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Layout Dye..... Red or Blue

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  • Layout Dye..... Red or Blue

    Just curious as to what some of you guys prefer, the red or the blue.

    I've used the blue for years only because the local hardware store doesn't carry red. They also don't carry Dykem brand. Spray-On which I believe is inferior to Dykem.
    The older Spray-On seemed OK, the can I bought 15 years ago, but the last can I bought last year is crap. They must have taken the good stuff out of it !
    If you spray a light coat it's blotchy and for uniform coverage you have to apply a few coats. Then it's pretty dark and if you want to mark something on it, dimensions, notes etc. with a black marker, you can't see it. The worst thing about it is it tends to flake when you scribe on it. The older stuff never did that. It also seems to rub off much easier when brushing oily chips away.
    It's supposed to be non-glaring. It resembles a satin finish.
    I recently bought a small can of red Dykem, the real stuff ! It's the brush on. I'm impressed with how it flows out. It doesn't rub off like the red or black Sharpie markers that I have always used for small things. I'm thinking of getting a large spray can of the red as it's not practical to try and brush the stuff on larger surfaces. Does the spray work as well as the brush on?? flow out, coverage, etc.
    At least I'll be able to see any dimensions or notes I make on the red.

    JL................

  • #2
    Sounds interesting. It could be that there is a difference in the chemistry between the brush-on compound and the aerosol. I haven't run across the red, but will try it next time i go to our Bearings Service store. Thanks for the tip.
    Sarge41

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    • #3
      Dykem blue was what we had in the shop at school. I use the red in my shop.
      Since there is a preponderance of colorblind males, I think that is why the blue Dykem is more common.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sarge41 View Post
        Sounds interesting. It could be that there is a difference in the chemistry between the brush-on compound and the aerosol. I haven't run across the red, but will try it next time i go to our Bearings Service store. Thanks for the tip.
        Sarge41
        I'm sure there is a difference in the chemistry since the brush on has to flow out when applied and not get gummy when you brush over it.

        JL................

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        • #5
          Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
          Dykem blue was what we had in the shop at school. I use the red in my shop.
          Since there is a preponderance of colorblind males, I think that is why the blue Dykem is more common.
          The blue always seemed to be the standard but I never thought about it being popular because of male color blindness !

          JL.............

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          • #6
            I prefer the blue because I think it gives greater contrast. Its easier to see. I've known plenty of pros that like the red though. Maybe it just depends on the individuals visual perception. And for setting gears, nothing beats a bright yellow oil paint from an art supply... takes weeks to dry out, dirt cheap. Very high contrast.
            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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            • #7
              Dykem makes several colors of layout fluid. I like purple the best. It seems to have the best visual (for me) for scribed lines. Purple is no longer listed, but they have black, blue, clear, dark blue, dark green, light blue, light green, orange, red, white, and yellow. I suppose you could get a small amount of red and blue and mix them, my second choice is red.
              Kansas City area

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              • #8
                The oldtimers used to make their own dye, something that used copper sulfate and something else, not sure what.
                Sarge41

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                  Dykem makes several colors of layout fluid. I like purple the best. It seems to have the best visual (for me) for scribed lines. Purple is no longer listed, but they have black, blue, clear, dark blue, dark green, light blue, light green, orange, red, white, and yellow. I suppose you could get a small amount of red and blue and mix them, my second choice is red.
                  I think all those colors you mention are what they call staining colors. As far as the layout dye they only show the blue and red. Aerosol, red & blue, brush on with felt tip or brush.
                  I'm not sure what the staining colors are but I think the go on thicker. I suppose you could use them for layout. Not sure about the dry time either.

                  JL.....................

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sarge41 View Post
                    The oldtimers used to make their own dye, something that used copper sulfate and something else, not sure what.
                    Sarge41
                    Copper sulfate ("blue salts") and rain water will work. Sometimes you could hop it up a bit with some battery acid. Makes steel a copper color, takes a very fine line.
                    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                    • #11
                      I've found that the Spray-On brand layout dye turns purple after a while. Maybe it's from wiping / brushing the oily chips off. The oil may have something to do with it. It did add some shine to it.

                      You can see the difference here. I just sprayed the strip this morning. Same number of coats as the strip with the holes in it.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      JL...............

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                      • #12
                        I found another use for the red Dykem brand fluid. Since I found that it doesn't rub off anywhere near as easy as a Sharpi marker does I decided to highlight the raised lettering on my dovetail jig.
                        I used an old dried out felt tip marker. Dipped the tip in the fluid and brushed it on the raised figures. It sure is a lot easier to see them.

                        JL..............

                        Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          I prefer blue. Like Nickle-City said, to me the contrast is much better. I also like the Dyekem aerosol. No waste and even coverage for larger areas. I don't generally use dye on anything but sheet or plate.

                          Once its been really hot, you can't get it off with solvents.
                          Southwest Utah

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
                            I prefer blue. Like Nickle-City said, to me the contrast is much better. I also like the Dyekem aerosol. No waste and even coverage for larger areas. I don't generally use dye on anything but sheet or plate.

                            Once its been really hot, you can't get it off with solvents.
                            Speaking of which, is there an "official" solvent for it? I've had "ok" luck with plain rubbing alcohol.
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                            • #15
                              Who the heck uses layout dye these days? I don't think I've used it once since I bought my first
                              DRO-equipped mill about 35 years ago...
                              Keith
                              __________________________
                              Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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