Maple Body Stain...

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Johnny_B, May 26, 2019.

  1. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B TDPRI Member

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    Starting my first tele body. Found some solid maple blanks at the cottage, glued a couple together to make it wide enough. Started experimenting with different stain options with some leftover strips. Looks like the maple is pretty tough and not taking the stain options too well. The darker squares I've applied at least two coats.

    #1 is an espresso stain, kind of blotchy, not much detail.

    #3 is a dark walnut stain, has a nice dark brown tone, but also kind of blotchy.

    #2 is a cheery, but pretty dull.

    #7 is black tea. Didn't really take.

    #6 is an ebony stain, just one coat. Pretty blotchy.

    #8 is my first attempt at vinegar and steel wool, just a light treatment, steel wool sitting in vinegar for just two days, but it's probably my favourite. Just not sure if I want to turn maple into a grey barn wood look.

    I'd be thrilled to hear what recommendations people would say is best for a maple body.

    Thanks!




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    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  2. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    Johnny - your #8 is, I assume, a derivative of the age-old aqua fortis stain for maple, used since colonial days for maple longrifle stocks. You are only half-way thru the process tho. Hit it with heat - most of us use a heat gun (for paint stripping). Ease into it - don’t scorch the wood - and watch that drab gray turn to a deep reddish brown as the iron oxidizes.
    It’s still the gold standard for longrifles made today - whether or not its what you want for your guitar - only you can say.
     
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  3. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B TDPRI Member

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    Not sure if you realize what a life changing tip you just gave me...but it is... THANKS!!!
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Afflicted

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    Have you experimented with any of the trans tint or aniline dyes? These can be diluted with either water or alcohol and used to stain your maple. You can vary the concentration to get darker or lighter colors, and to a certain extent, enhance the grain and character of the wood. I don't see a lot of figure in your wood but it still should look good with amber or brown or even some of the bright colors.

    Also have you tried wiping the wood with naphtha or denatured alcohol - that will give you an idea of what it will look like under a simple clear finish.

    (but I've got to admit, I want to see the results when you follow Meteor's suggestions)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  5. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't rule out going clear. Maple is one of the few woods that doesn't yellow with age (so long as the finish doesn't). I love the look of this Epiphone so much I have considered getting a custom maple Tele body to pair with a maple neck and white pickguard.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Drak

    Drak Tele-Holic

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    I can clearly tell you the way forward if you're shooting your finish from a gun:
    Pore Fill the body with thin CYA glue, let dry, and sand level (that's your pore filler and it works great)
    Then shoot a few clear coats. Not many.
    Then sand it flat and level.
    Then Shoot your Color as a Toner or Shader coat.
    Shader coats are (the way I do it) 70% thinner, not much lacquer. Thin.
    Then clear over it until you're done.

    Don't dye the wood directly if you have the ability to shoot a shader coat.
    It will come out much, much nicer.

    I do both all the time, I dye wood directly And I shoot shader coats, all the time.
    Just depends on the situation which I choose, sometimes I use both methods on the same guitar.
    On Maple like that, I would do, and have done, many times, exactly what I just explained to you.
     
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  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If you are going o use dye or stain the usual procedure is to use sanding sealer as the initial coat and sand it smooth., Filler is an option, but normally only used if there are numerous open sections (spalting) or open grain.

    Sanding sealer is used to help control the stain or dye color - you use a solvent-dampened rag to wipe areas that start to go dark/blotchy, "pulling" the color back out of the grain.

    The type of sealer depends on the finish system you plan to t0 use. Your tests are a good start, but it's best to apply the entire system on similar scrap wood - all the way to final buffing - to fine tune your application methods and equipment, learn how products interact, make mistakes and learn how to fix them.

    It sounds like you're unfamiliar with sealers and fillers to start with - you should do a LOT of reading and research before starting on the "practice" pieces, and perfect the system before working on the actual guitar if you want a smooth, error-free finish. Some just dive right in and are less concerned with the results as long as they're "close". That's up to you.

    But it takes dozens of pages just to type up instructions for a single system, so it's just not practical to Have "A to Z" laid out on a website. Depending on the product type you plan to use as a finish there are several manufacturers' websites that provide directions. Be aware that those are specific to THAT manufacturer's products and not necessarily others of the same generic type.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B TDPRI Member

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    Excellent tip, thanks - I'll try it out.
     
  9. Johnny_B

    Johnny_B TDPRI Member

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    I have some varsol handy at the cottage that i'll try out to see the effect when wiping back the colour... Thanks!
     
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