Question about coloring wood

Hi all,
I want to dye some strips of wood to use as filler material for different things I am turning on a lathe. I am trying to get very bright colors like red, blue, green, yellow, and even maybe white. I have tried a few things but so far have not had much luck doing what I want. I need good color penetration of 1/8" (but I would settle for even 1/16") in different types of wood including some mahogany, oak, perhaps some maple, etc.
I have tried a few things like some water colors, a couple of different dyes and stains, and a couple of inks, but nothing that is specifically designed for coloring wood. The thing that has worked best so far is only with poplar. I boiled a piece that was about 3/4" thick in good ol Rit fabric dye. Boiled it for about 30 min, and then let it soak over night. The red color did manage to penetrate all the way to the center of the wood, but it kept getting lighter in color as I turned it down. By the time I got to the core, the color was just a very pale and spotty red. I also had a small piece of mahogany, oak, and maple burl in the same pot. A few swipes with some sand paper and almost all of the color was gone. Maybe 1/64" penetration.
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Wayne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There are some water based "aniline" dyes in bright colors. I'm not sure about the depth of penetration of the dyes. You might try looking for the dyes at woodworking supply websites such as: Woodworkers Supply, Woodcraft, Lee Valley, Highland Hardware, etc. and continue with the experiments.
Dale

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: There are some water based "aniline" dyes in bright colors. I'm not : sure about the depth of penetration of the dyes. You might try looking : for the dyes at woodworking supply websites such as: Woodworkers : Supply, Woodcraft, Lee Valley, Highland Hardware, etc. and continue : with the experiments.
: Dale
Another thing to try is dyed veneers -- check with the online vendors. These are cut thicker than typical veneers, and are dyed through.
Try Certainly Wood, B&B Rare Hardwoods, and Flamingo Veneer, for starters --
    -- Andy Barss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll look into those and see if I can Google some more sources.
Wayne
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I did check out the dyes at Rockler and Woodcraft websites, and at $10 per ounce and up (WAY up), it was a little pricey just to buy one just for an experiment. But thanks for the input.
Wayne
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If what you need is something for an experiment, then you need to find a buddy who has some on his shelf. For your experiment, you're going to need only a couple of drops. Certainly no more than 1/4 of the bottle.
I, for example, have maybe 6 bottles of the stuff on my shelf, and found that many of the dye experiments I tried taught me not to use it that way, or on that kind of wood, or any numbers of 'interesting options'.
Dye stains, in my shop, are now 'toners' for shellac, for the most part.
YMMV.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm not sure you'll find a workable solution (pun) for this. Other than surface coloring, any method will have spotty (pun) results at best for penetrated color. Most woods will be almost none and some softer woods will take up some color but as you saw with the Poplar, not very well.
The only hope I would give you is to use alternative materials. The guys that make pens use some type of plastics and there is some colored MDF out there. I've only seen it in advertisements but somebody must carry it. The colored MDF is one consistenten color all the way through and comes in some bright colors, like red, blue, yellow, orange, etc.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pens will probably be my initial application for the colored veneers. I am thinking of something like Dymonwood, but making my own colors and patterns. The problem is that I may want it to do other things as well later on. After all, who could possibly resist buying a black salt and pepper set with red, and yellow colored bands, or a purple colored bedroom set with chartreuse, yellow and international orange veneers running through it? I have thought of alternative materials but really kinda wanted to stick with "all wood" if possible, except for some non-ferrous metals like copper and brass, etc. But it is looking like I may have to use them anyway.
Thanks for the reply
Wayne
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NoOne N Particular wrote:

Wayne, THIN veneers can be dyed and stacked. The dye passes through the thin dimension. Dymondwood alternates colors but there is no reason why you couldn't stack several of the same color to get the thickness you want.
Bill
--
I am disillusioned enough to know that no man's opinion on any subject
is worth a **** unless backed up with enough genuine information to make
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Like these ???
http://www.woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 3-924
Click on color chart PDF...
NoOne N Particular wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I was sure this was an easy issue; if you put enough oil on red oak end grain it will come out the other side, so dying it though should be easy enough.
I tried it with water based dye and it only went in a short way. Not at all what I expected. Alcohol based dye might work better, but I don't have any to try.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope. Doesn't really work that way. The wood isn't that predictable. At least not for me.
YMMV. Your red oak probably does.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
NoOne N Particular wrote:

Wayne,
They say that memory is the second thing to go and right now I'm only getting a vague recollection of a discussion from some time back about coloring wood for pen turning.
It seems to me that the guy was soaking his wood in polyurethane. I think the idea was that it soaked into and "plasticized " the wood. I suggested he add artist's oil colors to color the poly. I recall that I mentioned he could use gold and other metallic colors this way.
Does soaking the wood in polyurethane ring a bell, or am I off base?
Stewart
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: They say that memory is the second thing to go and right now I'm only : getting a vague recollection of a discussion from some time back about : coloring wood for pen turning.
: It seems to me that the guy was soaking his wood in polyurethane. I : think the idea was that it soaked into and "plasticized " the wood. I : suggested he add artist's oil colors to color the poly. I recall that I : mentioned he could use gold and other metallic colors this way.
: Does soaking the wood in polyurethane ring a bell, or am I off base?
Doesn't ring a bell for me, but it occurs to me (following up on your idea) that http://www.rotdoctor.com sells a thin penetrating epoxy which they claim penetrates quite far into endgrain (like several inches, for whatever they tested). I wonder if it could be used as a dye carrier -- since regular epoxy is dyable with aniline dyes, I would think it could be.
    -- Andy Barss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was thinking about this some more and it seems to me the guy had a vacuum gismo that screwed on a jar. The vacuum aided the absobtion of the poly, IIRC.
Ding, Dong, anyone?
Stewart
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thu, Feb 22, 2007, 11:07pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net (NoOneNParticular) doth exclaimeth: Hi all, I want to dye some strips of wood <snip>
I've read about a guy dying thru wood using Rit clothing dye. Boiled his wood in it for about 24 hours. Supposedly the color went all the way thru. That's all the info I've got.
Was me I'd do some 'speerminting with different types of dyes. Probably soaking the wood in a solution for a day or three. Or, use naturally colored wood. Or, probably, leave it as is, or paint it. Loads of options if you think on it.
JOAT When in doubt, go to sleep. - Mully Small
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.