Reply by Roswell

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Posted on Dying Plywood Edging

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77 posts in 2287 days

#1 posted 09-06-2012 07:02 PM

My hands are dyed with a water-based aniline dye as I type this, and it’s been a pretty fun learning experience. Let me make a couple of suggestions for attacking this one. Something I just learned yesterday: give yourself something to sand. Meaning: dye and finish your edge banding prior to installing. If you get the finish thick enough, you can lightly sand your glue without sanding through the dye. Dyes don’t penetrate that deep.

You don’t really have to completely finish the banding prior to glue-up if you want, you can just put a waterproof seal coat on top of the dye to fix it in place, and then any squeeze out won’t absorb the dye. Also, be aware that dyes will not penetrate most glue. So even if you get a small smear on something and wipe it off, it will prevent the dye from penetrating into the wood and thus look funny.

If I were doing it, I’d try to stain and seal/finish the edge banding prior to installation. Once the glue got slightly firm, but not yet hard, I’d use a cabinet scraper to shave it off rather than smear it. If for some reason you must dye the edge banding after you install it, you can apply the dye with a thin rag wrapped around your finger with darn good precision. Another technique to minimize the glue headache would be to tilt the project back at about a 45, and ensure that as you apply the edge banding, the force of application causes the glue to come out the bottom of the banding, and run under towards the shelf itself.

Another option I’ve never explored: use the veneer edge banding that you apply with an iron rather than glue.
As someone here told me, there’s a lot of good information on finishing at Charles Neil's website

This is just my .02, and I probably should get some change back, but good luck. I think that project is going on my to-do list.

-- _Never argue with an idiot. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience_

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