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Thread: I did it - Black G10 Lava

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    I did it - Black G10 Lava

    I didn't want to, due to concerns about voided warranty, botched disassembly, etc. but I couldn't stand the bright blue G10 on my coveted sprint run Lava anymore so I dug out the packet of black RIT dye, that I bought several months ago, and dyed them black.

    I now have the perfect legal-almost-everywhere folding knife



    When researching how to dye G10, I noticed a huge lack of specific instructions, so I thought I'd share what worked for me. I used 4 cups of water, one whole bag of powdered RIT dye, and a half a cup of white vinegar. I got the water boiling in a pot that my wife doesn't like, added the powder and vinegar, and let it boil for a few minutes. I lowered the heat to below boiling temperature, and dunked the G10 scales using a piece of wire. Nothing happened in the first 10 minutes or so, it stayed bright blue, but after a half hour they were deep black. The underside, where it's perfectly smooth, is now a dark navy blue, but the textured outside and the edges are deep deep black, I really like it.

    Here's the tacticool black Lava next to a blue one, for comparrison:



    Please don't take this as encouragement to try this yourself, small backlock knives are hard to disassemble and even harder to reassemble, without breaking anything. Add in the tiny screws and this was the most difficult folder I've ever taken apart. I took my time and didn't force anything, and thanks to the crazy-precise build quality it went back together perfectly.

    I wanted to share two things that stood out when I took the G10 Lava apart: One is that the individual parts of this knife are machined perfectly. It's incredibly difficult to have several pieces of flat steel fit together with almost no detectable seem. It's even more difficult to make and fit the parts so well that they go back that way even after dis and re-assembly. I was also impressed by nice touches like the radiusing of the inside corner of the backlock, I assume because a radiused corner is less likely to crack than a 90 degree angle. Little things like this are why I keep buying (and using, daily) Spyderco knives.

    Here's more pictures, my favorite pocket knife along with my favorite pocket light, both way more useful than their size might indicate (the light generates 200 real lumens on high mode, but can go 30+ hours on low mode powered by a single battery):





  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User gbelleh's Avatar
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    Great job, looks very nice. I like it!
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    Excellent job you did with those scales. One of these days I might find the courage to dye one of my knives.
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    I'm curious! Will the dye bleed off the scales onto your pants? How durable is the dye under different environments?

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    Thanks for the compliments!

    Quote Originally Posted by eric m. View Post
    I'm curious! Will the dye bleed off the scales onto your pants? How durable is the dye under different environments?
    I've never done this before so I'll be sure to provide an update in a month. I'll definately be carrying this knife every day.

    A search here shows a few posts where people reported back, months after dying G10, with no fading whatsoever.

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User bh49's Avatar
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    Great job. Lava looks in black much better for me
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User RadioactiveSpyder's Avatar
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    Great job, very nice version of the Lava! As for color fastness of the RIT dye, the dark Forest green Dragonfly I made earlier this year (http://www.spyderco.com/forums/showt...reen-Dragonfly) hasn't bled on anything or shown any sign of fading, although it does have one very small gouge now near the lanyard hole where the original lighter foliage green G10 is showing through. Not to derail this thread though, outstanding work with that Lava, I am coming close to bringing my blue one into my EDC rotation, maybe after a swap to a low riding clip... Cheers, Radioactive
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    How are you removing the dye from the rest of the knife? Did you coat the blade, liners, and bolsters with anything? I'm talking about the Manbug!

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sparki's Avatar
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    Looks great! May I ask what flashlight that is?

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User D1omedes's Avatar
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    Looks great, Matthew. I find that black is classic and classy (I apologize for the alliteration ).

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User RadioactiveSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric m. View Post
    How are you removing the dye from the rest of the knife? Did you coat the blade, liners, and bolsters with anything? I'm talking about the Manbug!
    Hi Eric, just scraped it off with my fingernail and got into the nooks and crevices with toothpicks. I didn't coat the knife with anything... Paul
    It's better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost. Stephen King

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewSB View Post
    Thanks for the compliments!



    I've never done this before so I'll be sure to provide an update in a month. I'll definately be carrying this knife every day.

    A search here shows a few posts where people reported back, months after dying G10, with no fading whatsoever.
    i dyed a 20cp para i used to have red. it urned out decent, and it never left marks on my jeans, but it did fade a lot.




    about 8 months of use outside at my construction job:





    and after i redyed them:




    kinda regret parting with this one... but if i didnt, i would have the gayle bradley i currently own and love
    Phil Wilson Smoke Creek s110v, SouthFork, Gayle Bradley, Chaparral 1, Chaparral 2, Native 5, Para2, Para1 SE, Caly 3, Dragonfly 2, Dragonfly 2, Delica 4, Ladybug 3


    -Spencer

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User RadioactiveSpyder's Avatar
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    Random aside but Spencer, is that 20CP up on eBay right now?

    Link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171192038990?nav=VI&sbk=1
    Last edited by RadioactiveSpyder; 12-22-2013 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Added link
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Liquid Cobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holland View Post
    i dyed a 20cp para i used to have red. it urned out decent, and it never left marks on my jeans, but it did fade a lot.






    about 8 months of use outside at my construction job:





    and after i redyed them:




    kinda regret parting with this one... but if i didnt, i would have the gayle bradley i currently own and love

    I'm glad you shared this and it's important that we stay positive in this forum. But I have to say I'm very sad to see what you did to that military. I'd kill (literally) for that particular para as I love the grey. Ouch.
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    Nice job! The black scales look SO much better than the blue!
    On the hunt for...

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioactiveSpyder View Post
    Random aside but Spencer, is that 20CP up on eBay right now?

    Link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171192038990?nav=VI&sbk=1
    sure looks like it. i wish he added more picture of different angles of the blade. mine had a couple distinct scratches that i cant make out with those photos
    Phil Wilson Smoke Creek s110v, SouthFork, Gayle Bradley, Chaparral 1, Chaparral 2, Native 5, Para2, Para1 SE, Caly 3, Dragonfly 2, Dragonfly 2, Delica 4, Ladybug 3


    -Spencer

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Holland's Avatar
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    oh thats totally mine, the person on the forum i traded with matches the username on the ebay account
    Phil Wilson Smoke Creek s110v, SouthFork, Gayle Bradley, Chaparral 1, Chaparral 2, Native 5, Para2, Para1 SE, Caly 3, Dragonfly 2, Dragonfly 2, Delica 4, Ladybug 3


    -Spencer

  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Evil D's Avatar
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    If you scratch it the dye is only surface deep so you will scratch through to the factory color. The good thing about black is you can dye it again to cover scratches and not have to worry about changing the color. If you go with another color the shade will darken with a second dye job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eric m. View Post
    How are you removing the dye from the rest of the knife? Did you coat the blade, liners, and bolsters with anything? I'm talking about the Manbug!
    I didn't boil the whole knife, I disassembled it and only dyed the scales. A big part of RIT dye is salt or vinegar, depending on materials to be colored, both of which are terrible for steel, hence the long soak in clean water afterwards.

    I use vinegar to force a patina on high carbon blades, I wouldn't let it near a knife if I could help it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparki View Post
    Looks great! May I ask what flashlight that is?
    Surefire EB1T

  20. #20
    Spyderco Forum Registered User RadioactiveSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewSB View Post
    I didn't boil the whole knife, I disassembled it and only dyed the scales. A big part of RIT dye is salt or vinegar, depending on materials to be colored, both of which are terrible for steel, hence the long soak in clean water afterwards.

    I use vinegar to force a patina on high carbon blades, I wouldn't let it near a knife if I could help it.
    I only dipped the handle end of the Manbug into the dye solution, not the entire knife (used the spyderhole to hang it). AFAIK, you should only use vinegar for dyeing nylon-based materials, not the salt solution. I took the scales off the Dfly. In my experience, the solution had no effect on the VG-10 blades corrosion-wise. They were also rinsed and cleaned very vigorously after getting their color baths.
    It's better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost. Stephen King

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