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jkoper
07-02-2009, 10:27 PM
Hi all,

I came up with a simple recipe for homemade layout dye that I thought some of you might be interested in. Mix 2/3 denatured alcohol 1/3 bullseye shellac add powdered Navy Blue Rit Dye to suit. I was really suprised at how well it worked out. Just like the real deal and CHEAP.



Jim

Jim Shaper
07-02-2009, 10:36 PM
Dykem is like 2.50 a bottle...

uncle pete
07-02-2009, 11:07 PM
I don't bother with Dykem anymore as it dry's out to fast, Cap glued to the can, ECT. I now go buy the largest black felt pens I can find at wall mart. (Check for a big fat tip on them) I may spend a bit more money useing these, But no chance of spills, ect. Seems to work better for me. YMMV of course.

Pete

Jim Shaper
07-02-2009, 11:53 PM
Like a permanent marker with the steel body? Those things give me headaches something fierce.

To each their own.

I just think it's silly to spend the time collecting the ingredients to make a product that's so reasonably priced to begin with.

jkoper
07-03-2009, 12:02 AM
It's not silly when the stuff isn't available localy, its a weekend night your out and the stuff to make it is on the shelf in the shop. If you find no value in it sorry, I thought it might help someone out.

websterz
07-03-2009, 12:06 AM
Like a permanent marker with the steel body? Those things give me headaches something fierce.

To each their own.

I just think it's silly to spend the time collecting the ingredients to make a product that's so reasonably priced to begin with.

You can get the Marks-A-Lot brand in a giant poster size. Plastic body, no fumes, great big chisel tip, works really nice. :D I have 6 aerosol cans of Dykem on the shelf but I find I use the marker more and more often.

Bob Ford
07-03-2009, 12:09 AM
Jim

Thanks for the tip. Might not need it, but good information to save.

Bob

Jim Shaper
07-03-2009, 12:10 AM
It's so cheap I buy two bottles so I have one on the shelf and one that I use. ;)

Do you have any pics of the home brew in action?

J Tiers
07-03-2009, 12:17 AM
+1 on "marks a lot".

If yer gonna make your own layout fluid, may as well go whole hog....... copper sulphate with a bit of sulphuric acid (IIRC) in it...... supposed to lay down a copper plating that takes layout scribing very well..... At least on iron and steel.

steverice
07-03-2009, 12:28 AM
A Sharpie works OK for me as long as what I am marking does not have to be accurate, then it I would rather just use a sharp scribe against the material without any kind of ink or wide line.

Jim Shaper
07-03-2009, 01:33 AM
I use sharpies for rough cuts all the time. When you get down to business, having a sharp scribed line will put you close to thou's. When you have numerous features on a part, having the surface dyed can save your bacon.

General makes a nice carbide tipped scribe for about $6 that works great. Lowes carrys them.

dhammer
07-03-2009, 07:07 AM
It's not silly when the stuff isn't available localy, its a weekend night your out and the stuff to make it is on the shelf in the shop. If you find no value in it sorry, I thought it might help someone out.


Thanks for the receipe. I use Sharpies, marking pens whatever but for some applications I like Dykem. I agree with the OP..it always seems I am waiting for one Enco order or another to complete a project.

Steve

John Stevenson
07-03-2009, 08:03 AM
Another vote for the pens, I use some big fat Eddins pens from the local stationers with about a 3/4" wide tip.

I must admit I refill these by standing them in a tin lid of marking fluid overnight, not to be cheap but to save time.

I have a gallon container of marking fluid for a local college close down but I hate the stuff as it's meant to be used.

Damn stuff goes everywhere and Ower Gert has blue hand marks on her knickers for 3 months.

.

JCHannum
07-03-2009, 08:16 AM
When Dykem blue gets old, the blue disappears, leaving a clear fluid that doesn't mark anything. Does anybody know why?

It doesn't happen with the red, which I prefer.

John Stevenson
07-03-2009, 08:25 AM
When Dykem blue gets old, the blue disappears, leaving a clear fluid that doesn't mark anything. Does anybody know why?

It doesn't happen with the red, which I prefer.

Jim, My gallon container of Marking Blue, no brand name is at least 20 years old and is still deep blue.
I wonder if there are different formulas ?

JCHannum
07-03-2009, 08:31 AM
It might be different with different makes, but I have two unopened gallon containers of Dykem that are nothing but a pale blue wash. I have also had the small bottles go bad.

Evan
07-03-2009, 10:03 AM
When Dykem blue gets old, the blue disappears, leaving a clear fluid that doesn't mark anything. Does anybody know why?



I have seen the same thing so I chucked out the can. If I had a couple of gallons I would try to fix it.

First thing to realize is that the colourant is a dye, not a pigment. The difference is that a pigment is a dispersion of fine solid particles while a dye is a dissolved solution of molecules. Dyes are very frequently pH sensitive and blue in particular. It's likely that the dye used in blue Dykem is methylene blue which is also used as a pH indicator dye. If that is the case it may be possible to restore the colour by simply adding a soluble material that is very basic to increase the pH.

Jim,

Try dissolving a 1/4 teaspoon of sodium hydroxide in a couple of tablespoons of rubbing alcohol (isopropanol). Better would be to use methanol or even acetone. It won't completely dissolve so when the dissolving stops you will have saturated solution of the solvent and the base. Then take a small aliquot(1) of the dykem. Add the sodium hydroxide solution drop by drop and watch for a sudden colour change to deep blue. Keep track of how many drops you added. Use that many drops per aliquot to determine how much to add to the entire amount.

This may not work as it depends on the original dye used but I strongly suspect it will.


(1) An aliquot is an amount of something that is a known proportion of the whole.

Evan
07-03-2009, 10:22 AM
It will work. Use isopropanol rubbing alcohol. I looked up the MSDS. The dye in blue dykem is methyl violet which is a common pH indicator dye. It also contains isopropanol. For some reason the dykem must be unstable and turns slightly acidic with time. All you need to do is to restore that pH to a higher level.

clutch
07-03-2009, 11:11 AM
With shellac in it, does it have a measurable film thickness?

Just curious.

Clutch

lazlo
07-03-2009, 11:18 AM
When Dykem blue gets old, the blue disappears, leaving a clear fluid that doesn't mark anything. Does anybody know why?

Jim, I have a bottle of Dykem Blue that I stupidly left the top off, and it just got really thick (but just as blue). Is your's a old (vintage) bottle? Maybe the formula changed?

JCHannum
07-03-2009, 11:28 AM
The ones I had fade were plastic bottles, the gallons I had picked up at auction and have had for a few years. It is not worth it to me to fool around with trying to reconstitute it, I sold a couple of jugs and made well more than I paid for the lot, the rest gets chalked up to experience and used as a cheap solvent.

Swarf&Sparks
07-03-2009, 11:35 AM
For layout "dye" that won't give up, try copper sulphate dissolved in water with a little sulphuric (battery) acid. It forms a thin copper plate layer on the work and will not rub off, also protects from "overnight rust".

Works on damn near anything cept SS and ali.
If you have to remove it, a light buff, even brasso will do.

You can buy it in a bottle from leadlight suppliers. They call it "copper patina". Lot cheaper to make it tho ;)

Mike Burdick
07-03-2009, 12:19 PM
Hi all,

I came up with a simple recipe for homemade layout dye that I thought some of you might be interested in. Mix 2/3 denatured alcohol 1/3 bullseye shellac add powdered Navy Blue Rit Dye to suit. I was really surprised at how well it worked out. Just like the real deal and CHEAP.



Jim

Jim,

Thanks for posting your recipe!

Paul Alciatore
07-03-2009, 01:27 PM
A Sharpie works OK for me as long as what I am marking does not have to be accurate, then it I would rather just use a sharp scribe against the material without any kind of ink or wide line.

Steve, they are talking about using the marker to paint the whole surface and then scribing the lines in the same manner as you would if it were painted with the commercial marking fluids. With either you can, of course, just paint the areas where lines are going to be scribed.

I often use both the commercial fluids and marking pens. The commercial fluids will last better while machining so if you have many operations and plan to use cutting fluids then they will last better. The marking pen is a fast way to paint the surface for scribing but will probably wash off or just wear off after one or two machine operations so I only use them when the number of operations is more limited.

steverice
07-03-2009, 01:32 PM
In the situation like you are stating, (coloring an area then marking with a scribe) this is a process that I have also experimented with. Marking pens are way more expensive to use and expect to cover the same area as a bottle of Dychem. The bottle of red I have has lasted for a long long time, and is surrounded by lots of dead Sharpies, (someday I will throw them away).

Paul Alciatore
07-03-2009, 01:47 PM
With shellac in it, does it have a measurable film thickness?

Just curious.

Clutch

Anything you coat a surface with will have some thickness, but it may be a tenth or less.

Don't know any numbers for sure, but I do know if the marking fluids are brushed on too heavily they can have a visible thickness. This could have an effect on marking a second surface if the first marked surface is down against the surface plate. I have never observed any noticable buildup with marking pens so perhaps they are better if this is critical.

On second consideration, even the scribing will upset a small amount of metal so this could also be a source of error in laying out a second surface if the scribed surface is against the plate. Punches will raise an even higher ring of metal than the scribed lines or any marking fluid thickness. If you are going to scribe and then punch two perpendicular surfaces, I would do all the scribing first and then do the punching.

If the work is critical, I don't like to use the scribed lines for positioning the cut if I can avoid it. I prefer to use edge finders and the machine's screws to position the cuts. I use the scribed lines as a "reality check" and this has saved many a part I was making.

If I get some time, I may make some measurements of the fluid's thickness.

websterz
07-03-2009, 03:02 PM
In the situation like you are stating, (coloring an area then marking with a scribe) this is a process that I have also experimented with. Marking pens are way more expensive to use and expect to cover the same area as a bottle of Dychem. The bottle of red I have has lasted for a long long time, and is surrounded by lots of dead Sharpies, (someday I will throw them away).

I just mark the area where the scribe line will go, not the whole face. My big marker is a year old and going strong.

Rustybolt
07-03-2009, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the tip,J. Sometimes I have to layout stuff on large sheets or plates and that little brush or marker just isn't big enough. Three large frustums so far this year.

ietech
07-03-2009, 08:24 PM
It's not silly when the stuff isn't available localy, its a weekend night your out and the stuff to make it is on the shelf in the shop. If you find no value in it sorry, I thought it might help someone out.

Thanks you did help and I appreciate it. Sometimes just the satisfaction of doing or making something yourself is enough.:)

John Stevenson
07-03-2009, 08:40 PM
The bottle of red I have has lasted for a long long time, and is surrounded by lots of dead Sharpies, (someday I will throw them away).

Tip some Dykem in a tin lid or top off an aerosol and stand the sharpies in it point down overnight and they will wick up and recharge.

I had one for about 8 years before I trod on it and split it, must have has 20 or so refills in that time.

cwhorton
07-03-2009, 08:53 PM
Jim,
Thanks for the recipe. Will give it a try. Sharpies are handy, but the smell bothers me, too. Thanks Jim.
Lots of good pointers here. I'll try to recharge my pint bottles of Dykem by lowering the pH. (another great tip)

Evan
07-03-2009, 10:00 PM
Raise the pH, it needs to be more basic.

rockrat
07-03-2009, 11:07 PM
Heck, I think that I already have the first two ingredients. And I bet the wife has the third..... Mu ha ha ha (maniacal laugh)

I like the sharpies as well but sometimes I need a bigger surface coated and the sharpies cant always cover the surface easy. I have had times where the sharpie takes off the ink that it has already put on.

Thanks Jim!

rock~

mochinist
07-04-2009, 01:42 PM
You can use a sharpie or other markers like a airbrush, just hold your marker tip in front of your airgun and blast some ink on your part

Walter
07-04-2009, 02:57 PM
I much prefer the red Dykem, as opposed to the blue. I keep a can of the spray for large surface work as well as a few bottles. Sharpies live with the lathe for fast dirty roughing marks, that's about it.

DennisCA
03-26-2018, 03:32 AM
This is an old thread but I wanted to say I made my own layout fluid so I figure better bump a relevant thread than make a new one just for this, right? Dykem cannot be found where I live. I didn't even know what layout fluid was called in the local language. But I do have shellac, loads of it and I wanted layout fluid. I also think stuff like this is fun...

I mixed up two small batches, one red using leather dye, and one brilliant blue using heh, fountain pen ink. A very special type of fountain pen ink called BayState Blue. Alcohol is basically the only thing that'll dissolve it. good archival quality stuff.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4782/39181599350_66f63057bb_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4794/39181599330_45f68d66c9_c.jpg

Just tried it on a credit card container I had laying around, banks give those things away. Scratched it with a needle, the blue stuff make a nice clear line, the red stuff was disappointing. I took it out and tried it on some round stock in the lathe and it worked quite well, dried reasonably fast despite it only being five degrees in my shop (hey it was -18 outside).

P.S.
Oh yes since then I found some commercial stuff online, 28 for a half quart bottle, vs a few euros in materials I already had for this. Still I might buy the real thing so I can compare. It's not Dykem but a german brand called Diamant (Anreissfluid). Anyone know if its any good?

CCWKen
03-26-2018, 10:36 AM
Welcome to the forum! Wow! I haven't seen fountain pen ink since the 8th grade--Circa 1964. :) I tried the large poster board markers the other day to layout dovetails on aluminum. All went well until I started spraying WD-40 on the milling. It washed off most of the coloring. :eek: I guess I'll have to hurry and get the coolant mist system set up.

PStechPaul
03-26-2018, 05:05 PM
The purple prep fluid for PVC pipe might work, too, although I have DyKem so I haven't tried it. Also I have found that the pipe fluid seems to dry up even when the lid is tightly screwed on.

J Tiers
03-26-2018, 05:58 PM
Blue magic marker. Done.

If you donlt have that, then a sharpie, whatever... you'll be having one somewhere in the shop, no need to mix up stuff.

Michael Edwards
03-26-2018, 06:45 PM
Blue magic marker. Done.

If you donlt have that, then a sharpie, whatever... you'll be having one somewhere in the shop, no need to mix up stuff.

Yup, blue sharpie for me.

Mcgyver
03-26-2018, 10:47 PM
marker or dykem? depends on how big an area we're talking about.

J Tiers
03-26-2018, 11:52 PM
And how big a marker you have.

The color only needs to be where there will be lines, enough area to see the lines easily and clearly. In older pictures, you may see the "marking out" area of a shop doing big things, like marine engines. I see folks slather it on in areas where there will never be a line, so it is not needed. For that, Dykem in a spray is probably good.... if you must.

There are some good photos of layout in a marine engine company (and a lot of cool photos) here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22884144@N06/page2/

LKeithR
03-27-2018, 12:11 AM
Dykem is like 2.50 a bottle...

Yeah, why p*ss around with some witches brew when...........oh, never mind...

DennisCA
03-27-2018, 12:25 AM
There are always a couple of killjoys aren't there. If I had this attitude I'd not be in this hobby to begin with, or any hobby at all. Experimentation and doing new things is fun.

I also said "dykem" analog is 30 a bottle, probably 40 euros a bottle with shipping, no there aren't any places near me that has it. I live far away in the sparsely populated north.

danlb
03-27-2018, 12:48 AM
Welcome to the board Dennis. I'll keep your formula in mind in case I run out on a Friday night. I hate losing a weekend waiting for supplies.

Dan

J Tiers
03-27-2018, 02:33 AM
Nothing wrong with making your own.

I like to get stuff done, so I personally would have just grabbed a marker instead of fiddling with it, but that is not to say mixing up some when you have the material is wrong..

I bought some bigger markers on purpose for that, because I didn't want to buy the Dykem for as much as I (do not) use it, so the markers are my substitute. They don't seem to dry out, and I figured the Dykem would before I used even half of it.

DennisCA
03-27-2018, 03:07 AM
I've gone through half a dozen markers myself, normal size, they seem to gum up for me. Maybe the really huge ones are better.

Anyway I also bought some brush pens that take fountain pen ink for other reasons, they are like 5 bucks for a pack, I'm gonna try and fill one of them up with this stuff I made, might also try with the commercial marker later on. Just to try new things you know! Think outside the box, maybe I'll find a better way of doing things, maybe I'll fail 999 times out of 1000. It's the one time that matters.

reggie_obe
03-27-2018, 11:16 AM
Just to try new things you know! Think outside the box, maybe I'll find a better way of doing things, maybe I'll fail 999 times out of 1000. It's the one time that matters.

Machinists also used a copper sulfate solution. Something else you might want to try.

cameron
03-27-2018, 12:34 PM
I use markers because it's quick and easy. Aside from that, they have no merits I can see, they're a poor substitute for the real thing. Poor visibility, rub off at a touch. Trying to cut to a scribed line on the band saw, the ink softens with the heat and the chips coming around with the blade stick to the surface and obscure the line. Bah, humbug!

gld
03-27-2018, 08:56 PM
How about finger nail polish thinned with ass a tone (ha). Should work quite well and many colors to chose from.

alanganes
03-27-2018, 10:20 PM
I've gone through half a dozen markers myself, normal size, they seem to gum up for me. Maybe the really huge ones are better.

Anyway I also bought some brush pens that take fountain pen ink for other reasons, they are like 5 bucks for a pack, I'm gonna try and fill one of them up with this stuff I made, might also try with the commercial marker later on. Just to try new things you know! Think outside the box, maybe I'll find a better way of doing things, maybe I'll fail 999 times out of 1000. It's the one time that matters.

Interesting, I was not aware of refillable brush pens. Guess I don't get out very much. It will be interesting to see how this works out. Please keep us posted!

Dave C
03-28-2018, 01:01 AM
Thanks you did help and I appreciate it. Sometimes just the satisfaction of doing or making something yourself is enough.:)
+1 on the satisfaction. Isn't that what a hobby is all about?

DennisCA
03-28-2018, 03:21 AM
Interesting, I was not aware of refillable brush pens. Guess I don't get out very much. It will be interesting to see how this works out. Please keep us posted!

I have obscure hobbies, I always liked fountain pens since I was a kid reading Donald Duck magazines (Donald Duck is ultra popular in finland and sweden, we don't care for mickey as much, he's not as genuine and relatable to us as the angry duck), alot of the best stories were old Carl Barks and Don Rosa stories which were set in the 40s and 50s when those were still the norm. I always noted these small differences between the reality of DD and real life, they had fountain pens, we had boring old pencils in school. I complained to the teacher in first grade about this.

Anyhow, what I ordered:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/322688992394

IIRC the brush is nylon, which is somewhat resistant to denatured alcohol, not sure about the plastic body. The wide flat brush one seems the best candidate.


Machinists also used a copper sulfate solution. Something else you might want to try.

I was indeed looking at that but the sulfuric acid part stumps me. I had an old car battery but I recycled it last year. Seems not anyone can buy it here anymore...

Dave C
03-28-2018, 12:52 PM
Does it have to be sulfuric?

MattiJ
03-28-2018, 01:03 PM
I
I was indeed looking at that but the sulfuric acid part stumps me. I had an old car battery but I recycled it last year. Seems not anyone can buy it here anymore...

I bought sulfuric acid from "Puuilo" -shop probably less than year ago. Biltema also used to sell "akkuhappo" from the spare parts desk but I can't confirm or deny the availability at the moment.

Edit: Motonet and IKH should have also "akkuhappo"

tlfamm
03-28-2018, 04:33 PM
Wanting to see what Amazon offered in copper sulfate, I found the following among many. I assume (because of its deep blue color), that the pentahydrate form is preferred:



Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate Crystals, 2lbs, $15.79
https://www.amazon.com/PURE-Copper-Sulfate-Pentahydrate-Crystals/dp/B015OTPK2O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1522264906&sr=8-5&keywords=copper+sulfate

Copper Sulfate powder, 2lbs, $11.95
https://www.amazon.com/2LBS-Copper-Sulfate-Pure-Powder/dp/B00KKT8UYY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1522264906&sr=8-7&keywords=copper+sulfate


"This salt exists as a series of compounds that differ in their degree of hydration. The anhydrous form is a pale green or gray-white powder, whereas the pentahydrate, the most commonly encountered salt, is bright blue. Copper (II) sulfate exothermically dissolves in water to give the aquo complex [Cu(H2O)6]2+, which has octahedral molecular geometry and is paramagnetic. Other names for copper(II) sulfate are "blue vitriol" and "bluestone""

cameron
03-28-2018, 05:37 PM
Wanting to see what Amazon offered in copper sulfate, I found the following among many. I assume (because of its deep blue color), that the pentahydrate form is preferred:







One may work better than the other, but in either case, the plating is copper.

Mcostello
03-28-2018, 11:34 PM
I occasionally use it. It seems to stay put and not burn off as easy when grinding to a line.

DennisCA
03-29-2018, 02:38 AM
I bought sulfuric acid from "Puuilo" -shop probably less than year ago. Biltema also used to sell "akkuhappo" from the spare parts desk but I can't confirm or deny the availability at the moment.

Edit: Motonet and IKH should have also "akkuhappo"

Thanks, guess it's in sweden they banned it then for private persons. I didn't find anything for rikkihappo so I tried in swedish and there I got the info it was banned, figured it was some EU thing. Good thing it wasn't.

I have copper sulfate already, a salsa jar of light blue solution left over from etching a circuit board.