How to Incorporate a Gray Line in a Wood segmented blank?

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civilwartalk

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Nov 25, 2020
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I'm working on a project, and I've determined that I want to incorporate a "Gray Line" into a Natural wood pen blank somehow.

I'm fairly certain I'm going to create a segmented blank similar to the ones I've seen that have a red line in them or a blue line in them.

My thinking is to use an American Walnut blank cut down the center, and make a thick veneer (or two thin veneers that glue together) from a light color wood, and dye that a light gray, and glue it/them between the walnut pieces...

I was thinking of dying the veneers with Alcohol dyes to get the gray I want, but I tried that with a blue dye recently, and didn't get very good penetration inside the veneer as I'll need for this application.

Maybe I'm going about this all wrong....

Is there a better way to get a color dyed wood for this application? Maybe it needs to be dyed in the same way some woods are stabilized, with Cactus Juice and a vacuum?

I'd buy a wood that way pre-dyed, if the color I wanted was a pretty blue color, but there aren't to many ugly gray dyed woods out there.

Is there a wood that's naturally gray throughout that maybe would work instead? And I want to stay away from tans, blacks, blues, and purples, I was hoping for something that looked somewhat consistent.

(After Looking in the Wood Database, I've been trying to get a hold of some Magnolia Wood, because that looks like it could maybe work, but I can't find any!)
 
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jttheclockman

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I suggest you do as you said and cut the blank in exactly half and then use a grey acrylic. Much easier to control the color because they make many. Dyeing woods and getting exact color throughout is not easy. There are ways such as boiling the wood to open the pores but again final look is tough to control. Acrylic is easy method. Glue with either med CA or epoxy. My opinion.
 

KenB259

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I would use vulcanized fiber sheet, you can get gray and it would be very consistent. I use it quite often in segmenting. Available on Amazon or Etsy. I get better deals on Etsy, because I can buy just the colors I want instead of multi color packs.
 

civilwartalk

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I suggest you do as you said and cut the blank in exactly half and then use a grey acrylic. Much easier to control the color because they make many. Dyeing woods and getting exact color throughout is not easy. There are ways such as boiling the wood to open the pores but again final look is tough to control. Acrylic is easy method. Glue with either med CA or epoxy. My opinion.
That may be my best bet, although I wasn't sure if acrylic would bond well to wood or not, but I guess there isn't any reason it wouldn't. I think I may even have some plain light gray acrylic.

I did find this veneer, it says it's dyed throughout, so I guess I can keep that at an idea in the back of my mind...


I would use vulcanized fiber sheet, you can get gray and it would be very consistent. I use it quite often in segmenting. Available on Amazon or Etsy. I get better deals on Etsy, because I can buy just the colors I want instead of multi color packs.

Interesting idea, ok, I'll look into that, thanks!
 

jttheclockman

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Sure acrylic will stick to wood just fine using the glues I mentioned. You can go the route of those grey veneers but you would have to stack quite a few to make the thickness you want but it is another option if that is the color you like. Good luck.
 

Old Hilly

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Near Wauchope, NSW, Australia
I was fortunate to come across a section of a Liquid Amber (Liquidambar styracifula) or "Sweet Gum" as it's known up in N.America. It's a pale grey colour as it comes out of the log so that may be of help to you. But I'm down in Australia, things could be upside down and back-to-front with this stuff. The owner of the tree seemed to know what it was.
 
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