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Thread: Transtints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,256

    Transtints

    I would like to know from those of you using transtints if you know how long the shelf life is of these dyes.

    what i am looking to do is to make a bulk order for various other items from Joe Woodworker. He sells transtints at good prices and I have been itching to get my hands on some dyes to play with especially now given its winter .

    As i understand it please correct me if i am wrong, these are concentrates. So i can take a bit from the bottle and mix a batch in another bottle for use. Based on my activity and use i am concerned about how long i would take to use a whole bottle of the original dye. Not too worried if the mixed batch needs to be tossed out after a few months but have no idea how long the primary concentrate lasts or even if it has a shelf life. ?
    Joes website says unmixed dyes have unlimited shelf life is that true?


    Next question would be what color variety to start out with to have a decent range of mixes available. Any recommendations. Definitely going to pick up a color wheel to go with it.

    Been itching since meeting Dave at Larrys place years ago to give this dye finishing thing a try.
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 10-23-2014 at 07:28 PM.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,994
    I've had ten 2oz bottles of TransTint dyes that I bought at least 12 years ago and they're still good. It was (and still is) a little pricey, but considering how long they last and how little it takes to create a finish you want, it's not a bad investment.

    I had some specific items in mind when I bought the dyes, so I got the following:
    Red Mahogany
    Brown Mahogany
    Dark Mission Brown
    Dark Walnut
    Honey Amber
    Bright Red
    Green
    Blue
    Lemon Yellow
    Black

    With this set of dyes, I've been able to get the matches I needed for many projects.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    My Transtint stock is several years old, and seems 'good-as-new.' I mixed some up just yesterday, and it's fine.

    As for mixing - I usually mix it in 8oz (~250ml) quantities. "Full Strength' (per TT instructions) converts to about 7.4ml of dye to 250ml water. I use bottled water, and haven't had any problems. I store my mixes in plastic squeeze bottles (like for ketchup, etc.) that I buy by the dozen at GFS. (Smart & Final for you West Coast folks). To make mixing easier, I bought a box of 10ml veterinary syringes at Tractor Supply, along with some 16ga-1" needles.

    From the 'full strength' mixtures, I can dilute, or mix colors as needed to get whatever I need.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wapakoneta, OH
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    611
    Following much the same practice, I dilute mine in some water and store it in canning jars with a plastic storage lid. I don't believe they have a shelf life, but they should be stored in a dark, cool spot (sunlight is especially bad). I do the same with powered dyes, only I strain them before they go into the storage bottles. The only problem I've encountered is some mold growth on the water...I scoop it off before use. This has only happened once or twice of the 6-7 dyes i have on hand.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    3,020
    I am pretty new to transtint - but I love colors on wood - so I jumped in with both feet. I bought a bunch (6-7) colors a few years ago. I also bought some calibrated plastic syringes at McMaster with plastic tips. They work great for measuring and inexpensive.

    The concentration level of the transtint is so concentrated that one little bottle will go a REALLY long way.

    It can be mixed in either water or alcohol.

    I tried the alcohol but it dries far to quickly - and you need to work the transtint a little. I don't like mixing with alcohol.

    Now - I mix with water - but I only mix maybe 2 ounces of diluted at a time. Even that is still good after 2-3 years.

    I go to uline.com and I buy small glass jars with screw on lids. I have 2oz - 4oz - and 8oz jars. I bought a case of each. They come in handy for a lot of stuff.

    I use the 2oz jars for transtint.

    Don't get it on your hands - it will be there for a while.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,994
    In my first post up the page, I didn't get into how I mix TransTint dyes. I use the drop method - 1 - 2 - 3 ... 19 ... 50 ... yeah, that way. I got started that way because I was trying different densities as tests. I'd measure an ounce of liquid (DA or water) and add some dye to it. If I was blending colors, I'd drip some of one, then some of another, test on a board, then decide which blend I liked. If I need 8oz of dye for a job, all I have to do is a little multiplication.

    As to DA or water, I've used both successfully but prefer DA because it dries faster and doesn't raise the grain. Having said that, I'll sometimes use distilled water if I'm spraying a larger piece. If I'm shading a piece, I tend to go with DA since it dries quickly after landing on the surface and I can see what I'm doing better.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    I primarily use Transtint dyes as a toner - a drop or two or three in a spray gun with the water based sanding sealer or finishes. As a toner you can get more color with an extra or thicker coat, or less color with a mist, so the exact mix doesn't matter. If you want to shift colors, just use a different dye on the next coat.

    I can't remember which is my walnut saver, but either Redish brown 6003 or Medium brown 6004 sprayed on sapwood hides it pretty well.

    Don't overlook Cordovan 6007. It looks ugly on the color charts. I had a commission that had to match a sample piece, and it took a stain followed by multiple toners to get the match. When the customer ordered another piece, I happened to try cordovan Transtint, and it was a perfect match - a few drops in the sanding sealer, rather than days of fiddling.

    The two giant nightstands were done with Cordovan Transtint, and rated a perfect match to the original vanity dresser - see
    www.plesums.com/wood/bedroom/vanity.html
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    9,076
    I haven't had mine as long as some folks but, 6 years on some of them wouldn't surprise me. I notice no degradation of the product. I keep them sealed with their original caps and store them in a cabinet in the un-insulated shop (but, I'm in SoCal).
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Outside the beltway
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    I've had 10 12 Oz bottles around for 20 years Rob. As long as they are kept air tight they will stay good. I used them all the time when I was doing the faux painting way back when , these days with Lacquer I like the dye's for colorant.
    Last edited by Dave Hawksford; 10-24-2014 at 02:58 PM.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Well i forgot to come back to this thread and thank you all for your valued input. I finally picked up my transtint dyes which had been waiting for me at my post box in Niagara. Also got some 8 ounce squeeze bottles from HF to serve for diluting and mix if needed.

    Thanks all for the tips on how to mix and what to mix with etc. Actually going to take the posts and make a pdf that i think we can put in the tips section.
    cheers

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