butterscotch blonde... tell me what you know?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mistermikev, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    wanted to query the oracle of tele expertise here regarding butterscotch blonde... or perhaps just blonde? I love the butterscotch blonde teles when it is more of an opaque finish and not quite as yellow, but you can still see the grain. This pic here is exactly what I'd like.
    [​IMG]

    another shot of what I like... perhaps better:
    [​IMG]

    I am aware that some here have had nice results with mohawk blonde, and I'm a big fan of their quality, but I think the finish might be a bit too yellow?

    what say you? how to get something similar to above keeping in mind that not really interested in getting compressor/sprayer at this point.
    Mohawk blonde? other mohawk color? reranch butterscotch blonde? some sort of filler + amber?
    please school me.
     
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  2. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    There's at least one thread if not more in the Finishing area that discusses this finish color if you happened to have missed it/them.
     
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  3. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    I haven't missed... unless I have. lots of threads regarding the typical butterscotch blonde which afa I can tell is not this. More the yellowed out modern version or the much more pale vintage version. what I'm looking for is sort of right in the middle... but I will go take another look either way, and thank you for the response.
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Dan Erlewine has about 8 pages on how Fender did their old blonds in his book on finishing. Several different recipes for different years and effects. In one of the recipes he comments on how to make it less "butterscotchy". He also discusses how some of the color we see today is due to changes from the original.
     
  5. bigtuna61

    bigtuna61 TDPRI Member

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    Came in the mail TODAY!!! Love it so far my second blpnde 20191119_150045.jpg 20191119_150117.jpg 20191119_150057.jpg
     
  6. holndav

    holndav Friend of Leo's

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    You should be able to pull this off with Reranch Fender Blonde and then add some tinted gloss over the top until you get to the color you are looking for.

    :)
     
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  7. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    Re your first photo: It’s not difficult; it’s just a few steps.

    First is get an ash body.

    Grain fill probably, but it can be skipped to get an immediate “sink into the wood” look for a relic finish.

    Spray a substantial transparent white finish (you want it to be thick so when it wears a lot of white edge shows).

    Spray a tinted clear. Sneak up on your desired result with multiple coats.

    That’s all.
     
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  8. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    thank you for the response. I've read that thread many times... and some day when I buy a spraygun and compressor those recipes are going to be a really great reference! Currently, I'm relegated to a spray can - and since it is pretty easy to get a great finish out of the mohawk cans, and since I can get rid of the remainder and lower the risk of housefire... I'm really just looking to stay with them.

    I have also gotten a lot of good info afa 'spray trans white, then spray blonde, then clear - and the clear will make it yellow as it ages' and will use that info... but don't have confidence in my can/color/brand choice yet.
    I've done some google searching 'reranch blonde' and 'reranch butterscotch blonde' and 'mohawk blonde' but what I have found is that it is pretty easy to get a variety of finish from any of those cans.

    so at this point... i'm thinking I'll do some white wash, then some mohawk blonde, then some clear... then try to expose it to 10k lights until it gets just a hint of yellow... but if anyone has other ideas - I'm all ears!

    thanks again
     
  9. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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  10. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    right on, thank you for the reply... "one vote for reranch"!

    thank you very much sir. good advice. so what is your guess afa can: reranch or mohawk?
     
  11. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    I would suggest buying a couple of Prevals, a can of lacquer and (good) thinner, and Mixol tints. It doesn’t cost but a tiny bit more than the multiple rattle cans.

    Here’s a pic of one of mine that I think is what you’re going for. It was done with Watco/Preval; Mixol #25 white, and a mix of #5,#6, and #2 for the topcoat.

    72AD0148-9567-4F27-B040-073AA675037C.jpeg
     
  12. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    you seem to have a good idea of what you want, and it's not always easily discernible from what appears on a computer monitor, but I can offer the same advice many others here have offered. Run as many tests as it takes on scrap wood - which hopefully is more or less the same sample from the body you want to finish. When you get the color you want, make sure you take notes and then you may proceed on your body with a little more confidence.
     
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  13. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    Oh yeah, don’t forget to test, test, test. Some of the smart people advise to do your whole process on a test piece of ash first, before you even start on the real body.

    I see someone smart beat me to it:)
     
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  14. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    wow... that looks great. I've got some leftover mohawk whitewash and some clear... but i have to say those results have me thinking I need to look into preval. I've heard the name mentioned. The downside there is the learning curve of how to measure/mix... I'll have to read up and see if I can get confident on that. thank you for the reply!

    def fantastic advice. I do have some leftover ash from this body so... will def take your advice. thanks for the reply!

    always a good plan. has saved me from certain death a number of times. will def do and thank you for mentioning!
     
  15. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    would love to see examples of any other preval/mohawk/reranch guitars in this (or other) colors as that might be a nice reference for others and myself later on. Here is mohawk champagne frost:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    this deserves a second wow. WOW. It was done with Watco/Preval; Mixol #25 white, and a mix of #5,#6, and #2
     
  17. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks:)

    But it’s not hard - if I can do it anyone can.

    I did have experience around coatings and stuff at work, for quite a while. That pretty much made me unafraid. I think a lot of people are scared, and they shouldn’t be. If you run a test piece first, you should get enough confidence to proceed:cool:
     
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  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    While the finishing process for blonde changed throughout the years, they always start out as just "blonde," and were painted with a diluted white. Even though the pigment was pure white, the finishes didn't appear pure white even at first. This is due to the yellowish-peachy wood showing through.

    So again, the lacquer itself had pure white pigment in it, but the finishes were never pure white, even when factory fresh. They were a little peachy/tannish. But then the finishes would yellow even more, based on environmental exposure to things like UV and smoke (smoking was far more common back then, and far more common indoors at people's houses and music venues). That is why you see varying degrees of yellowing. The ones that are the least "orangey" are the ones that didn't receive very much UV or smoke exposure.

    Fender changed their finish process shortly after the blackguard era, so that the lacquer didn't yellow as much based on environmental conditions. My guess is that they started using less clear coat, or possibly just started skipping the clear coat entirely, polishing the blonde color coats directly instead.

    Then, around the late '50s or so, they changed the process again. This time, they started spraying the color coats more opaquely. This means either more white pigment in the lacquer, more color coats, or thicker color coats, or some combination of any of those three.

    So, basically, you have:

    1. Early blonde, which is associated with the blackguards: Broadcasters, nocasters, and early Teles. This blonde is usually quite yellowed, and usually lets you see the grain quite well, though there are examples that are not yellowed and/or that don't show much grain. This is what has become known as "Butterscotch Blonde."

    2. '50s blonde, which is associated with white guard maple-necked Teles. It still shows plenty of grain, but is rarely very yellowed.

    3. '60s blonde, which is associated with rosewood board Teles. It doesn't show much grain (sometimes none), and stays even whiter than white guard blonde.

    The key for what you want is not to use too much pigment, and not to use a lot of (or NO) clear coat. Less pigment means more of the wood's color shows through, giving you the peachy-tan color you want, and allowing you to slowly built to the opacity you want, while also letting you build finish thickness, so you don't need to use as much clear coat. Not a ton of (or NO) clear coat will help to minimize environmentally caused yellowing over the years.

    Personally, I love a bright white blonde that still shows some grain through it (but not a ton of grain), that will only slightly warm up to a very light honey blonde over the years. Basically, this is a white guard style finish.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  19. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    right on and tru dat. We all have the areas we blaze trails and then the areas we hang back. for me... finishing with anything other than tru oil or poly and anything other than out of a can, is uncharted waters. I'm a 'dip my toe in' kind of guy and it does serve me well... keeps me out of trouble... for the most part! thank you for the vote of confidence and info!

    that's a lot to digest there but I guess that puts me somewhere mid/late 50s altho I love them all! With opaque, it's hard to hit the sweet spot between even coverage and few coats, I'll have to concentrate on that and reflect on your thoughts as I do. Prep would be key and good grain fill, but I'm planning sort of a 'clean relic' for this one so I'm not 100%, but I think I'm going to skip grain fill, or perhaps just do light grain fill. will def be a challenge so thanks for the input!
     
  20. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Just so you know, not grain filling ash will leave you with very deep grain lines in the finish. I have done this before...but on purpose. It looks nothing like the original finishes. I would say that unless you want a very special effect, you should definitely grain fill.

    Here are some in-progress shots of an Esquire I built from ash. The unfilled wood was stained green with many coats of copper napthenate wood preservative/insect repellent prior to clear coating. The matte shot is obviously prior to any clear being applied. The back shot is early on in the clear coating. The top shot on the workbench is the completed finish, which was a thick, polished clear shell over the green. You can see what a completed unfilled finish looks like in that shot.

    25741013362_bd59e6668d_o.jpg

    25861958635_2d02851074_o.jpg

    25231367104_e37ebdeef2_o.jpg
     
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