Dyeing Mahogany

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by godoze, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    What dyes look good on mahogany ? I have a body someone wants refinished in other than natural state. any suggestions and pics would be appreciated.

  2. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
  3. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    I use about a dozen different dyes with mahogany. Everything from Phyfe Red to a dark Fumed Oak...It all depends what you are looking for. Most of the dye I use is Lockwood's...Do a search and see if you can find their color charts. I built a guitar a few years ago for a client. We had an incredible slab of White Oak burl to start with and decided to marry it with a Honduras Mahogany back. We ended up dying the Mahogany with a Fumed Oak aniline dye because the color of the dyed mahogany color swatches matched the very dark edges of the burl top perfectly and added a nice contrast to the very blonde body of the burl. If you have the time and resources, make color chips with the wood which you want to dye using many different dyes.....this will give you a much better idea of what the final color and tone and shade will be....consider your dilutions and number of applications.
  4. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    thx for the info t-dog, I'll definately be trying out some of the lockwood dyes.
  5. teej

    teej Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Are there any issues with different kinds of finishes (poly, oil, etc.)?
  6. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    You should not have any problems with any finish you choose to use......as long as the dye is dry. Most of the Lockwood's dye that I have is waterbased, so I give it at least a day or more to dry. If I need to dye and spray a finish in a short amount of time, I will usually use an alcohol based dye.....but, you must work quickly with them to avoid an uneven application. I've used these water and alcohol based dyes under lacquers, tung oil, Minwax Antique Oil, and Watco with no problems.

    Remember that you can mix virtually any color or shade imaginable by simply manipulating dilution and by adding and subtracting primary and secondary color pigments. But is is a time consuming trial and error process to get the "right" color.

    A recipe for Gibson cherry red is covered in the Dan Erliewine book Guitar Finishing Step by Step from Stew-Mac.

    BTW.....I have about 200 different Lockwood dyes on hand....I bought out the stock of a hardware store that decided to not deal with selling aniline dye in 1oz measurements....Too many regulatory handling rules and regs! So, I have, in many cases, pounds of this stuff. If you need a small amount for a one-time use, contact me and I'll see what I have. I usually dilute @8gr into 450cc. Also, I have made many samples on mahogany and curly maple if you need a peek.
  7. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i cannot find lockwoods on google. I get references to it but not the product itself. any ideas ?
  8. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    I dug through my contact info for W.D.Lockwood and Co, Inc and found a phone # 212-966-4046 or 866-293-8913
    and also 212-226-2878.

    Hold on a second...I just found a link....


    This ought to get you on the right track.
  9. justateenpoet

    justateenpoet Have you...killed the Venture brothers!?!?

    May 14, 2005

    Trans Red.

  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 28, 2021

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