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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Veneers and staining

Hi guys,
Newbie to this site but I have done a bit of luthiery (?) in the past that has led me to my present project. I'm just getting everything up together for this build then I think that I may post it as a project thread in the not too distant future. I have just purchased a "second" (dodgy glue joins on the face) Tele Cabronita 3 piece alder body that I intend on laying a veneer face on. My question to you guys is as follows, If I veneer the face with a 0.6mm veneer, will it take a stain well? I'm building it for my wife who adores purple (as they all seem to!) so was hoping to give it a purple hue to pop the figuring of the veneer out. Veneers that I'm looking at are either, quilted maple, ripple fiddle sycamore or ripple makore.
Any input/ advice would be most welcome.

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Old January 5th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't see why it wouldn't take one...
No worries!
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Old January 5th, 2013, 05:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It should take the stain as well as a veneer as it will as a huge slab. Different species of wood take different stains differently, if that makes sense.

I haven't worked sycamore or makore, but I've used dye stains with figured (or plain) maple quite a bit. I usually put down a coat of boiled linseed oil first, just wipe on -wait a few minutes- wipe off. If you go that route, make sure it's boiled, not raw. Raw linseed oil stays soft for a good long time.

After the linseed oil is cured (usually I wait overnight, or a little more just to be sure), I start in with dry coats of dye stain, working up to the color I'm going for rather than slopping it on all at once.

Once I'm satisfied with the color, I'll give it a light sanding with 320 or 400, to give the figure a little more pop.

Then topcoat with whatever you want. It's easy! Right?
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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How dodgy are those glue joins? I'd fill any gaps in the joins with epoxy first. Or you might want to put on 2 layers of veneer so the joins don't 'telegraph' through. Maybe on the back too? I normally seal the guitar with (super-blonde) shellac then spray coloured stain/toner, then clear coats. I use nitro for everything but the sealer. Maple and sycamore have closed grain so won't need filler, not sure about makore?
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Old January 5th, 2013, 11:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One thing you do need to be wary of is any pinholes there may be in the veneer. Remember you're only dealing with 0.6mm of wood, and even the tightest grain woods may have tiny pinholes when planed down that sort of thickness. When you glue the veneer, there is a chance the glue will seep thriough the holes and potentially create problems with stain or dye absorbtion around those areas. From experience I can tell you this is a real concern with burled timber, but even with regular wood you'll need to make a thorough inspection first. Also if you are using bookmatched veneer, you will need to be absolutely positive you have a good tight well glued veneer joint, otherwise the stain or dye could cause the seam to lift.

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Old January 6th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input Guys. To be fair the glue joins are not as bad as the ebay description sounded when I bought it, worked well for me as I got it for a song. They are only very minor and just on the face, the adhesive has filled them already, if you were to use it as is then there would be issues but as I plan on putting on a face veneer no problem. I also have the luxury of working for a furniture manufacturer so have industrial machinery at my disposal. Had planned to pass it through a triple wide belt sander to sand off what I will be adding with the veneer, that would be enough to sort out the "problem" with the joins as it's just on the very front edge.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's what I'm working with
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Old January 6th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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here's a couple of threads where I used veneer, perhaps they will be a little help

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Old January 6th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ron, those links are mindblowing, very informative. Many thanks :-)
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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See if this video gives you any ideas. The wood is not actually "stained", except for the black stain used to pop the grain. If you're doing a true stain, that is, applying the stain directly to the wood, be careful about using too much glue. On veneer that thin, glue can wick into the wood, creating a barrier and leaving you with only a very thin zone into which dye/stain can penetrate, which could leave you a blotchy result.

The video outlines what I'd guess you call "toning", and is a safer, more dependable way to get both good grain pop, plus even, unblotchy coloring.
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