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Thread: Dyeing bone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    282

    Default Dyeing bone

    Is there a way to dye bone? I love the sound of bone saddles and nuts but my latest build would look best if the saddle and nut were black instead of white. I was searching around the shop for some pieces of ebony when it hit me...I wonder if bone could be dyed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Forsyth Co., North Carolina
    Posts
    152

    Default

    Certainly can.

    here is a tutorial. http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...one-A-Tutorial
    Ad Astra Per Aspera

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Posts
    4,226

    Default

    You can get an antique patina by soaking bone in either tea or coffee. I've attempted to turn bone black by letting it sit in leather dye for a few minutes. It was black but splotchy splotchy. When I want a true black for nuts or saddles I use black micarta.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    central CA
    Posts
    366

    Default

    What do you guys think of buffalo horn?? It's pretty black and it sounded good. I've used it on a couple of builds and the only thing about it that is weird is that there are kind of like layers that show when you shape it. At least that's what happened top me both times I used it.
    My Real name is Terry Harris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Forsyth Co., North Carolina
    Posts
    152

    Default

    Horn, as opposed to antler, is similar to a block of compressed fiber. It wants to delaminate with age. Maybe a good soak in CA would help avoid this problem. Water buffalo horns will buff to a mirror polish. Just don't overheat it.

    Link for horn workers. http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/horn/hornhome.html
    Ad Astra Per Aspera

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Thanks, Gyozu. I read the info on the link and the dyeing process seems straight forward. I'll try it later this week and post some pics of the results.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,144

    Default

    How about a black marker? A Sharpie would color it black pretty well.

  8. #8

    Default

    I believe a sharpie is not the correct color of black. A vacuum chamber can be useful for dying things, especially if you have a dual chamber setup where you can first evacuate the bone, thenopen a valve, letting the dye enter the chamber, and then apply pressure, driving the dye even deeper. The most expensive part of this setup is the vacuum pump. Vacuum bags/ clamps are cool, useful for things like, say, laminating neck blanks. Bar clamps do not even come close to the quality of even pressure achieved in a vacuum bag. If you have a vacuum pump, designing a chamber is not difficult. Stabilizing wood uses this same technique, of impregnation in a vacuum chamber. (wow, that sounds bad!....)

    Of course, it is easiest to just buy something that will work, unless your artistic side tells you that you need to make it yourself because what you want is not available.

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