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aniline dye - alcohol soluble

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by erikbojerik, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Where do you guys like to get yours? I've already got a collection of the StewMac Colortone liquids (might not be aniline though....), and I've found some at LMI, Reranch and Homestead.

    Any other sources out there?

    It MUST be aniline because I WANT it to fade, none of that color-fast stuff for me. :spit: And it has to be alcohol soluble because I'll be mixing it into pre-cat lacquer and shooting it.

    I'm basically collecting a bunch of reds for a series of side-by-side UV fade tests on maple.
  2. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    what about the TransTint dyes sold at Woodcraft? they are water or alcohol dilutable, can be mixed in lacquer, and they're pre-dissolved for easy mixing

    all the best,

  3. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars

    I am rather partial to the "Honey Amber" TransTint color... diluted properly, it makes for a nice "violin amber" tone... :)
  4. JmJ


    Jan 1, 2008
  5. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses

    The Trans-Tint stuff is Colortone with a different sticker on it. It's color-fast. If you want to buy that stuff, save your money and buy it at Joewoodworker.com for $12 instead of Stewmac's $16.
  6. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    You'll have to do some tests yourself to find the ones that fade. It's not a quality that's sought after so the brand name dyes are all pretty light fast.

    In my experience, nothing fades faster than the dye used in marking pens. Red turns to orange, yellow almost disappears as does blue. Green gets pale and dirty. Sometimes in a matter of days. Maybe you can find a source for that stuff.

    Maybe also try shoe dye which is predissolved in alcohol. A shoe repair place should have it. You might have to thin it some.
  7. the dyes stewmac sells is actually transtint.
  8. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I've used the W. D. Lockwood dyes, also, but (as you mentioned) you must choose either alcohol aoluable or water soluable... they don't have one that is both. Also, they are powdered (at least mine were), which was kind-of a pain to make up.

    On the other hand, their color selection was pretty large, and the dyes look really good.

    This guitar was done with Lockwood dyes


    First it was dyed with black (the one they stock that is a "reddish-black), sanded back, dyed again with red dye, then coated with Flecto Varithane waterbourne gloss poly (that Varithane is tough as nails, btw...). That was my first "from scratch" guitar, and it would have been *so* beautiful if I hadn't drilled the bridge post holes wrong. :(

    But the dye and finish came out magnificently! :D
  9. Thanks JmJ and Shawn for the tip on the Lockwood dyes....they are indeed aniline and that's what I'm after. The classic stuff used back in the day.

    I'm 95% certain TransTint is NOT aniline, it is more fade-resistant.

    I did not know that TransTint and Colortone were the same thing, good to know.
  10. hey erik, can you expand a little bit on what you mean by 'you want it to fade' and why?

  11. It has to do with <ahem>....guitars.

  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Well, whatever the reason for it, if you need a fading red, ask David Schwab. IIRC he did a multi-tone sunburst, which looked fine until years later he either started using it outdoors, or started leaving it out on a stand or something, and all the red faded out pretty quickly. If I remember correctly.
  13. JmJ


    Jan 1, 2008
    Actually there are a few Lockwood dyes that are both water & alcohol soluble.

  14. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    According to the Stew-Mac site, those are actually metal-complex dyes...

    Mirriam-Webster defines aniline dye as follows: a dye made by the use of aniline or one chemically related to such a dye; broadly : a synthetic organic dye

    So, I believe that your assumption is correct ;)

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