Thinking of Staining My Black Gibson Explorer...

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Manurack, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Manurack

    Manurack Nunavut Inuk

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    Ok guys, I recently bought a 1993 Gibson USA Explorer :metal:

    I absolutely love the way it looks, especially with the chrome pickups covers, hardware and amazing pickguard!
    Buuuuuuuuuuuuut I also LOVE the way natural stained Explorers look like James Hetfield's Ken Lawrence Explorer and some Agile and Edwards Explorers look, they just look so... Metal and Classy at the same time :shred:

    Well this will be my next project sometime this year :D
    And if I want to have a Black Explorer again, I can simply just buy another Gibson Explorer :metal:
    And for the comments about "why not just buy a Natural Stained Explorer :scratch:" I want to do this because modding my guitars is a hobby I've had for many years!

    Here's what I have in mind: my black Gibson Explorer.
    [​IMG]

    And I want it to look like these fine geetars :D

    Ken Lawrence Explorer
    [​IMG]

    Agile Ghost Explorer
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    Edwards Explorer
    [​IMG]

    My Gibby will look sooooo good with the nice wood stain and black hardware! :bowdown:
     
  2. MikeH

    MikeH Bring the gain

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    Then do it. :shrug: It won't look like that Ken Lawrence, obviously because of the top being figured. But you could match the other two.
     
  3. yellowv

    yellowv Turd Ferguson Contributor

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    The KL is a crazy figured top so your not gonna get that result. The other two are just oil finishes, not stain. You will have an incredible amount of work getting your guitar stripped enough to put an oil finish on and have it look good. Also you have to hope the mahogany underneath looks good. It could be ugly or be a several piece body. Also you will have all those pickguard holes which wont match 100% if you fill them. As you said yourself the best option is buying an oil finished Explorer.

    Oh good job starting yet another thread on this guitar ;)
     
  4. Manurack

    Manurack Nunavut Inuk

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    Yeah dude, and I can buy wood similar to the Ken Lawrence Explorer top and add a veneer to my Gibby, or even possibly a spalted maple top like this LTD FX-Explorer, but with a darker stain...
    [​IMG]
     
  5. mikenothing

    mikenothing SS.org Regular

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    Realistically your guitar will look something like this, since Gibson explorers have routed channels from the pickup selector/pickups to the controls underneath the pickguard:

    [​IMG]


    It would not look like the ones you have listed above, seeing as all of them have no pickguard. I think its a cool project, and it would look nice.

    I love my Edwards Explorer, natural wood = love
    Here are some pics of my guitar to fuel your GAS :)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Walterson

    Walterson SS.org Regular

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    I would be carefull, cause Gibson often uses bodys made of many pieces of wood under opaque lacquer.... the grain may not be matched and it may look quite awfully.

    You don't know yet, but when you know it, its allready to late.....
     
  7. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    Us made gibsons that are painted are made from at least 3 pieces. Food for thought, op.
     
  8. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Not wanting to rain on your fire, but if the result is in the same ballpark as your stagemaster, just don't. Continue to practice on cheapo guitars before trying more expensive instruments for now.
     
  9. peldikuneptun

    peldikuneptun the septic lord

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    oh dear. instant onset of GAS. that's just lovely.
     
  10. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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  11. Manurack

    Manurack Nunavut Inuk

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    A proper veneer is the exact direction I want to go :agreed:
    And the Stagemaster is just a $150 guitar, it was fun to mess with, but I'm not going to destroy a 1993 USA Gibson Explorer lol
     
  12. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    putting a veneer on a set neck guitar will be quite difficult to get accurate....
     
  13. Swyse

    Swyse Swyse

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    This remains to be seen.

    My $0.02 is to leave it as is or take it to a pro.
     
  14. Walterson

    Walterson SS.org Regular

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    or sell this one and buy a natural coloured Explorer.
     
  15. peldikuneptun

    peldikuneptun the septic lord

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    on the other hand, DIY in this case would be of tremendous value. I for one would be very much interested to see how a multiple-piece mahogany (which is quite porous and should take stain well) body turnes out with some slightly darker stain. For some reason I don't think that the "joints" would show very much...:scratch:
    a buddy of mine has a mahogany LP studio, worn brown (kinda see-through) finish, with the wood grain showing. Took a lot of time to figure out whether it was a one piece body or not. It wasn't.
     
  16. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    Oh yeah, that... Gotta be very meticulous mapping it out, cutting a good neck pocket in the veneer, etc. The Explorer is fully flat-topped, right? That'd make it a little easier at least.
     
  17. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    Yeah, cutting the neck pocket out is exactly where the difficulty would lie. Getting it PERFECT without any noticeable gaps would be very difficult....
     
  18. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    err.... if you REALLY insist...:scratch::scratch::scratch:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  19. peldikuneptun

    peldikuneptun the septic lord

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    thanks, point taken. but hey, who doesn't like to play lottery every once in a while? :D
     
  20. bob123

    bob123 Banned

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    Dude if they didnt have natural explorers already, Id say "go for it", but in this case, he really should just try and trade for one imo. Im 110% positive gibsons have AT LEAST 3 peices with their painted bodied guitars, so the odds of it looking good, are very slim.
     

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