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Where to find black aniline dye? Locally if I can...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mattak, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Mattak

    Mattak Well-Known Member

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    Where would one expect to find black aniline dye? I went to my local Ace/Miner's Hardware and they didn't know what it was, nevermind having it.

    Would HD?
     
  2. Joe D

    Joe D Well-Known Member

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    I know it is not local, but www.stewmac.com is a guitar related supplier and they sell a black dye. It can be found under the finishing supply menu.

    I've used the green dye with success on a guitar project.

    I buy from them frequently and they are always very fast in shipping stuff out.
     
  3. Joe L.

    Joe L. Well-Known Member

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    Probably not local unless you are lucky, but it is available in both water soluble powder and alcohol soluble powder here:

    http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPR...ARTNUM=844-995

    and

    http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPR...ARTNUM=846-150

    I used the water soluble EBONY BLACK when I built my Audax HT speakers.
    1 Oz of powder disolved in 1 quart of hot water was enough for 5 speakers and 4 stands. A little goes a long way.

    Joe L.
    (Burlington,NC store is only about 15 minutes drive from where I work... I'm lucky)
     
  4. Michael Hartwig

    Michael Hartwig Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem. What I came up with and worked quite well was flat black latex water based paint. I thinned it down with water (experiment on scrap wood to get the right consistency). The results were very good on oak. The grain was still very visable. I think I used tung (pseudo tung oil that has some varnish in it) oil over this. I also used black polish (Kiwi) to give them a very nice buff. I like the black shoe polish because it doesn't leave visible residue in the open pores of the oak.
     
  5. Kyle McCabe

    Kyle McCabe Well-Known Member

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    Mattak,

    I would suggest talking to a local leather shop if your dye must be an aniline dye. Aniline dyes, to my knowledge, are commonly used in leathers- furniture in particular. Well, at least the high-end leathers are aniline dyed.

    What kind of project do you have in mind?

    -Kyle
     
  6. Mattak

    Mattak Well-Known Member

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    I went ahead and ordered some from woodworker.com last night since they seemed to have a fairly decent price, and they shipped already.

    I'm working on a center channel and like the look of other cabinets I've seen finished with black aniline dye, whereas black stain looks pretty poor IMO (I tested it on some scrap pieces of veneer as well and wasn't very happy with the look). My other speakers (left, right, sub) are a clear coated birch, but I didn't want my center to be a distraction. I actually ran out of the veneer I used for the others, so my center is a combination of the birch as well as some maple (I think?) on the top and bottom (large sides). Bare, both woods are about the same color so I'm not too worried...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kyle McCabe

    Kyle McCabe Well-Known Member

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    Good choice on the dye, Mattak. I haven't used a stain since the day I discovered how superior dyes are. Admittedly, most of my experience using dyes is limited to rifle stocks and a toy chest, so I can't say I've ever dyed a speaker box. I can't say how it would be any different though.

    For those who are wondering, dyes are superior to stains because they are simply pigments and nothing more, whereas most stains are actually a varnish, which won't take to a substrate as well as a pure pigment will. Also, most dyes are alcohol-based, which means that once they are applied, all of the alcohol will evaporate and leave your substrate clean and streak-free, unlike the mess that stains tend to create.

    I typically use a clear coat of sorts over the dye, depending on the application. I'm a big fan of BullsEye Shellac, as well as pure tung oils (NOT the common Wal-Mart "tung oil solutions", which generally have no tung oil at all) and a little Japan Drier. I think that for a speaker box, I would use a polyurethane of sorts, with the shine buffed away with some #0000 Fine steel wool. ;-)

    -Kyle
     
  8. Mattak

    Mattak Well-Known Member

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    I guess I should mention that I bought the alcohol soluble powder, not the water soluble (both are available). I'm not a big fan of using water based products on veneer, or at least not when trying to APPLY veneer...but I just shy away from it whenever I can. I've already done my other cabs with deft satin lacquer and am happy with the finish.
     
  9. Joe L.

    Joe L. Well-Known Member

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    I had used the water soluble dye powder. It did raise the fibers of the veneer. The instructions on the woodworker web-site direct you to dampen the veneer surface with water first and let it dry to raise any fibers. Then to lightly sand and then apply the dye. I think the alcohol based dye might raise less fibers and make for less work. I think you made a good decision.

    On my Audax HT center channel I used a clear water based polyurethane satin finish over the aniline dye. It was way more shine than I was looking for and reflections from the screen were distracting. On my left/right channels I used a dead-flat lacquer purchased from woodworker.com over the black dye. It has no gloss or shine at all, and when dry you cannot tell it was applied at all. I really like the way it came out.

    I'll be using the dead-flat spray lacquer again on the new Dayton RS based center channel I'm currently constructing. This time, like you, I think I'll try the alcohol based dye.

    Joe L.
     
  10. Mattak

    Mattak Well-Known Member

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    cool [​IMG] It's supposed to be here friday, so I'll get some pics up late friday or sometime saturday
     
  11. KurtJ

    KurtJ Well-Known Member

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    Would that type of dye work on MDF?
     
  12. Joe L.

    Joe L. Well-Known Member

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    Will the black aniline DYE work on raw MDF? Sure will... (or, at least the water based dye will, I've not ever used the alcohol based dye... yet. I'll bet it would work too though....)

    Works great... you do have to be careful of getting glue on the surface of the MDF before applying the dye as it will not be absorbed as well.

    The stands in the following before/after pictures are raw MDF and are dyed and then finished with dead-flat-clear lacquer.

    Joe L.

    Before black analine dye - raw MDF, edges rounded with router
    [​IMG]

    After black analine dye, they are almost a velvet finish and very hard to see with the dead-flat lacquer I used.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mattak

    Mattak Well-Known Member

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    A little late, I just finished tonight :S

    Dying went great - I didn't have any streaking problems with the alcohol dye...well, I guess that's not 100% true, as the dye does dry/build up a little so that I got streaks, but a light rub with a clean rag removed that just fine.

    I put on the first coat of lacquer real light with some dye mixed in just to make sure it was good and black.

    After that...well, I decided to try airless spraying the lacquer, but that turned out to be a bad idea - inexperienced spraying lacquer and I don't think Deft lacquer is meant to be sprayed as it's a bit thick and has a relatively long drying time compared to the other lacquer I'm more familiar with spraying (but I didn't have any in satin, so I used the Deft). I got some sagging on the sides so I had to sand a bunch, re-dye a little (went fine), and ended up putting two more coats on by brush. The finish is "ok"...a "five foot paint job" if you will. Probably would look a lot nicer if I sanded it a bit more and sprayed a light coat, but at this point I'm eager to use the speaker (company this weekend [​IMG]). You can see the grain in the wood still, which is what I was hoping for, but it's very subtle due to the veneer I used.

    Here are some pictures (dusty already >:|). You can see some of the grain in the veneer (and some of the less than perfect lacquering), as well as my crossover hatch [​IMG]

    Center channel pics.
    I need to get some black screws...
     

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