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Thread: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Sooo... I just did my first application of potassium dichromate, handling it like nuclear waste. I put some on both spruce and maple. At this point it just looks like bright yellow dye. Should I expect that to change?

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Answered my own question. went away for a couple of hours and it turned a yucky green-brown. Don't like it. Didn't seem to enhance the maple figure as much as I expected.
    Maybe i made too strong a concentrate.

  3. #53
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    That's the main reason I don't use oxidizers like that. The toxicity is bad enough, but unpredictability is what bothers me. I feel like I can get the same, or similar grain enhancement with dyes, along with predictability.

  4. #54
    Registered User Lefty Luthier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    Answered my own question. went away for a couple of hours and it turned a yucky green-brown. Don't like it. Didn't seem to enhance the maple figure as much as I expected.
    Maybe i made too strong a concentrate.
    The yucky green-brown is exactly how it should look before sanding. Wait a couple of days and it will take on a more uniform grayish tone that can be greatly enhanced with any water or alcohol based dyes.
    Byron Spain, Builder
    www.theleftyluthier.com

  5. #55
    Registered User barry k's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    How does one even get that stuff, I though it is by prescription only from a foot doctor? or am I thinking of some other chemical?

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Woodfinishing Enterprises in Wisconsin has it.
    The smallest they sell is 4 oz. and it's bright orange granules. About a teaspoon in a little water is plenty so I have several lifetimes of it.

  7. #57
    iii mandolin Geoff B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    I "borrowed" some from a school I was at and tried it with the same results. The oxidation looked very much like a brown-amber dye when all was said and done and I put it away, never to come back. Also, you need to take it to a special place to be disposed of...

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff B View Post
    --snip--
    Also, you need to take it to a special place to be disposed of...
    You mean in the back yard, on the neighbor's side of the fence?

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    I have a question for the experts...I plan on finishing a mandolin soon and have been doing my research. This older thread has been very helpful. Okay, question is...I really want to try my hand at french polish shellac finish. And want to hand rub the burst, but it looks like alcohol dyes will be more difficult than water based. Is this correct? And will you get a color stable result using water based burst with french polish shellac top coat?

  10. #60
    Registered User Loudloar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Potassium Dichromate is a known carcinogen. You do not want to breath the powder form or have skin contact in any form. I can't recommend its use because of the health hazard. Its effect on wood is enhanced by exposing it to sunlight. A dilute form will result in light brown stain, stronger solutions can get very dark brown. Violin makers have used it for eons to enhance grain, antique the insides of instruments before assembly, etc. There are safer ways to do the job. If you do use it you should use rubber gloves, a breathing mask and eye protection.

    Steve

  11. #61
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Not sure where dichromate comes into this... llg, I use water based dyes with shellac over and it works just fine. That said, I have found that the water based dyes I use (Liberon) don't penetrate the wood that much - maybe 'cos the water doesn't penetrate? So be sure to raise the grain and rub back a few times before applying the dye as if you need to sand after applying the dye, you have to be very careful. You do also get some leakage of the dye onto the pad when applying the first coat or two - it doesn't really lift the dye much, just make your pad dirty, so be careful when moving from dyed to un-dyed areas not to spread the color. Obviously spraying the first coat would fix that issue, but as long as you're careful and quick with a light touch with the pad you're basically OK.

    HTH, John.

  12. #62
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Thanks for the response. By raising the grain, do you mean wet the wood with water rag first as in the Cordino video, or do you mean just rub back and forth considerably with the first dye rag to achieve a more thorough penetration of the base color?

  13. #63
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Quote Originally Posted by llg View Post
    Thanks for the response. By raising the grain, do you mean wet the wood with water rag first as in the Cordino video, or do you mean just rub back and forth considerably with the first dye rag to achieve a more thorough penetration of the base color?
    I mean wet, let it dry, sand off the raised grain, then repeat till the grain stops rising up. Obviously don't sand too much with each iteration or you're back to square one - a light sand with 320 grit or so is fine.

  14. #64
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Thanks for clarifying...I'll give that a try.

  15. #65
    Registered User Andy Morton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rubbed sunburst finish

    Water based dyes (transtint and transfast from woodcraft) worked really well for me under a classic french polish. Here is a good youtube video that I found helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a159B...feature=relmfu

    Andy

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