Alcohol evaporates and it also absorbs water, ambient humidity, the combination of those actions along with wood drying out reduces the effectiveness of the stain. The remedies soak the wood in some water, make a stronger stain with 91% alcohol and more dye.
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On Oct 19, 2020, at 11:43 AM, Jim Marlett <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I don’t have a clue what is going on, but I use 91% isopropyl alcohol and shoe leather dye. I just recently stained some ties I’ve had for over 40 years and they stained just fine. I also stained some old Kappler ties that may have been 20 or 30 years old (I can’t remember when I got them) and they stained fine as well. If you used 70% alcohol, it is not inconceivable that at least part of the alcohol has evaporated out and water isn’t as good a carrier as alcohol, IMHO. I think I would mix up a whole new batch of stain. The materials are cheap.
On Oct 19, 2020, at 10:13 AM, Bill Lugg <email@example.com> wrote:
I've got a large quantity (10,000) of Kappler ties that are now about a year and maybe a half old (stored in a plastic bag, in a climate controlled basement) that I've been using Mike Chambers' (https://www.rustystumps.com/RSSMDownloads/Inking%20Stripwood.pdf) simplest recipe to stain (in batches of 1,000 to 1,500 as I need them). The first batch I did soon after I received them from Kappler stained well and quickly using the 70% alcohol/black ink mixture. The batch I'm doing now using the same stain (not a new batch) I've left overnight and they haven't shown much change. I even drained the liquid off, added more ink to the mix and poured it back in before letting them sit overnight, but this morning it seems to have barely touched the ties.
Is it possible the alcohol has lost its potency in the intervening time? Or could the ties have changed their characteristics in a year and a half of sitting?
Some Ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.