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  • Coloring Wood question

    For a couple of my cuttings I use Rit Dye in water to color the piece. For my phone/table holders, it works well. I like the pop of color in my booth and makes them pretty eye catching. The problem is with the puzzles I make. I have an apple, pumpkin, and Christmas tree (my own design). A picture of the Christmas tree is attached. When I dip these puzzles in the colored water, they naturally swell. The fact I cut them out of pine makes it even worse. The pine really absorbs the color (and water) which is why I use it instead of a hard wood. It takes a long time for them to dry out and come apart as a puzzle. The one in the picture has been sitting for six months and comes apart easily.

    So my question is this; is there another way? What ways have others tried?

    IMG_1037.jpg
    Attached Files
    Keith

  • #2
    I found that if I spritz wood with water before finishing and sand it raises the grain. The sanding helps seal the grain. Or something like that. I do this with poplar mostly and on the end grain of black walnut so it takes the finish better. I mostly use a combo of mineral oil with mineral spirits and this raises the grain. Bruce told me to do this but I don’t remember all the reasons why. Here’s a thought, mix the dye with mineral oil and mineral spirits. I mix mine 1/2 and 1/2. Drying and curing time is lessened considerably. Like the tree pattern.
    Last edited by will8989; 06-20-2018, 11:38 PM.
    Betty

    "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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    • #3
      Try using alcohol instead of water it evaporates much faster and does not cause as much swelling. Shellac can be dyed but i'm not sure if rit will work . A small can of shellac is only a few dollars and you only have to dye a small amount to do a test.
      Just my thoughts.
      Fredfret
      Wichita, Ks

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      • #4
        I sometimes use Samen dyes recommended by Sheila Landry. They are water based. I just brush on and wipe with a wet paper towel to get the look I want.
        Denny
        ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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        • #5
          Can you get the Saymen dyes big box or do they have to be ordered? We all know I hate to paint but I could do this to my puzzles.
          Betty

          "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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          • #6
            Pen turners often get "green" wood and being impatient, want to make a pen quickly. It is recommended with green wood to cut the size blanks 1/4 inch on each side large because it will shrink when drying.

            Two basic methods they use for quick drying:
            1. place in the oven at about 150° - or up to about 200° and let it stay there for two to 6 hours. (I like the lower temps personally.)
            2. place in the microwave; some MW's have a very good "thaw" cycle and that works fairly good. Others place the blanks in for about 30 seconds, wait a few minutes to cool down, and then 30 seconds again. This is repeated about 5 or 6 times over an hour or two.
            I don't recommend this without testing as it can/will warp the wood in some cases. Try to do it too fast - and the microwave will stink to high heavens when the wood turns black and smokes!

            When I was in Japan, I had a 6 inch pvc pipe about 4 ft long and cut it almost in half - length wise so it looked like a "C". I added some green pen blanks in the bottom, laid the pipe facing the sun covered the top with Saran Wrap (left the ends open) and by the next day, they were dry (it was the summer time). Caveat: pen makers usually weigh the blanks before and after to find out how much moisture they have lost. That is basically the way that they determine how dry it is.

            The comments above deal with the type of finish material and dye/stains. Mine deals with the drying aspect. If I have triggered an idea to re-engineer for a different method, use it.
            Hank Lee
            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by will8989 View Post
              Can you get the Saymen dyes big box or do they have to be ordered? We all know I hate to paint but I could do this to my puzzles.
              Samen stains are ordered online from a Canada company. I don't have the web address.
              Denny
              ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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              • #8
                Thanks. I'll have to check the analyne dyes I have. I use the powered and mix as needed for the birds for the bird houses. Good post. Gave me some new ideas besides paint.
                Betty

                "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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                • #9
                  As was mentioned earlier, alcohol based dyes are probably a better alternative for that application. I've never used them, so I don't have any personal experience. That is the kind of dye that can be mixed with shellac, since shellac is alcohol based. Might have to find some super blond shellac flakes though. Regular Zinnser pre-mixed shellac has an amber tint to it, even the clear. Not sure if or how that would affect the colors of the dye.

                  I use RIT dyes from time to time. I use the pre-mixed stuff straight out of the bottle, without additional water. When I apply it, I usually dip it briefly, trying not to let it soak too much. I've never had much trouble with it, but I don't do puzzles. I did use it on one piece I cut and I came down to the shop the next day and it had curled up like a potato chip. I flipped it over and let the air get to the other side and it flattened right out in a day or so, but that was a first.
                  Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                  • #10
                    There was a thread on here a few years back on dyeing wood with various dyes and one was the tint for cake icing. The paste stuff, not the grocery store liquid. Might try a search.
                    Jim
                    When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
                    Too early to leave, too late to call in.

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                    • #11
                      I have also heard about mixing RIT with DNA (Denatured Alcohol) though I have never tried it.

                      I have not dyed any wood but I have "pickled" wood. It is a process of mixing latex paint with water which you brush on and then immediately wipe off. Yes the wood will swell some but not as bad a dipping.
                      Scott
                      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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                      • #12
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VsvT4XY2xI

                        sometimes I use Deco Americana stain medium, you can make any color a stain. I agree pine is much different than oak. dan
                        Last edited by dwssr2; 06-27-2018, 05:40 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I use soft maple and food colors. It has taken me 10 years to perfect the process.

                          bb
                          Regards,
                          Brian

                          visit us at Pickens Puzzles: www.pickenspuzzles.com

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                          • #14
                            I make maple birds for my birdhouses and use the analine dye on them. I’m very happy with my results.
                            Betty

                            "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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