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wood dye

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by joeyzaza, Dec 17, 2005.


  1. joeyzaza

    joeyzaza

    Dec 16, 2005
    I've been considering wood dye for my fingerboard. I want to dye it ebony, it's rosewood at the moment, a slightly light rosewood. I love the look of ebony, and I think it would really improve the appearance of this bass. I assume this would be suitable http://www.rustins.co.uk/Wooddye.html but I'm not sure. This bass has MOP inlays, or at least a substitute of some kind. So, what do you think? I'm not sure about this particular dye, but I really want to try this out. I would be grateful for advice, thanks.
     
  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    Stewmac has a dye (Febrings?) for dying ebony. Check it out.
     
  3. Tdog

    Tdog

    May 18, 2004
    The Fiebing's works very well.....It is an oil leather dye. You may be able to get it cheaper at a leather supply dealer such as Tandy Leather. In the link that you provided, the text for Rustin's dye states that it must be overcoated, Fiebing's does not need an overcoat....could be helpful if you like a bare ebony fingerboard.
     
  4. joeyzaza

    joeyzaza

    Dec 16, 2005
    but what you're saying is, that either of those would work for my purpose? What about the mother of pearl and the frets, once I apply it, and it dries, will it be easy to take off without taking off the new finish?
     
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The leather dye that Stew Mac sells will cover up the MOP. It may be tough to get them clean.
     
  6. Tdog

    Tdog

    May 18, 2004
    Very true! Any tiny imperfection on the MOP will make it difficult to wipe off any excess dye.....You might be able to get away with wiping the dye off of Abalam.
     
  7. joeyzaza

    joeyzaza

    Dec 16, 2005
    Ok, after doing some research, and phoning random luthiers for advice, I got some water based ebony colored wood dye, some wax and polish remover, and some 0000 grade steel wool. What I'm going to do, is give it a going over with the steel wool first, with some wax and polish remover on the steel wool, then give it another clean up, to remove any steel particles, as this may leave rust marks once I apply the water based dye. After speaking with a few luthiers, I got the impression water or spirit base dye was the best option. Darkening the rosewood is more the objective, rather then turning it into a complete ebony look alike, but I'm sure that's possible, with more than 1 coat. Apparently it will be easy to remove from the mother of pearl too, so that helps. I will post some before and after photos once I am finished, just to give anybody who is considering doing something similar, an idea. Thanks.
     
  8. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    How did you make out joezaza? I was thinking about doing this to all of my basses, as they all have rosewood fretboards.
     
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Won't the wax interfere with the absorbtion of the water-based dye?

    I think you might want to skip the wax until after the dye job is done. Except that you might be able to wax the MOP to help keep the dye out.