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  • Tweed Dye?

    I'm restoring an old tweed Gibson GA40-RV for a customer. The amp sat in water about half way up the cabinet. Not to the chassis, so the amp is fine. The tweed is discolored/stained, but still in good shape otherwise. I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried to dye, stain, whatever this material with any success and if so, what did you use? Obviously, color will have to be darker to hide the stain, but that's not an issue. I'm looking for something that won't rub off like paint would. Here's a pic. Of course, the other option is to recover the amp completely, but trying to avoid that.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Gibson Cab.jpg Views:	0 Size:	124.1 KB ID:	928421
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    "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

  • #2
    So it is real fabric tweed, not vinyl fake tweed, right? Looks like from here.

    I am NOT a cabinet man, my pal RJ is pretty good at it, builds them for the amps he builds. But to me it looks stained, so yes, a stain or dye comes to mind, they won't flake off certainly.

    Talk to a fabric store, some of those ladies are lifers and know a ton. For some odd reason a shoe repair shop comes to mind, they know a lot about cleaning and staining stuff. And those companies that clean up after floods and fires are everywhere. Servpro comes to mind, and you seem to have two franchises of them in Sioux Falls. Ask them if they have advice.

    I doubt steam cleaning would work well, but you never know.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    • #3
      Yes. It's real tweed- not vinyl tweed. I'm hesitant to use heat or steam for fear that the glue might come loose. I will check into your other ideas and talk to some pros. I'm not a cabinet guy either and prefer to keep it that way. The electronic part keeps me busy enough. Thanks, Enzo!
      "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Dude View Post
        I'm restoring an old tweed Gibson GA40-RV for a customer. The amp sat in water about half way up the cabinet. Not to the chassis, so the amp is fine. The tweed is discolored/stained, but still in good shape otherwise. I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried to dye, stain, whatever this material with any success and if so, what did you use? Obviously, color will have to be darker to hide the stain, but that's not an issue. I'm looking for something that won't rub off like paint would. Here's a pic. Of course, the other option is to recover the amp completely, but trying to avoid that.
        I'd guess, a wood stain. Like Minwax maple or pine, light tan/brown, with a hint of orange in the maple version. Others may have better anwers, I'm looking forward to seeing them. I expect the "tweed" will continue to look plenty distressed - for me that's a good thing. Best to try whatever you decide on in an area that won't be seen much. Also possible, if using a stain or dye, the contrast between the two colors in the material may be diminished by the colorant. But, it's a hail mary try innit? Hope youi find something that makes the amp look cool & not awful.
        Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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        • #5
          I hadn't thought of wood stain, but that sounds like a good idea. Maybe I can stain the unstained part first to sort of match and then cover the whole thing with a second coat. Thank Ya!
          "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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          • #6
            Isn't some of that 'Tweed' covering varnished?
            If so then the stain is under that.
            Last edited by Jazz P Bass; 04-07-2021, 03:46 PM.

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            • #7
              You will spend a lot of effort and time trying to match dirty/clean areas and they will always be noticeable, human eye is a bitch for that.

              I would pull old Tweed fully off, with localized heat from a heat gun and a painterīs flat blade to unglue (they used hide glue so sensitive to heat, either by remelting or drying brittle and easy to scrape off) , sand cabinet with coarse sandpaper, now that itīs stripped you can repair missing pieces, even with Bondo or similar.
              About 2 hours work, no need to OCD.

              Then about 2 hours net work (in 2 sessions) re-covering, let dry, then spray/brush transparent or tinted varnish.

              Will last another 60 years.

              It will NOT take significantly less by trying to save damaged stained old Tweed and NO guarantee whatsoever.
              Juan Manuel Fahey

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              • #8
                Originally posted by J M Fahey View Post
                You will spend a lot of effort and time trying to match dirty/clean areas and they will always be noticeable, human eye is a bitch for that.

                I would pull old Tweed fully off, with localized heat from a heat gun and a painterīs flat blade to unglue (they used hide glue so sensitive to heat, either by remelting or drying brittle and easy to scrape off) , sand cabinet with coarse sandpaper, now that itīs stripped you can repair missing pieces, even with Bondo or similar.
                About 2 hours work, no need to OCD.

                Then about 2 hours net work (in 2 sessions) re-covering, let dry, then spray/brush transparent or tinted varnish.

                Will last another 60 years.

                It will NOT take significantly less by trying to save damaged stained old Tweed and NO guarantee whatsoever.
                Ding, ding, ding! Correct answer!
                Jack Briggs

                sigpic
                www.briggsguitars.com

                forum.briggsguitars.com

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                • #9
                  The method is to bleach the stained areas first, then match in the colour. It's laborious and requires a fair bit of trial and error working on an area that isn't noticeable. To lighten the fabric you can try dilute oxalic acid, though it's poisonous. You may find you can get most of the staining out with this. I also have some NOS tubes of a product called Didi-Seven which works very well. Clean an area first without soaking using a toothbrush, go over it with clean water, then use a hairdryer to dry it. If you need to stain the area water based dye is controllable but it needs to be UV stable - fabric dye or water-based wood stains are fine. Use them very much diluted and allow it to dry so that you can see how it will look. You may have issues with the rest of the cabinet though if using water based due to the presence of any lacquer or wax. A final spray with lacquer or shellac will slightly darken everything. For Fender cabinets I use brush applied shellac, others need a light misting with clear lacquer - I use acrylic. Just enough to stop the finish absorbing dirt.

                  You've certainly got your work cut out with the Gibson.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not sure how it would work on this, but a paste made of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap works amazing well at cleaning red wine and blood stains off clothing, so might work here. I forget the proportions, but roughly equal peroxide and dish soap I think, and enough soda to make a paste should be good to start, and rub it in with a toothbrush or similar. Good luck

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                    • #11
                      Thanks fellas. I'll update after trying a few things. I may just bail on that part of the restoration and let the customer take it elsewhere for recovering.
                      "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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                      • #12
                        I know John Mergili would do a great job recovering it, pricing you would have to email or call him. http://www.mergili.com/home-1.html WA

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                        • #13
                          Just to put a wrap on this thread: Amp was rebuilt, new speakers and grill cloth, and out the door she went. The customer decided to leave the old tolex as is. We'll just call it character.
                          "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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