more than one coat. You lose the chatoyancy with dyes but man does it make the figure pop! Whatever you decide to do post some pics of it when tou’re finished.
 

dogcatcher

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,810
Location
TX, NM or on the road
I have used both the transtint and Feibings alcohol based leather dye, I have not used transtint in several years, not that there is anything wrong with it, I have quit using it. For the things I do with dye, including my leatherwork, I only use the Feibings.

Another option that is cheap to experiment with is Vitamix Bird Toy Dye. Buy the sample pack and a cheap maple board and play for weeks. https://www.mightybirdtoys.com/home.php?cat=281 These calls are plain maple, no figure at all. They were turned, and dipped into the bird toy dye.
 

Attachments

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,891
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Turn and sand the blank up through about micro mesh 5. Dilute the dye with denatured alcohol instead of using it full strength, then add coats until it is the depth of color you want. Let it dry a bit. The dye will raise the grain a bit, then go back to MM1 and sand through MM9 and finish with the finish of your choice.
 
Last edited:

nobdyspecial

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Edmonton
thanks for all the feedback. seems like I have some experimenting to do!

Anyone ever tried using alumilite casting dyes? I'm only asking as I currently have those on hand, and in the colours I want.

Cheers
 

nobdyspecial

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Edmonton
I have used both the transtint and Feibings alcohol based leather dye, I have not used transtint in several years, not that there is anything wrong with it, I have quit using it. For the things I do with dye, including my leatherwork, I only use the Feibings.

Another option that is cheap to experiment with is Vitamix Bird Toy Dye. Buy the sample pack and a cheap maple board and play for weeks. https://www.mightybirdtoys.com/home.php?cat=281 These calls are plain maple, no figure at all. They were turned, and dipped into the bird toy dye.
ooohh, those look nice!
 

dogcatcher

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,810
Location
TX, NM or on the road
I have not used Alumilite dyes, but this would be my plan of attack if I were to try them. I would get some small jars that are fully sealable. Add a measured amount of denatured alcohol, and then a drop of the dye, stir and test it. First coat of dye, let it dry, then add another layer of dye to see if it gets darker, repeat 3 or 4 times. If it is not good enough, add one more drop of dye and repeat experiment on fresh wood. Baby food jars are not the best choice, but they hold 4 ounces and usually free.

YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOOD NOTES and USE ACCURATE MEASURES, failure to do so will drive you crazy when you try to repeat the experiments.
 

rherrell

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
5,850
Location
Pilot Mountain, NC
Hello everyone.
I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to dye curly maple. I have a nice 8' plank of curly maple in my garage, and I'd like to make some dyed blanks out of some of it, rather than spend money to buy them.

Any suggestions?
(I also have a full setup for stabilizing and casting, if I need it)
McCormicks food coloring!!! Be sure to get the kind without sugar.flashlight 013.jpgflashlight.jpgmags.jpg
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,891
Location
Phoenix, AZ
McCormicks food coloring!!! Be sure to get the kind without sugar.View attachment 221101View attachment 221102View attachment 221103
I have used food coloring for years. I was concerned that the color might not last, but I have some that are almost ten years old and still brilliant. You can go on one of the suppliers to cake decorators and get an amazing range of colors. I bought a number of them to make pens for college students with their school colors. Its been years since I bought them, so I don't have the name of the company. I just googled cake decorating supplies, if I remember correctly. Got maroon and gold to make ASU pens and they turned out great.
 
Top Bottom