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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:08 pm
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Hi All,
Newbie here and first time builder. I'm working on a semi-hollow body kit and planning to dye the top (black, sand out, then red). I'd like to use the same dye color (red only) on b/s but I don't want any grain to be visible there. Any suggestions?

Thanks!!
Matt


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Dye is particularly transparent compared to other ways of coloring, in my experience. Dye being a waterborne color, raises the grain, allowing it to penetrate the grain more. I've used a wash coat of 1/2# cut of shellac on the wood, followed by 600g sandpaper, to minimize the grain before dying the wood. The shellac prevents the dye from penetrating squirrelly areas of the grain, making the color more even.

This would minimize the grain, although it wouldn't hide it. I don't think there is a way of covering the grain completely, short of painting.

If you decide to do the shellac trick, please try this on a scrap piece of wood, before doing it on your guitar. The ratio is 1/2 ounce dewaxed flakes in 8 ounces of alcolol.

The only other thing I thought of was to use a dark dye first, without sanding it away, then dying it. But, it would change the color.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:00 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
Diane has it there. You can also use a bit of water on a sponge to raise grain, then sand - a quick blast with a hair dryer keeps things moving for you. I built a white oak guitar where I had to raise the grain 6 times to tame it before using water based dye. It all depends on the wood you choose - some need more than others.

Ed


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:49 am 
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Thanks very much for the replies! I'm new to working with shellac - is there any harm in using a pre-mixed product? Zinsser seems to be highly available in my area. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:45 pm 
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The premixed should be okay. I prefer to mix my own, but give the zinsser a try.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
I also prefer mixing my own and have had a squeeze bottle of shellac on my bench for 25 years. Everything I do - furniture, guitars, repairs - gets a wash coat or two of shellac before the final finish. Easy to sand smooth and a great priming coat for everything - even more shellac (YMMV, yada, yada, yada)

If you are using dyes, they can be dissolved in either alcohol or water, but then once on the instrument either water or alcohol will re-disolve them. So once that are in place to you liking, to prevent dragging the color out with a pad application of shellac, I have found I have had to spray multiple light coats of shellac letting them dry between. Once you have a reasonable build-up of sprayed shellac, you can pad on a bit more, then level and proceed. You have to be very careful when leveling not to go through and spoil your color, so until you get the hang of it, more finish is better then less. I use Zinzer spray - fresh can everytime regardless of whether the last one was empty. I have done 2 this way - 5 and 7 years old - with a hand applied water base varnish and they look terrific.

Others may have additional products you can use as a barrier on the dye.

Good luck - send pictures

Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Thanks again for the help!! I tried a test piece of birch ply and got best results with one coat of shellac and a heavy sand back before going to the dye. So far, so good.
Matt


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Matt71 wrote:
Thanks again for the help!! I tried a test piece of birch ply and got best results with one coat of shellac and a heavy sand back before going to the dye. So far, so good.
Matt

Birch is a good tasting subject because it dyes unevenly, as does all pines/spruces, ans maples. I'm glad you found something that is working for you. Testing is the ticket to finding the results that you want.


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