Recommended Posts

Wondering what you guys use to cover your workbenches when dyeing? I’ve been using brown paper bags but it’s a mess, still have to put down garbage bag below it etc. 

Is anyone using anything washable? Like a silicone mat?

Or are there any surfaces you’d recommend, since I’m going to build my own workbench this summer? There’s some cast off granite countertop coming my way - it’s ugly already and I don’t care if I stain it. Need to find something that either doesn’t absorb the dye, or just doesn’t release it again onto future projects. Honestly, maybe glass? I could certainly set up a separate table with some glass on it for this. 

What do you think? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have, in the past, and will continue in the future to use cardboard. After staining or applying a finish, the object is hung up or placed to dry. The cardboard is placed out of the way, so it can dry, then be used again at another time.

Of course, it can be thrown away if it becomes to badly affected by moisture etc.

On the small amount of dyeing and finishing I have done, I have had no problems.

Edited by Rockoboy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beltmaker I used to know kept a dedicated dye bench. It was just a large old glass shelf on four wooden legs. Wiped off easy whenever he was done. Only has to be slightly larger than the largest thing you commonly make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Matt S said:

Beltmaker I used to know kept a dedicated dye bench. It was just a large old glass shelf on four wooden legs. Wiped off easy whenever he was done. Only has to be slightly larger than the largest thing you commonly make.

Or a handy piece of toughened glass, with polished edges and rounded corners, to place between work bench and work... could be good for fine skiving too.

H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Rockoboy said:

I have, in the past, and will continue in the future to use cardboard. After staining or applying a finish, the object is hung up or placed to dry. The cardboard is placed out of the way, so it can dry, then be used again at another time.

Of course, it can be thrown away if it becomes to badly affected by moisture etc.

On the small amount of dyeing and finishing I have done, I have had no problems.

I’ve had trouble with this, because when my cardboard or brown paper gets wet again the next time I use it, that color is transferred to my new project. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, AmyK said:

when my cardboard or brown paper gets wet again the next time I use it, that color is transferred to my new project

Hmmmm ... I have not had this happen. I figured it was because the dye fully dried into the cardboard and I have never had any transfer.

I will definitely be more careful in the future, because I bet it will a vitally important piece where I 1st have it happen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We get those annoying "free" "news"papers flung onto the driveway every week. They never have anything in them except ads. It's really littering IMO. In an act of rebellious retribution, I use them to line my dye table and just peel off the affected layers until its clean to dye on again. I've turned an annoyance into a supply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, I use masking paper like that used in a body shop.  Bought a masking tool that applies the masking tape as the paper is unrolled.  It'll dry and or I throw the paper away when I am done dying, putting on sealer or conditioners

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use old newspapers. Have a bunch, and throw away after use. I have yet to get newsprint on my Item.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same as the others. I use cardboard a lot. And sometimes free newspapers which drop thru my letter box. I've never had old dye transfer but I have had newsprint transfer occasionally - fortunately on the reverse side. I recently picked up some odd rolls of wallpaper being given away at a DiY store. They should do nicely when I don't have cardboard handy. All paper/card is put into the recycling bin when I'm done with it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a dedicated work surface to use so I use my kitchen table, carefully!

I spread newspaper, triple thickness across the table and tape it down with painters tape.

I usually pour out a small amount of dye into disposable plastic cup 2 oz, like you get free food samples in at Sam's club, etc. Then I put the 2 oz cup in a small plastic tray like frozen meals come in.

Finally, I use bed stain protector pads, like they use in the hospital under patients sheets to prevent the beds from getting wet. I also have used the disposable type. They have a leak proof plastic on one side and cotton on the other.

I am only staining relatively small items like belts, wallets, etc. so I don't need a large area.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow guys! Thanks for all the great recommendations! I think I’ll look toward using glass in the long term, maybe picking up some puppy/chucks pads in the short term  I’ve done projects as big as a breastplate and boy was that a mess. 

Part of my move away from consumables is that taking the trash out of my workshop is a pain. My murder dungeon/workshop is in the basement so I have to carry trash up the stairs (a precarious maneuver if my recent fall on the stairs is any indication) then through my living room, kitchen, and finally outside. I could pretend it’s environmental concerns but it truly is laziness. It’s easier to just wash my rags and sponges etc than dispose of paper. 

I’m super clumsy- so thinking of getting some flip top lids for my dye bottles. I’ve also upgraded to the second cheapest harbor frieght gloves after popping the cheap ones and winding up with black hands for a week. 

Any other tips for keeping in clean or organized is always appreciated! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wait until after Christmas sales on wrapping paper. Some of these are surprisingly liquid resistant. I also do like @Hasbeencowboy with the body paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 2 plyes of craft paper (1 folded piece with the smooth side out, really) taped down with blue tape to a piece of heavy corrugated cardboard from some shipping box, and it works like a charm. Been using the same piece for months. Someone earlier mentioned that they ended up with dye being transferred from a previous project, but I've never had that problem as I only use water-based dyes, glues, and finishes and let the paper dry thoroughly before using it again. I don't know if that bit of info makes any difference but hope it helps out!

Edited by pepeunidos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I do dye jobs or airgun application of resolene, I spread trash bags on the table. I then let them dry...and then use them as...trash bags!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alisdair said:

When I do dye jobs or airgun application of resolene, I spread trash bags on the table. I then let them dry...and then use them as...trash bags!

My janky airbrush setup from my armor last year.

C4CA6345-DA7E-446A-A52F-594EBA6095F2.jpeg

Edited by AmyK
Merged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, AmyK said:

My janky airbrush setup from my armor last year.

I usually find there to be a very fine line between janky and genius. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree on the trash bag, inside out, then turned back again to be used as trash bag.  Also, I kept all the paper the mover's used to wrap and protect things like the dishes when they relocated me, which was a significant amount of paper.  I just flattened it, and folded it over and stored it under the work bench.  Every time I dye, oil, finish etc. I just pull one out and use it.  Usually, I can get 10-20 uses out of a single sheet.  Never had issues with dye transfer. When it is tapped out, it gets used when I apply glue or cement, then finally ends up in the trash.  So unless you are doing a lot of work, you won't be carrying to much of it back up the stairs!   I spilled dye on one once, and just quickly wadded it up and tossed it in the bin, no bleed through.  If I had waited, it would have for sure, but it is fairly thick like brown craft or butcher paper.

Speaking of which, some butcher paper is coated on one side with plastic, which would alleviate the need for the trash bag under the paper.

YinTx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like some of the others on here, I recycle cardboard boxes (the long ones that my hides arrive in, misc. shipping boxes, etc)...keep one or two around just for light-to-medium brown dyes and a separate one for black 'cause I've found that diabolical stuff wants to migrate all over ever'thing it gets near if one's not extremely careful. I'm so cheap that I even use a separate paper plate/pair of latex gloves/dauber/lambs wool for each color...sort of like a little color "kit" for the smaller items/projects that I just stack up on the shelf out of the way until I need that particular set of color items. I can make a dauber last for a LONG time if'n I remember to squeeze it out really good back into my dye container when I'm done (I reduce my dye 50/50 so's it goes further). I'm currently moving to a larger workspace in my outside shop- I was operating from a workroom in my house - when I'm finished with the setup, I'll have a separate dye table and keep these "kits" in large baggies so they're sealed off yet handy. And, yes, I'll probably still use cardboard boxes for the larger stuff...I've found it to be hard to beat, especially since I have pretty much free access to it on my regular job. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You think you’re cheap? I don’t even use daubers. I buy a bunch of cheap sponges.... then cut them into fourths! Keep an old soup pot in the shop for sponges, rags, buffing cloths and wash them in the washer when I run low. They’re stained of course but the color doesn’t transfer. 

5 hours ago, GRod said:

I usually find there to be a very fine line between janky and genius. 

My new motto. I will wear it with pride. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, AmyK said:

You think you’re cheap? I don’t even use daubers. I buy a bunch of cheap sponges.... then cut them into fourths! Keep an old soup pot in the shop for sponges, rags, buffing cloths and wash them in the washer when I run low. They’re stained of course but the color doesn’t transfer.

I use make up sponges, cut up smaller and gripped with a peg (like we used to grip bits of saddler's felt for the same job back in the day) , as they're designed to hold 'make up stuff' (dont know what it is as I dont use it) and they wash out and dry well.

Nearly did myself a mischief lifting 2 out of 3 rag boxes (my, my wife's and our friends old clothes and sheets etc (yes they are properly washed)) up onto the very top shelf ready for a quiet day to cut into squares.

Plastic food containers are used for mixing dyes and glues, then get washed again.

Packing paper from moving is hand smoothed, and used to wrap sold Items.

Mail boxes and envelopes have printed labels over the old address, noting that 'whitcher.biz recycles, reuses and repurposes whenever it can'. (that has always got positive feedback).

Small spice jar is on hand for used replaceable blades, bigger jars for many other purposes.

I don't think of it as cheap, just planet and pocket friendly.

Keep up the good work Amy. :thumbsup:

Oh, and we ALL collect, and reuse tools and machines.

H

Edited by hwinbermuda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AmyK said:

You think you’re cheap? I don’t even use daubers. I buy a bunch of cheap sponges.... then cut them into fourths! Keep an old soup pot in the shop for sponges, rags, buffing , , ,

I can beat that ! :P  I re-use sponges I've used for dish washing. I buy cheap washing-up sponges, usually 20 for £1. Use them for dish washing. I replace that sponge about every third or fourth day. Its always clean but replaced for hygiene reasons, then it goes into a box for either general purpose cleaning or leather work. I cut them up into pieces for leather work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hwinbermuda said:

just planet and pocket friendly.

Exactly right! I'll have to give the left-over dish sponge thing a try. I already make use of old shirts and socks, etc in my shop as wipes and polishing cloths. Old glass food jars are extremely useful as well (dye, finish, hardware, etc.)...been doing that for years in my home shop long before I got into this leathercrafting moneypit obsession hobby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, fredk said:

I can beat that ! :P  I re-use sponges I've used for dish washing. I buy cheap washing-up sponges, usually 20 for £1. Use them for dish washing. I replace that sponge about every third or fourth day. Its always clean but replaced for hygiene reasons, then it goes into a box for either general purpose cleaning or leather work. I cut them up into pieces for leather work

How about this? I dont use regular sponges for dishes. I have these sewn up microfiber ones that go in the washer. So I’ve had the same “sponges” for more than 5 yrs. I agree, I can’t wash dishes with something that smells gross, so my dish sponge is changed every few days. 

Having said that, regular sponges can also go in the clothes washer or dish washer so you don’t have to pitch them in the leather bin. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/28/2019 at 1:45 AM, DV8DUG said:

I wait until after Christmas sales on wrapping paper. Some of these are surprisingly liquid resistant. I also do like @Hasbeencowboy with the body paper.

IKEA has Christmas wrap printed on brown craft paper. Makes great patters SUPER cheap when you buy after the holidays. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now