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Does Dykem Go Bad?

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  • Does Dykem Go Bad?

    As some of you may recall, my shop was in storage for a few years. That included my supply of Dykem. I have a brush top can and a larger plastic bottle that I have used to refill the can. Both were purchased about ten years ago and were in non-climate controlled storage for several years.

    I tried to use the brush top can tonight and it behaved strangely. The blue die seemed to separate from a clear liquid after I brushed it on a piece of galvanized steel that had been lightly sanded. I had to wipe it off and shake the can vigorously for a minute or two. Even then, I had to apply two coats.

    Is it the galvanized steel? Or has the Dykem gone bad? I hate to throw it all out, but I don't want to fight it either. Is there something that can be done to restore it?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    In my experience yes it does and just like you say. I just bought a new bottle about 2 weeks ago and it is fine.


    • #3
      I've seen it thicken up over time but that's about it. Big temperature swings probably played a part in the separation of it's components.

      I haven't used the brush on stuff in years since I switched over the the spray can.



      • #4
        Spray Dykem is the bomb.
        I actually have an old can of DoAll brand spray layout dye
        and it is a deep deep blue, almost purple.
        An alternative use I had for it one time,
        I had a black oxide coated dust shield on a surface grinder
        that was all scratched up. I "painted" the shield with a coat
        of the DoAll dye, and it made the scratches 99% less noticable
        and I think it did a fair job of restoring the look of the shield
        while not having to go through the cost of getting it black oxide
        coated again.



        • #5
          I purchased blue and red Dykem in brush top cans some 15 years ago. At some point the blue turned that watery color but the red has remained just fine. I simply replaced the blue, but I can verify that there something different about it.
          "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill


          • #6
            I have a big bottle that is at least 20 years old and still seems good, I do shake it up before use.
            The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

            Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

            Southwestern Ontario. Canada


            • #7
              I think it trys to run off galvanized... try on something else..


              • #8
                The blue for me has turned clear in the plastic bottle but was fine in the master can which is metal. I love the spray stuff also. JR


                • #9
                  I am surprised do many like the spray stuff, I find it way too expensive , too much work in shaking it up, clearing nozzle etc..or it stopping working..
                  sometimes I use as little as a square inch, 90 percent of the time around postcard size or less..

                  so do you guys prefer blue or red ?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 754 View Post
                    so do you guys prefer blue or red ?
                    Spray is expensive. Kinda why I have both for diff sitch. For a large surface I like the spray. For quicky setups I like the liquid.

                    I like the blue so I can still see when I bleed. Sharp edges always nick me. JR


                    • #11
                      I did an online search, and found another guy that had issues with it on galvanized...


                      • #12
                        Galvanize steel needs to be REALLY de-greased to take any applied material . I don't know what the use on it but it's hard to get off .


                        • #13
                          I like the spray for anything bigger than a postage stamp. For small stuff I use a sharpie. I bought 2 cans of the spray stuff from a local supplier that was running a sale. I used one at work, and kept the other one at home. I retired 18 years ago and that first can is still going strong. The other one has never been uncapped.
                          “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                          Lewis Grizzard


                          • #14
                            I have Dykem in colors and blue, most I've had going on 35-40 years, plastic and metal, and I've never seen a pigment separation or a drying out, etc.. I have seen cans and bottles dried up but those guys didn't keep the lids clean and tight.

                            Zinc needs to be etched before coating will stick A couple of hours in vinegar or a quick wipe with some hydrochloric does the job!

                            1973 SB 10K .
                            BenchMaster mill.


                            • #15
                              Ok, hate you folks!! Yer fault

                              Went to find my clear dykem with no luck but I did find the big container, or it found me.

                              Just breathed on it and the plastic crumbled. I got lucky, it mostly stayed in the container and I just put it into a new container. What a mess.

                              Thanks, are we playing with gasoline next? Leave me out. I wanna live. Errr! JR

                              Click image for larger version

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