Hey, I’m Justin Skaggs, and I’m incredibly excited to bring this tutorial to you. This is how you make a colored gut wall.
So, we’re going to go through this step by step. First off, get gloves and get a pair of goggles. Also, wear some clothes that you don’t mind getting messy. You should probably do this project out in your garage or wherever your parents, family, roommates or landlord says is okay because it’s very easy to make a mess and this dye can ruin anything with just a spill. This is permanent dye. Gutwall is basically just leather, but it’s just treated differently from the time they source it. What that means is that it’s going to be incredibly susceptible to basic Rit Dye.
The first thing I like to do is take my gut wall and measure it out so there’s going to be enough for whatever I need. If you guys purchase it from WoodLacrosseSticks.com, then it will be pre-measured. I then put that into warm water until it is as malleable as I want it. I’m using basic liquid Rit Dye, and while the powdered substance should work the same, I have not tested that version. I then put the entire bottle of dye into a pot filled with water and the gut wall. I always like using a hot plate, because it keeps a certain constant temperature the entire time I’m working with the dye. Make sure you stir the gut wall with a stick to make sure the dye is dispersed evenly throughout the water.
This is very important – you cannot walk away from this gut wall once it’s inserted into the dye. It takes the color so quickly. Some of the gut wall was left in too long and it turned navy rather than a loyal blue. That first batch that turned navy only took a few more seconds. Using the stick from earlier, make sure you’re constantly checking the color. Once it becomes the exact color you want, it’s time to pull it out. Set it to the side on a pile of rags that you don’t care about, because, again this will be a permanent stain. Take all of the excess dye off of the colored gut wall itself. To avoid a lot of bleeding, it’s good to take the now colored gut wall and give it a rinse, maybe twice, in a freshwater bath. That’s going to make it so it doesn’t bleed all over the place, but here’s the secret tip: This will bleed. Everywhere. On your hands, clothes, and whatever it touches. Everything is susceptible to this dye, and it’s basically a giant sponge filled with dye, so remember to wear your gloves and protect everything.
Most sticks are covered in polyurethane, but I don’t know what you’re working with. It very well could be an old stick with worn-off polyurethane. Take a little bit of packing tape and give it two layers around the holes you’ll be using for stringing. Puncture holes into the tape, but don’t remove the cut tape. Only poke the holes as to not create any space for the dye to stain another area of the stick. Obviously, you should remove the tape once it’s done, and everything will be back to normal.
Another thing to note is that this dye, Rit Dye, is salt-based, and will dry much faster than other dyes you may use, so you have to work fast with your preparation and stringing. You can also do what we did and soak the gut wall in warm water right until the moment you’re ready to use it for stringing. If you need any tips on stringing this gutwall, you can check out our Gut Wall Stringing Tutorial video, which can be found on the Wood Lacrosse Sticks YouTube page.
Once again, I will reiterate – this dye will bleed. If your stick were to get wet, it will bleed. While it’s dry, it’s pretty safe. If you want to take a can of spray gloss or spray polyurethane, and hit it with two coats, while letting it dry intermittently between each coat, that’ll go a long way. Of course, you’ll want to do this before you string the pocket in.
Now, I do also wanna give you guys a heads-up. I fell in love with this project, and we’re gonna do a Wood Lacrosse Sticks Color Series at WoodLacrosseSticks.com. You can check that out this Friday, August 2, on LaxAllStars.com, as well as all the Wood Lacrosse Sticks social media outlets. We’ll be doing a limited-edition stick set in all blue, and we may do some more colors in the future, so make sure you check for that as well. As always, take care and keep laxin’.