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Thread: staining neck before or after decal/engrave

  1. #1

    staining neck before or after decal/engrave

    Hi all,

    Would it be advisable to decal/engrave before or after staining with dingotone?

    Leaning towards engraving (laser), but what the engraver does is turn the top .1 mm to ash (burn) which shows a darker colour. Don't know whether that would affect the staining.

    This may give an idea what I am trying to do..

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Hornsby Area, Sydney, NSW
    Decal would be after staining. Engraving I unfortunately have no idea.

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  3. #3
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    Tricky question as it would make sense to laser cut 1st but then you risk partially filling up with stain and finish coats?

    Doing laser cut after applying DT??? Don't know and suspect too much heat may not be good for any stain as it may discolour but hopefully not burn.
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  4. #4
    Mentor fender3x's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Miami, FL, USA
    Don't know about engraving, but I made the mistake of applying the decal to unstained, unfinished wood. I think it needs both stain and at least a light coat of clear before the decal. The wood needs to be sealed before the decal goes on or there will be a color difference.

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  5. #5
    Decal after finish. That sounds about right.

    Quick googling seem to come up with mixed advice with engraving though.

    1. Some say finish before engraving as some ash and residue from laser engraving will get stuck on other parts of the neck. The once itís been engraved finish again.

    2. Some say engraving before finishing as the finish cause some unintended effects when the laser comes.

    Looks like itís experiment time.

    Step 1: find a spare piece of maple

    Step 2: dingotone a small section of the maple.

    Step 3: masking tape over a small section of the dingotoned maple.

    Step 3: engrave over dingotone and over unfinished section.

    Step 4: compare the four sections (dingo with tape, dingo without tape, unfinished with tape, unfinished without tape.

    P.s laser cuts through the tape, just need to increase the intensity a tad. Will post results here for your perusal.
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  6. #6
    Member blinddrew's Avatar
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    Apr 2018
    York, Uk
    Experimentation appears to be the way forward.

  7. #7
    Experiment Over - with some telling results!

    I went to Bone Timber in Adelaide and they don't stock any maple. I got some meranti and they said it's a similar type of "hard wood".

    My colleague on the other hand, actually had some maple offcuts so I used them instead!

    The first picture is laser cutting on unfinished maple - one with tape, one without. It's clear to see that the one without got a bit of the ash smudge on it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Putting on the oil - there is a bit more gloss but during the rubbing some further smudging happened - because I didn't sand before laser cutting, the smudge fills up the cracks very soon. Leaves a dirty look. The one with the tape looks alright

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next, pre-finished and pre-finished with tape

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    I've only done one layer of oil due to time constraints, but it appears that cutting on unfinished or pre-finished doesn't make a lot of difference (pre-finish at 12 hours to dry), but the key is TAPE. without tape the smudge makes it very dirty looking.

    This is what it looks like after the 2nd coat

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Member kevsta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    If you're going for a decal, do it before your finishing coat.

    Stain coat > Intensifying coat > decal > Final coat.

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