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PVC cleaner for dyeing puzzles (particularly the stickerless Guhongs)

Joined
May 6, 2012
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Location
Pullman, WA
WCA
2013BRAN01
Thread starter #1
So I've got some white Shengshou cubes I'd prefer in black. I'm planning on dyeing them with petroleum dye and PVC cleaner / primer. Here's the test:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wPhffgldQY

People seem to think that the stickerless guhongs have less friction than the stickered ones (but are not legal in WCA competition). This might be a way of converting a stickerless guhong to stickered mode. The one thing I'm worried about is how the dye changes the friction in the cube. I should have some more information on that when I dye cubes for real perhaps this weekend. The stickerless Guhongs are made from a plastic that is so lightly colored that it seems translucent to me. So I'm sure they'll dye very easily. I've got one around here, or I lent it out. If I find it, I'll run some tests on it.

Rather than PVC cleaner, I was going to use acetone but saw a youtube video on how to use petroleum dye with PVC cleaner. An advantage is that this would put the dye into a little can complete with an applicator. It seems this makes it less likely to create a big mess: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ITGM1XILb4

And there's also a youtube showing how to dye twisty puzzles using acetone, RIT dye and hot water:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d272v6G28wQ

But it seemed to me that it would create a mess getting rid of the dye solution, and I don't think soaking in acetone is a good idea when you have hollow puzzle pieces. The first problem is that they float so you'll have to figure out a way of holding them under water. In addition, if the pieces stick together the dye won't work. I'd rather paint on a dye in a manner similar to how you clean PVC pipe ends.

In my the video I added a lot more dye than is suggested. I suspect this may not be a good idea. If I used less dye (and more solvent), it stands to reason that the dye would penetrate deeper into the plastic. That may be a good thing. On the other hand, in some places I had to paint the dye onto the surface twice and reducing the amount of dye would make that worse.
 
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2010CHOO02
#5
Might this method work with V-Cubes too? I know someone who is willing to sell his white V7 to me for a low price and his 7x7 is amazing (I helped break it in :p) and I'd much prefer black cubes.
 
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WCA
2013BRAN01
Thread starter #6
I've got a V7 and I believe it's standard ABS plastic so this should work. And the acetone / RIT dye / hot water treatment should work too. I'll bring it in tomorrow (well today now), and edit this message with the news.
 
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Location
Pullman, WA
WCA
2013BRAN01
Thread starter #8
So I got my stickerless Dayan Guhong version 1 (no torpedoes, but ready) back. It's now in about 40 pieces and is ready to be dyed tonight or tomorrow. The plan is to only dye the "illegal" surfaces, so it will remain stickerless. I'm going to do this freehand, it will be interesting to see if I do a good job. But if the dye is good, it's easy enough to mask the cube so that you only dye it where you want to.

There's a couple of possible issues and all of them should be looked at by someone more qualified than me. (a) Does the black dye stay on? (b) Does the dye effect the friction? I'm pretty sure that after dyeing it will need breaking in. Anyway, I'm in Washington State if someone's interested.

By the way, emolover, I've thought about it for a day now and I would guess that bleaching is going to be tough, maybe impossible, but take a look at this: http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?28490-Dye-black-plastic-white

[edit] Update: I dyed the cube tonight. It's hard to keep dye off the front faces. I didn't mask the faces so it's quite ugly. I'll see about sanding off the spills, but right now my inclination is to dye the whole cube black, and then repaint it in my favorite colors. I'm planning on doing this when some Zhanchis arrive. It's better to paint a bunch of cubes at a time because otherwise I'm too impatient to let the paint dry thoroughly between coats.
 
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Joined
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Pullman, WA
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Thread starter #10
I would suggest going the acetone + RIT dye method; I'm not happy with the other. I'd have done it already but I want to mod my white SS 5x5s first and I've been lazy / busy.
 
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Jan 8, 2015
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#11
something is definitely wrong with the rit dye +acetone technique and dayan zhanshi stickerless: it won't dye at all.

this is the 2nd time I try. I ran multiple experiments. without acetone, with acetone, with a drip of soap, with very hot water (acetone mix was almost boiling), cleaning the faces of lube and finger fat or not (straight out of the box), I tortured 2 zanshis and they barely get a lightgrey hue after up to 1h in.

the water (or water+acetone) perls on the plastic, and it just won't take the dye. it is very glossy and not porus at all.

question: it is unclear in the video and text: is the pvc cleaner+petroleum dye leaving the surface soft? rubbery? sticky? how did it change?


the way you react to pvc cleaner+petroleum dye results is like if it was not dyed but painted. I even painted 1 zhanshi in krylon black to try, and it was a fail. had to clean it with acetone again and in the huge mess, I killed a cubie that soaked in acetone too long and deformed forever (it died...lol).
 
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