There is a real easy way to make all different colors of arrow shafts and crown dips without having to have a fortune invested in crown dip paints and dip tubes. For me the discovery of water soluble aniline dyes was like finding the holy grail of arrow building. I can keep an inventory of dozens of colors and just mix up what I need by adding a little hot water.

These dyes come in powder form and sell for about $4 - $6 per 1 oz. bottle which will make about a quart of dye. If you made a couple of dozen arrows a year, a 1 oz. jar would probably last several years. The color choice is really good. I counted about 100 different colors or wood tones available. You can even mix colors to get the exact shade you're looking for. I mixed some Lemon Yellow and Amber Maple together and got a beautiful osage color.

It is available as either alcohol soluble dye or water soluble dye. My preference is the water soluble dye for its ease of use. All you have to do is mix the dye with a little hot water to the color intensity that you want, let cool and wipe it on with a soft cloth. It is as simple as that. This dye works very well on even the most difficult to stain woods. The water will have a tendency to raise the grain of the wood, but a little #0000 steel wool will easily take care of that.

(caution: use rubber gloves when applying the dye as it will stain your hands)

One of the things that I like about the dye is that the grain of the wood will show through the color, which to me adds to the attractiveness of the arrow. Another thing that I like is that the dye doesn't add weight to the nock end of the shaft like a thick coat of paint will. I have dipped lacquer, polyurethane and polycrylic over the dye with excellent results. Unlike leather dye, the water soluble aniline dye will not pollute the lacquer in the dip tube.

This dye can be purchased from Valley Traditional Archery Supply (970-876-0170).

arrowmaking menu
Raw Arrow Materials
Weight and Spine
Straightening Wood Shafts
Tapering Tools
Nock Alignment
Aneline Dyes
Feathers - Wing Choice
Feathers continued..
Splicing Feathers
Arrow Finishes - Part I
Arrow Finishes - Part II Bohning Paints
Arrow Finishes Part III - Other finishes
Cresting - Part 1
Cresting Part II
PBS Arrow Building Contest 
Finishing Wild Turkey Feathers
Homemade Cresting Machine
Marble Dip
Self Nocks

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