do you lose radiating lines in burl if you dye it?

soundmind

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm finishing handle scales I cut from birch burl. I got some radiating lines but no curly grain. I barely sanded through a hole in the front with black epoxy in it. It looks like someone just dabbed it with a sharpie. I thought that's what really happened until I finally figured out what it was. I can barely see it, but it's there.

Anyway, I want to dye the scales black to hide it, but I don't want to lose the radiating bright lines through the wood. It seems like the lines would still retain some brightness but I thought I'd ask first as I sure don't want to lose the overall effect.

I can leave it, too. It's not that bad. I think the birch finished with oil and sealer with peened brass pins will be nice, too.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
#2
Well I am not looking at what you have before you but, black is a color that can work well or it can be just dominant! I am old woodworker so when I hear some one talking of dyeing Birch Burl black, I have this cold shiver run up my back!!

Anyway, I want to dye the scales black to hide it, but I don't want to lose the radiating bright lines through the wood. It seems like the lines would still retain some brightness but I thought I'd ask first as I sure don't want to lose the overall effect.
I may be wrong but if you go with a black dye on the wood you will probably loose the radiating bright lines you are speaking of!! I think if it is bothering you, you might experiment how to cover the on spot without losing the brilliant bright lines you are speaking of!!!

There are a couple on here that work in the supply of wood maybe one of them will give you a better idea. I will say though without a pic it is gonna be hard for anyone to be able to advise you!!
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
#3
I will say though without a pic it is gonna be hard for anyone to be able to advise you!!
I've got one but I couldn't load it. I'll try in the morning when there's less people online.

I am old woodworker so when I hear some one talking of dyeing Birch Burl black, I have this cold shiver run up my back!!
That's kind of the experience I was looking for. I'm experimenting with free burl; It seems like birch is a little soft for a knife handle. Might have had a better life used to make a bowl. Thanks C
 

EdCaffreyMS

Forum Owner - Moderator
#4
When it comes to natural materials, there are few, if any, hard and fast rules. When it comes to woods, every piece has it's own specific characteristics. I've cut a lot of my own woods, and dyed and/or stabilized them, and found that no two of them react the same. One piece comes out dazzling, and another, cut just adjacent to it, treated the same, comes out bland.

All you can do is take an educated guess, and try...... the reality is that whatever you're seeking to achieve will work, or it won't. That sounds kinda trite.....but that just the way it is when dealing with natural materials.
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
#5
I found a piece I cut off and wasn't going to use when I was cleaning up outside today. I sanded it to 120 and been soaking it now and then throughout the day. I'll try it. If it works, maybe I'll do it on the handle. If there's no guarantee it's going to work twice I might just live with the spot on it and finish it clear.
Thanks again Ed
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
#6
I decided to give it a shot. I don't see the radiating lines anymore - they had a different tone with one light coating but after a process of sanding and coating (about 4 times), overall they're gone. I can get one to come back but with the black dye it looks like a water mark, just a grey streak, not glamorous at all. But the black handles look good still.

I think radiating lines are more dense. Any other color might have worked. I hoped for the look of some woods after they've been stabilized, but it looked nothing like that. I would just stabilize in the future or use lighter dye.
 

soundmind

Well-Known Member
#8
I wasn't going to put up a picture, I've already posted a lot of junk. But if you want to see, here's the shot. I circled the only spot where a line tried to show up. It's a rough finish, flat black. Going to peen brass pins in place next, clean everything, then wax. Unless I decide to take it all back down to 80 or 120 just to see what I can dig up.

Here's a couple shots of what it looked like before. The middle pic catches the light well. the last pic is the bookmatched pair.
 

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soundmind

Well-Known Member
#10
Got it to come back a little. I sanded everything back down to wood and just put one coat of dye. It's leather dye - that may be significant - or not?
 
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