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Old March 18th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #1
7Skaters
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Default Custom Dyed Wheels!

Want a cool wheel all your own? Tired of the multitude of wheels out there in varying colors but STILL not being able to find a color you like? Have a favorite set of wheels that you love but don't like the color of? Just plain bored with your wheels and want something different for a change of pace?

You've come to the right place!

In this thread, we will discuss how you can make a set of wheels you'll love. It took me a few days, but I think I finally got everything together here.

Many have given the basics - and I thank them sincerely for giving me a GREAT starting point - but after playing around a bit...I decided to do a complete "chapter" for dying wheels.

NOTE: These directions are ONLY for those using the RIT powder dye.

It is possible to use the liquid form, however, I've never used the liquids yet, so I can't recommend using it until I've played with it myself.

*****If any experienced liquid users want to chime in here, please do so!


FIRST LETS TALK ABOUT COLORS
Starting with a colored wheel, as stated elsewhere on this forum, it's a lot like mixing paint.

Basic Formulas:
Red Wheel (or dye) + Blue Dye (or wheel) = Purple Results
Red Wheel (or dye) + Yellow Dye (or wheel) = Orange Results
Yellow Wheel (or dye) + Blue Dye (or wheel) = Green Results

Broken Down Even More:
Orange Wheel + Light or Bright Red Dye = Bright Red Results
Orange Wheel + Medium or Dark Red Dye (or Double Dipped in Light or Bright Red Dye) = Blood Red to Maroon Results
Green Wheel + Blue Dye = Turquoise to Aqua Results
Neon Pink Wheel + Pale to Medium Blue = Nearly Neon Purple Results
Neon Pink Wheel + Medium to Dark Blue Dye (or Double Dipped in Light/Bright Blue) = Deep, Rich Purple Results

This list is almost endless due to the wheel and dye colors available.


BASIC DYE BATHS
You can use any number of plastic containers.

Plastic take-out containers (properly washed, of course!) work well for half and half dye jobs. Use deeper ones for half and half jobs as they wheels would sit on your skates (horizontal), shallow ones work well for vertical half and half dye jobs (or 1/3 dye jobs), but you can only dye 1 - 4 wheels at once, so be sure to time your wheels so they all come out the same shade.

Large buckets down to shoe boxes work well for dying full wheels a single color and/or adding designs, and you can usually get all 8 wheels in one bucket/box.

Add approx. 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the powder to HOT tap water. The water should be "steaming hot", but still not so hot that you can't touch it. Stir to properly dissolve the powder into the water.

Darker colors need less powder and are much more aggressive. If doing designs, especially, the colors tend to "run up" the grooves on speed wheels, even with tape on them, when using rounded shapes. Artistic, rec. or outdoor wheels are generally smooth, so that's not an issue with those types of wheels.

When doing designs, use the BLUE painter's tape. It holds well, but again, darker colors do tend to run up the grooves so make sure you "seal" the tape by running a fingernail or other small object into the grooves around the edges of your patterns, "whole" pattern not necessary. Try to stick to designs with sharp angles. These seem to work better than curved/round designs on speed wheels. With the artistic, rec. and/or outdoor wheels, some polka dots or the like are easy to do.

BAD results with rounded shapes on speed wheels...

This was supposed to be rounded "edging":


These were supposed to be polka dotted:


Sorry those are blurry...but you get the general idea...Round Design + Speed Wheel = BAD combo!! LOL


COLORED WHEELS
If you like the color of your wheels but just want to add a bit "more" color:

Method 1: For dull wheels that have been skated a while, you can easily bring back the original color. Wash the wheels with your chosen method (many here recommend a Mr. Clean Eraser) and dry them off. Choose a color that's as close to the original color as possible. Dip and check semi-often until they are the desired shade.

Method 2: Using the above color formulas, you can easily do a half and half wheel. Fill a shallow pot or plastic tray with hot water. Put your wheels in to make sure the water only goes halfway up the wheel. Take the wheels out, add your dye, and stir to dissolve. Put the wheels in until the desired shade is reached. Be sure not to bump or jostle the container in any way - keep it away from kids and pets. Even a split second "slosh" can effect the coloring process, especially with darker colored dyes.

Method 3: Same as Method 2, except this time, you only fill the container so it covers 1/3 of the wheel. Dip one side, rinse them off, pat dry, then dip the other side.


WHITE WHEELS
White wheels, I feel, are a lot more fun to play with. You can easily combine RIT dyes to make the perfect shade ("Yellow" + "Kelly Green" = Chartruese, "Navy Blue" + "Scarlet" = Deep, Rich Purple, etc.). Just remember, lighter shades (yellow, pastel shades, RIT's own "Rose" or "Petal" Pink) take more time than darker ones or you can use a dark color ("Purple", "Navy") and leave it in for only 10 - 15 mintues for a lighter shade.

Method 1: "Plain" Color - chose your color(s), stir it up, throw in your wheels and wait for them to take on the desired shade.

Method 2 A: "Stripes" - Be it a single stripe in the middle or multiple stripes (up to 13 will fit if you make the tape skinny enough) around the wheel, mark off your stripes with blue painter's tape. Be sure to overlap the taped stripes. Sometimes, the "overlap" will start to come up while in the dye, don't panic! It's natural and doesn't effect the outcome.




Method 2 B: "Stripes" - You can do a three color combo by leaving the tape in the middle, dipping one side of the wheel in one color, rinse lightly, pat dry, then - keeping the tape on - dip the other side in a different color. This will give you 2 colors on the outside, with a white stripe in the middle.



The wheels on the right were done with this method.

Method 2 C: "Stripes" - If you don't want a "plain" color stripe with the white showing, use compatible colors. Taping as above, then dipping in red, making most of the wheel red, then taking the tape off and "re-dipping" it in blue will give you blue and purple results...and vice versa. Start with blue for a mostly blue wheel, now re-dip in red for a mostly purple wheel with red stripes. Again, follow the above "color chart" for more combinations or make your own.



Method 3: "Designs" - Painter's tape can be torn easily. Add scissors and the designs are almost unlimited. Sharp angles, as mentioned, are better/easier to do than designs with lots of curves or circles on speed wheels. You can tear/cut sections and just "lay them on anywhere" for a scattered, funky look...you can be precise with your cutting and do perfectly spaced designs (a ruler is recommended)...you can also use various shapes (squares, rectangles, triangles) to even make a small "scene" on your wheels if you're feeling really creative.









Method 4: "Lettering" - Use thin strips of tape to apply lettering to your wheels. The thinner the pieces, the more letters you can fit. Derby team names/acronyms, your nickname, favorite band or short song title, and more are possible. With tape that's 3/4" wide, you can get up to 5 letters per wheel and with 1/4" wide tape, you can do up to 10 letters per wheel. They don't make it much thinner than that, but if you're up to a challenge, you can divide the 1/4" wide in two and do up to 15 or so letters. The smaller the letters, the less room on your wheels, though. 3/4" takes up about 3/4" of the width of the wheel. Also, the smaller the letters, the less likely they are to show up. I wouldn't go much beyond the 1/4" wide tape.

Large Letters:



Small Letters:


Method 5: "50/50" - You can make 50/50 wheels in your own color combinations by investing in some inexpensive plastic dowels available at most cake/bakery stores. You can cut the dowels with a simple serrated knife. Most of us have serrated knives in our kitchen already, and the dowels are generally $2 or less for a 4-pack. Cutting out dowel rests in the container of your choice is a bit more difficult, but worth if if you really want those 50/50's in YOUR choice of colors. With thinner plastic, a really course sandpaper works well, for thicker plastic, use a drill bit. This is a messy job and best done outside! Once the dowel rests are complete, cut into the dowels diagonally - a LITTLE at a time! - until the wheels sit at an angle on them to your liking. Fill your container with plain hot water, set the wheels on it in the grooves on the dowels and dip them to make sure they sit properly. Once they're resting on the dowels as you'd like, take them out, add the dye, stir to dissolve, and pop them back in, letting them sit until the correct shade is reached. Rinse at an angle to make sure the dye doesn't run down to the uncolored part. Flip them over and dip them in a different color..or dip the entire wheel in a different color (again following the formulas above for the desired results), rinse, pat dry.

Sorry all, don't have a pic of these yet....

Method 6: "Reverse Imagining" - For this, you will need to "combine" strips of tape, overlapping the edges. Make sure the strips are long enough and wide enough to cover the whole wheel. Measure by wrapping, trim where/when needed. Do 2 (for 4 wheels) or 4 (for 8 wheels) of these trimmed strips. Make a simple - matching - design on both (or all 4) pieces and cut them out, keeping each piece. Put the "main" pieces on 2 (or 4 wheels), making sure the ends touch (better if they overlap a little), then use the cut out sections for the other 2 (or 4) wheels. You can use scissors if your designs come out to the sides of the tape or you can use an exacto knife for cutting out patterns more towards the "middle" of the tape.

Same design in two different color combos:


Method 7: "Inverted" - Doing the same design on all 4 (8) wheels. You cut out your pattern, but place the wheels so the "insides" are together, then lay the pattern on in opposite directions.



Method 8: "Camoflouge" ("Cami") - Use 2 or 3 colors for this...and always use your darkest color first. Do a "winter" theme with black, grey and white, or a "forest" theme with kelly green, dark green and brown/tan. Rip various large bits of tape off and stick them on the wheels. Dip in the first (darkest) dye bath. Then, repeat the ripped pieces, this time slightly smaller bits, covering some of the darkest color AND some of the white patches, and do them in your second (mid-line) color. If you don't want plain white on them, dip a third time in the lightest color you want to use.

Don't have an INDIVIDUAL pic of these at the moment as they're on my oldest daughter's skates. LOL But the 4th wheel in is the cami print:
I used black & grey, but accidently left them in the grey a tad longer so it's hard to see the specifics.


NOTES:
Take out ALL bearings BEFORE dying your wheels! Rusty bearings are the last thing you want.

If doing only a few wheels at a time (not all dye "vats" will hold all 8 quad wheels), be sure to time your wheels to get the most uniform color results.

You can dye ANY wheel black. Mix up a dye vat, put the wheels in, and leave them alone. Taking them out too early will leave a grey tint/finish, so the longer the better, but black is a very aggressive color so it shouldn't take more than 2 hours or so.

If using a shallow container, but still wanting a "full wheel" dip, be sure to put the wheel in with the "back" of the wheel touching the bottom of the container. The graphics should be facing "up"...if you're using a lighter color, you should be able to see the graphics through the dye water if you look down into it.

If doing designs and you want exact measurements, I highly recommend getting a cheap plastic 12" ruler to help you out a bit.

Even with patting dry, still leave your wheels sit a bit to make sure they're completely dry before putting the bearings back in.

Also, if doing designs, it helps to "roll" the wheel on a hard, clean, surface to help make sure the tape is secure such as a hardwood floor, the kitchen counter, etc.

You can use "colored wheel" methods on white wheels and vice versa, just remember the results will be a lot different.


OTHER OPTIONS
Horizontal Half & Halfs:


"Wobble Wheels" (single strip of tape, wrapped diagonally around wheel):

Thinner tape means thinner lines and more than one wrap is possible. Doing this with the "Inverted" technique about REALLY gets people looking. hehe

Zig Zag (or "Wobble Wheel 2"):

Again, doing these with the "Inverted" method will raise some eyebrows. These designs are not for the weak! LOL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now...get out there and start dying!!!
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Old March 19th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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Default Time in the dye?

How long would you leave white wheels in to take on a solid saturated color like red?
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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #3
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Default I did my first dye...

I did the basic dye. I dyed my Strokers black. 1 package of RIT black. 2 gallons of water. 2 hrs. Turned out great.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #4
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How long would you leave white wheels in to take on a solid saturated color like red?
You need to watch them the whole time. In hot water, you'd be looking at 10 minutes, plus or minus 10 minutes. Some time between 0 and 20 minutes, they'd be right, and you'd need to snatch them all out and put them in cold clear water to rinse...
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Old March 19th, 2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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How long would you leave white wheels in to take on a solid saturated color like red?

Red is a bit more aggressive, as it's considered a "dark" color, so it depends some on your initial water temp. The hotter the water, the better. Just don't boil them!!

"Steaming hot" tap water, it should only take - as Bill said - about 20 minutes, maybe less.

Some depends on the dye color, too. RIT's "Wine" takes longer than their true "Red".

Double (or even triple) dipping gives it a darker hue, etc.

Check them every 10 minutes or so, re-dip if desired, until they're just how you want them.

Also, if the water cools down a LOT (gets so cold you don't want to touch it), throw it in a pan - without the wheels in it - and warm it back up, on medium heat, stirring now and then, JUST until it starts steaming, then pour it back into your box/bucket and put your wheels back in.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #6
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"Steaming hot" tap water, it should only take - as Bill said - about 20 minutes, maybe less.
No, no, much less, I bet. Watch them like a hawk... You can always put more dye on. You can't take dye off...
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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No, no, much less, I bet. Watch them like a hawk... You can always put more dye on. You can't take dye off...
Yeah, but that does depend on the specific shade wanted.

The "red" red...almost matching the red on the package, should take about 7 - 12 minutes with the steaming hot, hot water.

Pop 'em in for about 10 seconds, and you'll get a "barely there" pastel pink...double dip gives them a "blood red" hue...triple dip would mean an almost maroon shade, etc.

So it all depends on the exact color Iron Shade's looking for.

I'd say check every 2 - 5 minutes until it's how you want it...unless you're going for that SUPER red, then put 'em in and "forget about them" for a few hours or overnight.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 05:20 AM   #8
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the group picture of the wheels looks like my kids Easter egg basket!
Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
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Old June 6th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by outsk8u View Post
the group picture of the wheels looks like my kids Easter egg basket!
Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
+1
I knew someone out there would eventually do something like this! Excellent informative post!
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Old June 6th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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+1
I knew someone out there would eventually do something like this! Excellent informative post!
Thanks.

I had SO much fun experimenting! It's a really good thing these wheels were cheap, though (most, as shown, are the Sure Grip Zoom) since I don't like 'em, but my kids do, so they didn't "go to waste". LOL
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Old June 6th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #11
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Default Wow

Those are off the chart. Nice!!
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Old June 6th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #12
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I'm just hoping to get new pics soon...uh, and shrink 'em down a bit!!

Somewhat recently got a new digi. cam., so I'm at least hoping to get rid of the "blurry" pics and change 'em out with some clearer ones. LOL I was in too much of a hurry when I originally posted, so I just snapped a pic of each and loaded without really looking at them first.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 03:46 AM   #13
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I'm just hoping to get new pics soon...uh, and shrink 'em down a bit!!
You should get a copy of Easy Thumbnails. It's the best little image resizer you can get for the price of, um, free. Run it once and set how big you want the pictures to be. Once you've done that, all you need to do is select an image, right click on it and choose "Make Thumbnail". You can do multiple selections at a time.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #14
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Decided to start a new thread with this question. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:43 AM   #15
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So if I want royal purple and I have some rocket red radar devil rays I need to use a dark or medium blue??
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:47 AM   #16
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When you take more pics of your wheels, you may want to try out the macro function (look for the little flower icon on your camera).
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:35 AM   #17
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So if I want royal purple and I have some rocket red radar devil rays I need to use a dark or medium blue??
For that shade, I'd go with a medium (royal) blue...and don't forget to check often so they don't get too dark.

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When you take more pics of your wheels, you may want to try out the macro function (look for the little flower icon on your camera).
Hmm...had the camera for...actually, I forget how long...and never realized what that little flower thingie was for! LOL I'll have to try that. Thanks!
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:26 AM   #18
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Blue dye is verrrrrry aggressive. You'll get nearly black wheels if you aren't reallllly careful..
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Old September 18th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #19
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Blue dye is verrrrrry aggressive. You'll get nearly black wheels if you aren't reallllly careful..
So true! I wouldn't use the whole box of Rit and cool the water to warm and check them after a minute. We have seen a lot of midnight blue-black dye jobs on here.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 05:25 AM   #20
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Blue dye is verrrrrry aggressive. You'll get nearly black wheels if you aren't reallllly careful..
Ok thanks I got some light royal blue to try. Oh Trust me I will be standing over the pot the whole time watching them lol.
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