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epoxy dye

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mwhite89, Jul 25, 2007.


  1. mwhite89

    mwhite89

    Apr 3, 2005
    Gore, Oklahoma
    :help: Hi,
    A friend is converting my Yamaha TRB 5P to fretless. The fretboard is Ebony. He has applied one coat of dye to the fretboard and plans to apply another. The question: is there a dye that can be mixed with the epoxy? The goal is a very shiny, black epoxied board, i.e the look of a highly polished grand piano top. Pleace see the current progress picture.
    Thank you
    Grace and Peace
    Maurice
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Dyes are dissolved in solvents and adding solvents to epoxy is usually not a good idea. You could add some black powdered artist colours to the mixed epoxy. That should do the same thing. I once added finely ground Greek coffee to some epoxy I was using to fill holes in some hardwood. It was a good colour match and didn't upset the curing of the epoxy the way that adding a solvent might.
     
  3. lamia

    lamia

    Jan 30, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    System three makes Epoxy Pigments. I've never used them myself but have read on several woodworking forums positive reviews. You can get them from woodcraft.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4505

    I've also read where people have had success with rit dye and artist's pigment but I think if I were to do it I would use the system three since it is made for epoxy.

    An alternative would be to dye the board first then epoxy.
     
  4. 202dy

    202dy

    Sep 26, 2006
    RIT dye works well as an epoxy colorant and has the advantage of being available in many colors and is a regular stocking item at most supermarkets. For a jet black colorant, another good choice is lamp black. It is ground very fine and does not interfere with the curing process.
     
  5. I have used trans tint dyes to color system three epoxies several times with great success and it does not interfere with the cure process at all.

    The poster that said it's not a good idea to mix epoxy with solvents is wrong. I have thinned epoxy with denatured alcohol and acetone and it works out great.
     
  6. lamia

    lamia

    Jan 30, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I just used (as wilser suggested, thank you wilser) denatured alcohol to thin epoxy for strengthening spalted maple. It worked great.
     
  7. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, I'd forgotten about Rit dye powder. It certainly is easy to get and it will give you a good solid black if the powder is mixed with the epoxy. Both Lamia and Wilser say dye dissolved in alcohol won't affect the curing of the epoxy. I haven't done it and was told it was not a good idea, but if they've done it and it works, that's another option. The Rit dye powder added to the epoxy mixture will probably give you the most solid black and seems easiest to do. I once dyed a rosewood fingerboard very black with Rit and put clear epoxy over it. It looked black when I finished it but is probably not the exact effect you're trying for when you say you want it to look like the top of a grand piano. From what I understand though, they are finished with a black lacquer paint with a clear lacquer over the top. And of course each coat buffed to perfection. I think I saw that in a pictorial about how Steinway finishes their pianos. Maybe in Fine Woodworking magazine.
     
  8. Just to expand on the whole thinning idea. The Epoxy Book published by system three says that if you need to thin out the epoxy mix you can do so with denatured alcohol or acetone, so there is official closure on that statement.
     
  9. 202dy

    202dy

    Sep 26, 2006
    Generally speaking, piano finishes are at the top of the pyramid in wood finishing. It takes years to train the personnel to get the level of perfection required. The are usually on the forefront in technology, too.
     
  10. mwhite89

    mwhite89

    Apr 3, 2005
    Gore, Oklahoma
    Thank you for all of the replies to my question. Please forgive the ignorance of this second part. This picture is a bass that belongs to another TBer. It is one of the most beautiful fretless bass guitars I have seen in this life! I think the simplicity adds to the beauty. This is the look I am going after with my bass.

    Now the ignorant part: By mixing any black dye with the epoxy, will I totally obscure the dot markers on the treble top side of the board? Or, will the white dots show through?
    Thank you
    Grace and Peace
    Maurice
     

    Attached Files:

  11. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    You'll obscure the dot markers if the coloured epoxy covers them. If it's a very thin coat they may show through slightly but they won't look good.
     
  12. I've been trying to read all the comments on refinishing fretless fingerboards, but have yet to see my question addressed. I have an old Yamaha RBX (cheap) fretless. Is is possible to use a wood stain, like Miniwax, and then spray polyurethane on the neck and get a playable surface? I'd like to stain it a redwood color , and then spray poly on the fingerboard. Has anyone done this? Also, can anyone tell me the difference between the sound of an epoxied board and a poly sprayed board?
    Thanks for any suggestions!!
     

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