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Old 03-22-2004, 06:46 PM #1
harpo568 (Banned)
 
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The DIFINITIVE guide to dyeing plastics

THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!!
TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!

Over the past couple of years I've seen a lot of threads about dyeing equipment.After much experimenting I thought I'd assemble my personal experiences into one informative thread.
If there is soemthing you'd like to add please feel free but I'd really like to keep this an info thread and keep the "chatty" comments and other garbage out of it.
I'll try to include prices and alternate items whenever possible.

Items Needed:

Good ,well lit ,CLEAN work area with a sink and HOT and COLD water source readily available.

Good clean Plastic containers:
1. 2 gallon buckets. ($2.00 Wal~Mart)
2. 5 gallon buckets. ($2.50 Wal~Mart)
3. various small deep containers for dyeing small parts
4. small lidded container for various other parts such as
screws etc..

Sturdy device for stirring (.50 cent wooden dowel rod works great) or long handled plastic pasta spoon.(WARNINGO NOT grab one from your mothers kitchen without asking...can cause sudden excruciating pain and possible brusing)

Hot glue gun ($5.00-$15.00) with high temp sticks (for splashes)

Clear tape (I use either packaging tape or scotch tape) ($1.00-$5.00) for masking areas you don't want dyed or for doing interesting designs.

Roll of light wire (aluminium works great) or kite string (wire $1.50 string $0.75 at Wal~Mart) for hanging parts in dye bath.

1/4 inch dowell rod.($0.75 at Wal~Mart) for hanging parts.

heavy lead fishing weights (the ones with the loop wired into them work best) ($1.00-$2.00 at Wal~Mart) to keep light parts submerged.

Spray bottle ($1.00 or less at Wal~Mart) for cleaning up drips

1 gallon UNSCENTED bleach.For the spills and drips that WILL eventually happen and cleanup after you are done.

Paper towels (get 2 rolls) ($1.00 or less at Wal~Mart)

Clean OLD towel (see warning about pasta spoon)
OR
BEST BET:Bag of shop rags (you can get packages of 20 for about $5.00 at Wal~Mart automotive department)

Rit LIQUID dye (easiest to use and most readily available) in whatever color or colors you want ($2.50 each at Wal~Mart).Normally they are quite clear and vibrant colors when you are done.There are other dyes available that are specifically made for plastics but they are a lot harder to obtain and are much more expensive and harder to work with.

Parts to dye


PARTS PREPERATION

Disassemble ,thoroughly clean with soapy water, rinse and dry all parts to be dyed.Make sure that all stickers and sticker goo is removed. Set the clean parts aside in an area that they won't be disturbed or contaminated while you are preparing the dye bath.Make sure that any parts ,screws ,nuts ,straps or whatever else you aren't going to dye are set aside somewhere they won't be lost or broken(the plastic box mentioned before).
If you are going to get gutsy and try a splash of fade you'll have to do other prep to the parts before dyeing...
splashes will need to have the hot glue put onto the parts and the back masked off.
When doing multi colors or fades (example blue to red) you'll need to figure exactly how deep the part will need to hang into the dye and then hang it using wire or string from the dowell rod.
When doing designs you'll need to mask off the area(s) you want to keep the dye out of.


EMERGENCY CLEANUP PREPERATION
DO THIS BEFORE OPENING THE DYE!!!
Get your paper towels ,towel ,spray bottle ,bleach and bucket ready.Fill one bucket with about 1-1/2 gallons of water and add about 1/3 cup of bleach.Fill the spray bottle from the bleachwater mix and set it aside but where it's easy to get to.
ACCIDENTS AND SPILLS CAN AND DO HAPPEN AND IT'S BETTER TO BE PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME THAN TO HAVE TO RUN AROUND GETTING EVERYTHING YOU NEED TOGETHER AS DYE RUNS ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

DYE BATH PREPERATION (Medium size parts...rev,halo shells,masks,etc.) with larger parts use 2 bottles dye in 3 gallons water in 5 gallon bucket.

FIRST OF ALL the package instructions say you need to use boiling water and salt...ignore them.Those instructions are for dyeing fabrics and don't apply to what you are doing.
SHAKE THE BOTTLE OF DYE VIGOROUSLY before opening.
Put a 2 gallon bucket in a deep sink...I have an old two compartment wash sink in the basement that works great for this...
If the hot water from your tap is good and hot (uncomfortable to keep your hand in for more than a few seconds) put about 1 gallon of water in one of the 2 gallon buckets.open the bottle of dye OVER THE BUCKET and empty it into the water.Slowly refill the bottle about half way ,recap and shake it and empty that into the bucket as well.ADD THE DYE TO THE WATER...it reduces splashing and extra messes.
IF the water from your tap isn't hot enough boil about 1-1/2 gallons of water before putting it into bucket.then add the dye.
Stir the dye/water mix thoroughly.

DYEING YOUR PARTS

Drop the parts in it's that easy.stir the dye from time to time to prevent setteling or layering of the dye.If you hang your parts from a string or wire it makes extracting them to check the colors much easier.Check the progress every 5-20 minutes depending on what you are trying to dye and how dark you want it.Some materials such as urethane (o-rings ,etc.) take color quickly others like Polycarbonates (new revvy lids) either won't take dye or take a long time.
Once the desired shade/color is reached pull the parts out and thoroughly rinse them with clear COLD water.once they are rinsed,washed and dried you can reassemble everything and you are good to go.

CLEANUP
if you plan on doing more dyeing soon you can store the leftover dye in a strong sealed container (I use well cleaned laundry detergent bottles).make sure you clean up any spills,splashed and drips with the bleach water.wash the bucket and anything else that contained dye and throw away any paper towels or towels (DO NOT PUT THE TOWELS IN THE LAUNDRY WITH ANYTHING ELSE!!!).bleach the sink and work areas and put everything away.

AFTER EFFECTS OF DYEING YOUR GEAR

YOU WILL BE THE ENVY OF EVERY PLAYER AT THE FIELD AND SUDDENLY DESIRED BY SUPERMODELS THE WORLD OVER...
okay the truth is you'll probably get a lot of comments about how your gear looks...I get rec players going nuts over my blue/red proteus with the clear red/blue frame a lot.

ENJOY!
HARPO.....


THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!!
TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!
THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!!
TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!

Last edited by harpo568 : 04-07-2005 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:25 PM #2
UnIdentifiedFreak
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No pics? well thats worthless...

Hah just kidding thats very in depth, great job!!
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Old 03-22-2004, 08:49 PM #3
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many apo-plogies on the pics.
I don't have anywhere to get the pics hosted right now.
I could probably have given a lot more detail but I kind of ran out of time.
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:45 PM #4
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can you sayy stickay?

props to you harpo!
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:39 AM #5
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Sticky this before it gets away
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:34 AM #6
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I can host them for ya, send me an email: UnIdentifiedFreak@hotmail.com
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Old 03-24-2004, 07:19 AM #7
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thank you for taking the time to make an intelligent post about this subject. I've been doing custom work on paintball stuff across the board for a while now, done a LOT of trial and error in many different aspects... and I agree with pretty much everything you've said here (well, cept your spelling of "Definitive" ), ESPECIALLY your recommendation for the LIQUID RIT dye, instead of the powdered. SO much better to work with.

One thing I'd like to note...

Quote:
Some materials such as urethane (o-rings ,etc.) take color quickly others like Polycarbonates (new revvy lids) either won't take dye or take a long time.
polycarbonates are EASILY dyed, and only take 5-10 minutes... if you're doin it properly. In fact, ALL of Airgun Design's Warp Feed shells show up at their factory CLEAR from the Injection Molder. They actually plastic dye them in-house to the different colors.

The difference is, polycarbonate and HARD plastic dying (warpfeed shells, Halo shells, even EvoII shells) requires a nice big pot on your stove, that you don't mind staining on the inside (I got mine from Meijer for 15 bucks... 16 quart), some metal skewers or something to tie the parts to for hanging in there, and a sink by the stove to RUN cold water on the dyed parts... as well as the aforementioned emergency clean-up kit (ever stained your wife's stove purple? NO good )

Reason being, in order for the hard plastics/polycarb to properly accept dye, the pores in the material need to expand, which will absorb the dye, and then QUICKLY contract, trapping same dye.

process is mighty similar to Harpo's post above, but I'll go over it REAL quick anyway...

-- fill your big ol' pot up 3/4 full with water.
-- throw it up on the stove, on high, with a lid on
-- once the water starts boiling, add your liquid RIT dye (I recommend at LEAST two bottles, three if you'd like your dye job to go quicker, and be more vibrant)
-- after the dye-water boils for a few seconds (oooh, auto-stirrer!), turn the heat down to medium-high, to a point where the water STOPS boiling, but is still steaming heavily.
-- tie your parts (wire, string, yarn, whatever) to the long metal skewers. Attempt to gauge your hanger length to keep parts away from sides and bottom of pot (hence, big pot for hopper shells)
-- slowly submerge parts in the steaming hot dye water. you may wanna keep a pokey stick of some sort handy to push things down in there (dowel rod, old stock barrel, autococker , whatever)
-- check on em every 3-4 minutes. lift out by the skewer, and inspect.
-- when the parts appear to be SLIGHTLY DARKER than how you want them... immediately transfer the entire skewer of parts to the sink, under the running icy cold water faucet you already turned on. Careful, don't drip on the counter! Put a towel down, you slob! During the rinsing process, excess dye will rinse off, making the finish slightly lighter than in first appeared.
-- here's the best part. feel free to cold rinse early if you're worried. The worst thing that can happen that way is they're not dark enough... in which case? THROW EM BACK IN!! Not gonna hurt anything.

I have pictures of the whole process, from dying a clear EvoII medium purple for the custom marker I'm building for my wife. I've still gotta take a picture of the assembled hopper, after which, I'll throw a bunch of pics up in here.

Peace. --Funk
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:52 AM #8
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thank you for the correction...
I did make a mistake there.I was corrected by someone and I just hadn't had the time to correct myself.

Definitive was a typo on my part.



THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!!
TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!! TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!! TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!THIS PROCESS DOES NOT WORK ON METAL!!! TO COLOR METALS SEE THE ANNO THREAD!!!

Last edited by harpo568 : 04-07-2005 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:55 AM #9
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I need to copy the chart I have laying around for correcting the color of lenses that you tint.
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Old 03-24-2004, 01:03 PM #10
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Harpo: I was just teasin ya, bro. --Funk
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:24 PM #11
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I know but thanks for the correction.

Last edited by harpo568 : 03-24-2004 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:10 PM #12
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Will this work for mask lenses, or will the hot water ruin the anti fog?
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:44 PM #13
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i wouldn't try it for lenses, just for the sake of weakening them, and also if you have invision lenses, i know water will get in them and you'll be ****ed.
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Old 03-26-2004, 07:24 PM #14
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DON'T!!!!!!
DO IT ON LENSES!!!
NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER SCREW AROUND WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR SAFETY EQUIPMENT!!!
if you want tinted lenses then buy a set.
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:12 AM #15
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will this work on plastic thats already black?
(barrel shroud on pro/carbine, body on stingray 2)
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:00 PM #16
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if it's black the color won't show up or at best it might be slightly visible..
as for doing it on a procarbine shroud..it's aint' gonna work...
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Old 03-30-2004, 09:50 AM #17
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is there any way to get the color out, like bleach or something?
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:19 AM #18
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is there any way to get the color out, like bleach or something?
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:29 PM #19
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How about clear dye stickies? I want to fade a set for myself, ever tried those?
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:25 PM #20
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yeah try bleach, i know it works for lacrosse heads.
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Old 03-31-2004, 03:31 PM #21
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ill try, thanks
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