Translucent black stain revisited

After seeing the image that started that thread <http://groups.google.com/group/alt.guitar/browse_frm/thread/ddcaeab050669abf/fb25c113046c2fe3?lnk=st&q=&rnum=1&hl=en#fb25c113046c2fe3 I decided to try this out on a small scale.
My result left a little to be desired, but I figured I'd show the result and tell what I did and what mistakes I think I made in the hope that the information was helpful to someone else.
Instead of a guitar, I made a simple stupid box. The result can be seen
The dye was Transtint 6023 Black thinned with alcohol.
The finish was ML Campbell Magnamax precatalyzed lacquer.
Procedure was to cut all the pieces to size, sand flat to 320 grit, then apply dye, assemble, and finish.
I didn't have anything small enough to measure the dye properly so I had to eyeball the mix and think I got it too heavy. <http://www.onlinesciencemall.com has a nice set of graduated cylinders for 11 bucks that should address that problem in the future. Instead of applying, letting soak in for a few seconds, and then wiping and letting dry and repeating, I let the dye dry on the surface, and ended up having to sand most of it off and start over.
Once the dye was applied I glued up the box prior to finishing. Once the glue had set I shot a coat of finish and let it dry sanding hard then went to work on it and found that the flat surfaces were no longer quite flat. Next time I'd reflatten the exterior and redye as required before finishing, or just not dye the exterior until after assembly. As it stood I had to build up enough finish to be able to flatten the surface of the finish without going through.
Sanded through the finish in a couple of spots anyway, took the dye with it, so ended up with light spots on edges and corners--decided to let it ride to see how it looked. Next time I'd touch it up. First time tried to shoot the whole thing in one go. Ended up with very rough finish on some surfaces. Sanded smooth as I could without going through, masked, and did one surface at a time and it came out much more satisfactory. Took three coats before I had a satisfactory degree of smoothness.
Next time I would have either prefinished the inside, left it completely unfinished, or lined it with something--getting a smooth finish on the inside of a box that size post assembly is problematical--could have done it by brute force and awfulness if I had had another week or so to work on it but as it stands I'm just going with what I've got.
Once I had all surfaces flat with 320, I went on down by grit to 800 then shifted to Micromesh for final finish--this worked out well--note how clearly you can see the reflection of the markings on the bandsaw fence in the photo.
End result was that the figure on the maple was clearly visible and most of the chatoyance was preserved. Next time will be better.
-- --John to email, dial "usenet" and validate (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
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I use a 10 ml syringe from the drug store. It comes with what looks like a rubber stopper with a hole in the center. This stopper goes into the top of the trans tint bottle, then the syringe goes into the stopper. Invert the whole thing and then draw back the syringe plunger to get what you need. I use to use this for measuring out liquid medicine for my kid.
Measuring cups are calibrated in milliliters too, so calculating ratios is easy if you stick to metric.
If you intend to experiment with differnet dye solution concentrations, then you can make a concentrated solution, the dilute that one or more times. Baby food jars make good "beakers".
Mitch
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"MB" wrote...

[...]
I think you hit the nail on the head - using measuring devices that will allow repeatability is real important, IMO.
I use incremented stainless and aluminum teaspoon & tablespoon measures up to 1/8 cup.
A lot of grocery store products - like jars of apricot halves and citrus salad, and spaghetti sauce - still come in good reusable graduated Mason jars. Great for mixing dyes. For storage, the Folgers coffee tubs are great; I mark them with a masking tape label as to exactly what the mix is, so everything is repeatable. The coffee tubs are also great for mixing tinted lacquers. The cherry corner cab posted on a.b.p.w. used just under a Folgers tub of tinted lacquer for 3 coats.
Also, the hardware store has G I A N T pyrex measuring cups that are also great for mixing stains & super cheap.
--
Timothy Juvenal
www.tjwoodworking.com
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I think I would have opted to put the dye in the top coat. It can be difficult to get an even coating but if you mix it lighter than you want and build to the color you want I think it shows the wood better than trying to get color evenly distributed via dying the wood. I've done this with red, blue and yellow but never tried black. BW
J. Clarke wrote:

<http://groups.google.com/group/alt.guitar/browse_frm/thread/ddcaeab050669abf/fb25c113046c2fe3?lnk=st&q=&rnum=1&hl=en#fb25c113046c2fe3
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Mon, Dec 25, 2006, 4:30pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (J.Clarke) doth sayeth: <snip> End result was that the figure on the maple was clearly visible and most of the chatoyance was preserved. Next time will be better.
Looks like technically you've got it down pretty well. But I've got to say, I didn't like the guitar, and I don't like the box - because of the black finish in both cases. Just not appealing to me. On the other hand, I think the same technique should look very nice using a red stain.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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On Wed, 27 Dec 2006 10:25:00 -0500, J T wrote:

That's OK, I don't really like the black either, but the intended recipient was a goth girl who liked it very much.

--
--John
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Wed, Dec 27, 2006, 10:00pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (J.Clarke) doth elucidate: That's OK, I don't really like the black either, but the intended recipient was a goth girl who liked it very much.
Ah, for a customer. Hell, as long as it made 'em happy, I'da painted it with tar. Them Goth's got no taste anyway. I did like the box otherwise.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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On Wed, 27 Dec 2006 18:25:18 -0500, J T wrote:

Christmas present actually--I was trying to figure out what kind of wood would suit her (other than ebony, which was out of stock everywhere I could get to in time to have it for Christmas) and saw that black-dyed guitar and though to myself, "aha, that's _her_".
Did you notice the kind of greenish one in back of it? That's natural finish lignum vitae. I like it a good deal more than the black myself. Smells nicer too.

--
--John
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Thu, Dec 28, 2006, 1:00am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (J.Clarke) doth query: Did you notice the kind of greenish one in back of it? That's natural finish lignum vitae. I like it a good deal more than the black myself. Smells nicer too.
Never even noticed it. Apparently the black box temporarily blinded me. Can only see a small portion of it, but does seem more appealing. Couldn't get the small tho.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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