Suggestions for finishing interesting (but not exquisitely figured) maple

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by JimF, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    Basically I managed to score this top for £30 ($40?) and couldn’t say no.
    It’s not exactly flamed or quilted but it has tons of character and I feel like using it on my hardtail single him super strat build.

    [​IMG]

    Now I’ve experience in using danish oil etc in finishing wood, but a voice in my head is telling me to do something different as I already have a natural finish quilt maple Jackson.
    It will be going on a tulip poplar body with a padauk neck and ebony board.
    I’m tempted to go with a green or red stain (after first using black then sanding back to help the contrast) but because the wood is a bit scrappy and unusual I’m wondering if it will take colour well, or just look like tinted plywood?
    I have been leaning towards a honey amber type finish because that would still leave it looking natural but add some class. But was considering tinted lacquer for that one.
    Any ideas? Just stick with danish oil?
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire All black guitars are cancer

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    dye it and oil it. Since it's not a terribly figured piece there's no real incentive to keep it natural imo. At minimum I'd hit it with some black to make the grain pop, then sand back/oil it. The black will definitely help make the top more interesting. If you've already cut/glued the top then use the scraps for test pieces and see how the dyes play on the figuring.
     
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  3. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    Thanks buddy! It’s still uncut so I’m going to make sure I’ve got offcuts to text. Do you think dying it will make it look better?
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire All black guitars are cancer

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    every piece is different and looks different under dye, but for that piece I would definitely dye it.
     
  5. pondman

    pondman Build Whore. Contributor

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    You'll be surprised just how nice a top that is even just after dying it black and sanding back.
    Dye it your favourite colour , you could even leave it darker on the edges when you sand the black back to give it a burst/fade.
     
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  6. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    Good plan!
    I’m wary to take on too many things with my first build but I really want to do a dyed maple top.
     
  7. pondman

    pondman Build Whore. Contributor

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    Spirit dye is best btw, it doesn't raise the grain.
     
  8. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    My plan was to use water to raise the grain prior to that stage. Ive had good results from that before.
    I’ve read spirit dye is a bit unforgiving as it’s less manoeuvrable than water based during application - have you found this? Or can you work around it?
     
  9. pondman

    pondman Build Whore. Contributor

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    Trouble with water based is that you can end up sanding through the colour to get it smooth after raised grain probs. As long as you don't mix the spirit dye too strong and just build it up slowly you'll be fine. Practice on a piece of crap wood first.
     
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  10. JimF

    JimF SS.org Regular

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    Brilliant thanks!
     

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