Sunday, January 24, 2016

100th Post! ...and still screwing up.

So Jason selected Stickley's Aurora Finish for his Flip-Top Table.  Perfect!  I already know how to do that one and I don't have to stop and run a dozen experiments to get a different color.  Awesome!

So I pull up my handy dandy Stickley Aurora Finishing Recipe & Schedule post to follow my step-by-step notes at the bottom, to the letter.

I mixed up the dye, per my own instructions, and applied it to all the parts today. I let it dry, then put a coat of boiled linseed oil on and went to my Mom's for a pasta dinner.  When I got home I opened my laptop and decided to check the aforementioned blog post to see what the next steps are and I decided to just read the post from the beginning to relive my thought process.

My eye catches on the "1 oz powder to 1 quart water."  I see that I thought this concentration was too dark and too red...   I read on and notice that I triple diluted the mix to get the right concentration to match the Aurora sample.  I scroll down to my step by step instructions and see that it says to mix 1oz powder to 1qt water, and realize that I mistyped my own instructions!

I realize I just applied an over-concentrated dye to every part in this project!  It didn't look that bad as I was applying it, but that's never a good indicator as it looks completely different when it dries.  It didn't look bad when I put the boiled linseed oil on.  But after I realized what I did, I could see that it is, in fact, too dark and too red.

My stomach fell down to my feet at the realization that I may have ruined months of work and hundreds of dollars of wood.

I rushed downstairs, grabbed the can of mineral spirits and a rag and frantically rubbed it over every part to dilute the boiled linseed oil.  After that flashed dry I took hot water and soaked each part and scrubbed.

It worked!  Holy crap it worked!  I was able to remove quite a bit of the reddish/purplish tone.

The only problem now is that each part got a different level of dilution, so I'm going to mix the formula correctly this time (1oz powder to 3qt water) and reapply.  I don't think applying more dye of a given concentration darkens it further.  If you want it darker you have to add more dye powder to the solution.  I'll confirm that on a test piece, just to be sure.

So that's my 100th post.  I almost ruined the finish on a beautiful table and saved my own ass at the last second.  Here's to 100 more!  :-P

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