Water based dyes?

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Water based dyes?

Post by JimmY » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:24 am

Hi All,
I'm in the middle of a Squirt build, and I'm planning on using genuine mahogany veneer (1/42") on the sides and transom to do a bright finish. I have experience in vacuum bagging, and it should not be too difficult a task. I want to have a two tone finish with a typical "Chriscraft red" on the sides and top, with a darker color on the covering boards.

I plan on putting at least one coat of epoxy on the bare plywood sides prior to veneering.

When vacuum bagging thin veneers, you have to keep the amount of epoxy down other wise it will bleed through to the surface. However, to get a good marine bond and encapsulation I want to use more epoxy. So the question is, if some of the epoxy bleeds through the veneer, will the water based dye still color the wood evenly? Looking at some of the other cold molded "big builds" there is epoxy squeeze out on the final layers and someone may have experience with this. The other option is to dye the veneers first, and being water base this shouldn't effect the epoxy bond.

The second question, does anyone have a nice recipe or experience with either Lockwood or another dye to get a "Chriscraft red" on Mahogany? I've been searching different dye sites, but it's hard to judge the colors on a monitor. Just seeing if someone can point me in the right direction before I start ordering samples and staining my fingers.

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Re: Water based dyes?

Post by DSR » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:11 pm

Hi Jim,

Like we've talked about, I'm planning on using vacuum bagging on the TNT and I was curious about bagging thin veneers while researching the subject. I also want to do the classic Chris Craft look with field and cover boards on the Zip when I get to it and how to deal with the epoxy pulling through the veneers.
Just thinking out loud, but I was wondering if epoxy encapsulating the backside of the veneers before the glue up would keep this from happening?

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Re: Water based dyes?

Post by rbrandenstein » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:39 pm

I am wondering if this veneer is too thin. Besides the staining concern, you also don't have enough material for sanding the hull to a smooth finish.

Even if you coat the back before veneering, I would think you will have inconsistent stain take-up which could ruin the look you want.

I did a little sanding on the scarf joint of my meranti plywood and it didn't take much to go through the top layer. You will need to do sanding on the hull to finish it, so you could go through. I might be worth it to play with some scrap pieces to see how it works out.
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Re: Water based dyes?

Post by JimmY » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:42 am

Hi Guys,

With mahogany being quite porous, I'd worry about putting epoxy on the back side bleeding through as well.

As far as the veneer being too thin and not having enough thickness to sand, here is a serving tray I did a while back. The bottom is 1/4" plywood with cherry and maple veneer that I vacuum bagged on to it. You can see that you get a very smooth surface. Since I'm doing this on a squirt with flat sheet plywood side, and not cold molded with compound curves, the veneers should be as flat and smooth as the plywood underneath.
When I veneered this, I squeegeed some epoxy on to the plywood and wet it out. Then I used the wife's credit card to scrape almost all of the epoxy back off. When I was done, there was just a light sheen on the plywood. Finally, I laid on the veneer all taped together as one piece and put it in the bag. The panel was made up over size that was trimmed to fit. On the off cuts, peeling off the veneer started to peel off the top layer of plywood. Not shown is the backside where I screwed up an didn't scrape off enough epoxy and the vacuum pulled it through to the top.

This is my concern, if I don't use enough epoxy I could get a poor bond and if I use too much the epoxy could bleed through. On a boat, I'd rather err on the side of too much epoxy.

My plan for the sides and transom is:

1.) 1 or 2 coats epoxy to encapsulate the plywood
2.) Sand/fill plywood smooth.
3.) Vacuum bag the veneer
4.) Light sand veneer (220grit)
5.) 1 coat epoxy to encapsulate the veneer
6.) Fiberglass to protect it with several coats of epoxy.
7.) WR-LPU Gloss clear

On the deck, I plan to re-saw genuine mahogany to ~3/16" to 1/4", epoxy coat it, and clear it.

The problem in the plan is the veneers are coming from one source, and the deck boards will be coming from another, hence the need to use a dye to try an get the top and sides to match. But, if I err on the side of too much epoxy, it could bleed through the veneers and affect the dye. So, I think the best answer is to dye the veneers before bagging them. The other option would be to use the veneers on the deck as well and just go with the color I get under the epoxy.

I could try a filler stain, and I know there is a Chriscraft red out there, but this would probably require using CPES to seal it and the smell and fumes probably won't fly in my basement.

If I go with dyes, the second part of my question is any ideas on what color dyes people are using? This is the look I'm going for:
Looking at the water based dyes from Lockwood (https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/sto ... LW-WMAH.XX), the colonial red mahogany looks like a starting point, with English brown or Standard brown (with some black?) for the covering boards. The dyes are not that expensive, but it would be nice to narrow things down before I start experimenting.

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