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Super Saturating Wood W/ Dye

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so soon i'll be inlaying a piece of lacewood into alder; id really like to give the l.w. some red to it; but with out runnong all over the alder; my plan is to soak the l.w. prior to gluing in (but after shaping) drying ;gluing in ,and then sanding flush; my plan is to use water based analine dyes; because thats what i have, i also have stains but i would almost assume the dye would go deeper; could be wrong, gonna try both! is there any impregnating technigues i can use to penetrate the wood so it gets past the layers that will be sanded away? i don't have acsess to any crazy vacuum pumps or anything; and i would rather not have any colour than send it away or use acrylic impregnated wood, btw;

thank you much


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On a recent build, where I wanted to stain a maple top green, but leave the walnut behind it, and the veneers between the two layers untouched, I had good luck using a combination of pinstriping tape and masking tape to mask off the areas I wanted dyed, and then laying a seal coat of epoxy down. (The same epoxy I use for my grainfilling on open-pored woods when using KTM-9 as my finish.)

Then I dyed the maple, being as careful as possible to keep it off the other woods. A bit spilled over, and turned the top of the epoxy sealer coloured, but a bit of touch up with a small card scraper removed that very quickly, still leaving a smooth finish.

All in all worked quite well, and a method I'd use again in the future. It was basically similar to the methods you see used in the stewmac tutorial on finishing a blue guitar, and one of the tutorials on the board here, when you're doing a "faux binding" on maple by not dying the edges (a la PRS) I simply used epoxy rather than shellac or something else as my barrier coat. A thicker seal coat is easier to block off than a watery dye, and it prevents the dyes from soaking into the wood, making any over-coat easy to remove.

Another thing that may work and be somewhat easier, but may not give you the look you're after would be to use traditional masking techniques and apply a tinted, yet transparent finish over just the area you want coloured.

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the only problem with that is its inlaid into the face, as opose to the stopping it from going over the edge; i still might try that method with a shellac or something, but my concern is it creeping thru the joint; more test pieces i suppose; just dealing with 2 considerably light woods, hiding blotchy colours would be impossible;

but thank you

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