USING ANILINE DYES
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