Best wood grain finish color?

TeleHuli50

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New to TDPRI. My Tele build kit got me doing much research on wiring, finishing, and all sorts of guitar building topics. I've landed on this site almost daily, so I figured I'd join the community. I'm still debating the finish of my build but at a minimum I want to go with some exposed wood grain and a satin finish. I'm almost certain I'll top it off with coats of Tru-oil as I've seen the results from many folks online. But what color? Any examples you all have of your favorite exposed wood grain finish in your Tele collection would be appreciated, particularly in the black pickguard/maple fingerboard family. Thanks!

huli
 

unixfish

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There are lots of colors with translucent finishes I would think. Pick what you like. (yeah yeah yeah easy for me to say...)

Welcome.
 

Gris

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If you don’t mind a little extra work, I highly recommend first staining with an almost black (Jacobean etc), then sanding that off (it will remain in the grain), then doing some sort of light brown). That way the grain really pops. But if you’re gonna use tung oil or something like that you don’t really even need a secondary stain cause the oil will darken it. If I had mine to do over I’d do it w/o 2d stain.
 

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Fenderdad1950

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Welcome from Albuquerque New Mexico. I think grid' guitar shown previously look a fantastic. But how the grain stands out depends on the wood used. Let's say alder versus swamp ash.
 

TeleHuli50

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Gris: nice looking guitar! I'll consider the initial black stain method. It looks like it paid off for you.
Fenderdad1950: Thanks! I think the wood I have is not ideal. The kit that I bought uses Basswood. Not to say I can't stain it, but it certainly doesn't have as drastic a grain pattern as ash. It has some. And I also think basswood is a closed-grain wood generally. I think it will end up looking more textured than actual wood grain, which I'm also not opposed to. Here's a pic of the front of the body. You can see some grain that would be nice to emphasize.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Gris

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Here is a close up of what the black in grain effect looks like.
 

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TeleHuli50

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Here is a close up of what the black in grain effect looks like.
That looks so clean and natural. Great work.

Thanks, all, for the warm welcome. Looking forward to awesome discussions and content (and catching up on the old, but still informative threads).
 

Timbresmith1

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Welcome! Basswood is pretty tough to stain. Gets blotchy. I might go with a bold dye color. Fieblings saddle dye…
 

TeleHuli50

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Welcome! Basswood is pretty tough to stain. Gets blotchy. I might go with a bold dye color. Fieblings saddle dye…
Yeah, it's tough to work with. I've been trying some test samples and seemed to have evened out the blotchiness with wood conditioner. I'm about to do that this week, so I'll let you folks know how it goes.
 

Randwulf

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ontario
New to TDPRI. My Tele build kit got me doing much research on wiring, finishing, and all sorts of guitar building topics. I've landed on this site almost daily, so I figured I'd join the community. I'm still debating the finish of my build but at a minimum I want to go with some exposed wood grain and a satin finish. I'm almost certain I'll top it off with coats of Tru-oil as I've seen the results from many folks online. But what color? Any examples you all have of your favorite exposed wood grain finish in your Tele collection would be appreciated, particularly in the black pickguard/maple fingerboard family. Thanks!

huli
Being a minimalist, i prefer natural. You can make your own with watercolour paint too, fyi....yellow ochre, burnt sienna....if you make your own, you can dial it in exactly how you like.
 




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