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ukeeku
03-14-2013, 06:35 AM
I have been presented the opportunity to build a uke in David Gills workshop in Columbus, IN.
He is a pretty plain jane builder, and people love that about him (Me included) but I am going to build a uke from beginning to end at his shop and I want to try some stuff that he does not do normally.

I think the wood will be all White mahogany body, sides, neck(Also know as Prima Vera?)
Maple Fretboard and bridge, corian nut and saddle.

Since the wood is pretty light with a ton of grain character, I want to dye it instead of staining it. We are going to do binding also.

My idea as a cheap vacuum dye thing would be putting the wood cut to general thickness in a metal pan, with a metal rack on top and putting it in a space bag (Like in the late night ads) and pulling all the air out. that way the bag will not touch the dye or wood.

1. Would this work?
2. What dye and mixture?Thinking blue top and back, leave the sides natural, then do a neck that alternates natural and blue (He does a 5 piece neck that is wood, wood, Walnut, wood, wood)
3. Will I warp the wood? how can I fix that?

mzuch
03-14-2013, 07:17 AM
If this is your first instrument, do yourself a favor and keep it simple. Go for the dyes and embellishments when you have the basic skills down.

ksquine
03-14-2013, 07:25 AM
Ditto on keeping it simple....
But if you want the color, look around for guitar finishing info on how to dye. http://luthiersforum.com/forum or videos on youtube. People dye maple all the time with no vacuum needed. Just wipe on dyes or tinted lacquer or both. It makes the final finish much harder if you want a smooth glossy finish. Nothing ruins your day faster than sanding through the topcoats into the color.

ukeeku
03-14-2013, 09:26 AM
Ditto on keeping it simple....
But if you want the color, look around for guitar finishing info on how to dye. http://luthiersforum.com/forum or videos on youtube. People dye maple all the time with no vacuum needed. Just wipe on dyes or tinted lacquer or both. It makes the final finish much harder if you want a smooth glossy finish. Nothing ruins your day faster than sanding through the topcoats into the color.
right, that is why I want to dye it. the dye penetrates the wood. I figured that if it is close to the thickness then I have a better shot of having it penetrate completely and I don't have to worry about sanding through.

Paul December
03-14-2013, 09:30 AM
I would expect the dye to be very uneven (or potentially so). When you stain, you can control for such things.

Rick Turner
03-14-2013, 03:50 PM
Vacuum dying wood is a whole thing unto itself. I doubt you can do it with a vacuum bag.

Just build a uke. Paint it whatever color you want it to be.

Briangriffinukuleles
03-14-2013, 06:59 PM
If you are going to all that trouble why use corian for the nut and saddle. Find some bone.

Rick Turner
03-15-2013, 05:12 AM
Corian is wonderful for a number of applications....like countertops and shower stalls. I was one of the early Dupont authorized installers; I do know from Corian!

It sucks for nuts and saddles. It chips easily, it's heavy, and it has a fairly high damping factor.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
03-15-2013, 08:09 AM
I think the wood will be all White mahogany body, sides, neck(Also know as Prima Vera?)
Maple Fretboard and bridge, corian nut and saddle.

Since the wood is pretty light with a ton of grain character, I want to dye it instead of staining it. We are going to do binding also.

My idea as a cheap vacuum dye thing would be putting the wood cut to general thickness in a metal pan, with a metal rack on top and putting it in a space bag (Like in the late night ads) and pulling all the air out. that way the bag will not touch the dye or wood.

1. Would this work?
2. What dye and mixture?Thinking blue top and back, leave the sides natural, then do a neck that alternates natural and blue (He does a 5 piece neck that is wood, wood, Walnut, wood, wood)
3. Will I warp the wood? how can I fix that?

With some figured woods i've sanded to 400, then rubbed stain/dye into the wood (seal the top first with something), sanded back with 400 to remove the 'tops' of the dye while leaving the dye in the troughs of the figure, thus accentuating the dark and lights, highs and lows of the figure. Grain fill with something clear then spray as usual. If you sand through a little, it isn't a big a deal as putting a tinted coat first on a white wood...sand through to/past that and your in screwed.

Im about to make a birds eye maple tenor Stauffer style which i may employ this method to add some renaissancey feel, or just French polish it

Pic is Tassy Blackwood done with this process5032150322503235032450325

Paul December
03-15-2013, 08:35 AM
It sucks for nuts and saddles. It chips easily, it's heavy, and it has a fairly high damping factor.

Other than that, sounds like great stuff! :D