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Dye recommendation for ash body

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by MM73, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hello All,

    I'm into my first partscaster build, and am getting close to starting the finish work on the body.

    It is a single piece swamp ash body.

    Body Sanding 18Jun2015.jpg

    Body Finish Routing 20Jun2015.jpg

    I originally wanted to go for a butterscotch blonde finish a la the reranch product. Having splurged a bit for the single piece body, though, I'd like to finish it such that the grain is more visible.

    So, I am now leaning towards a dye to rub into the surface, sealing, possibly grain filling to get more grain pop, then applying nitro clear coat.

    I don't have spray equipment, so am relying on a dye I can rub in, and clear coat from a rattle can.

    1) Does anyone have a recommendation regarding a dye that can be applied by hand? I was pondering Solar Lux, but have heard it may dry very fast and cause problems with hand application.

    2) Does anyone have a formula for mixing to achieve a butterscotch blonde color? I don't mind trial and error work, but am looking for a starting point.

    3) Does anyone have a link to a good thread detailing the dye application and finishing process?

    Here is a link to my build thread. It may be entertaining to those with some experience building. It definitely is a must read on what NOT TO DO for other beginners.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/547399-scratch-tele-build.html

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  2. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I would use a dark grain filler and add tint to the clear. I bought a harbor freight spray gun and trust me ... everyone needs a compressor from airing up car tires to blowing out computers to painting Telecasters. I think I got started spraying for about $150 or less (cheaper than the price of spray cans over a few guitars) and you have a compressor for everything else.

    If you go with dying the wood.. test on scrap.
    Maple takes dye pretty well, pine and alder do not. I have not dyed ash myself.

    Nice looking body. I did an ash body with translucent sonic blue, like the white / butterscotch but light blue.
     
  3. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    To me this is a great blackguard thread, I love the shade of BSB he got:

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/440341-post-1000-gonna-celebrate-blackguard.html

    On to your finish . . .
    O.k. Seal is with Zinsser sealcoat. Then apply filler (use darker fill for grain popping) Sealer will keep the grainfiller from tinting/staining the lighter parts of the wood.
    Then seal it again to lock in the filler.

    Since you're using a spray can clear, have you heard of PreVal systems? It's like a make a spray can kit. HD and Lowes sell them as well as hobby shops.
    I would use one of those. Filled it with more of the zinsser sealcoat and whatever tint color you had planned. It will give you a nice even coat of color and you won't have to worry about poor absorbsion and blotchiness like direct staining/rubbing. Apply several coats until you have the desired color. (for added grain enhancement alternate clear and tinted coats, it adds a 3D quality to the finish) The Zinsser Sealcoat stuff is dewaxed shellac so if you mix your own you can use that in it's place, it will dry pretty quickly so you should be ready for top coats with in 24 hours, weather permitting.

    If you have to direct stain:
    Make a pre-stain conditioner... For the most part a heavily thinned version of your finish works very well as a pre stain conditioner, which helps prevent blotchy staining of tinting. You can also just use the thinner is self straight out of the can.
    That said I would still use the Zinsser Sealcoat or Homade DeWaxed shellac as the medium. My pre-stain conditioner would be 25% Shellac / 75% DNA. My tinted coats would be 60% Shellac / 40% DNA with a tinted strength of 50% so you can layer coats to build the color you want. (you really have to do small test on scrap to determine the strength of the stain) Then top coat it as you had planned.


    Good luck! Post some pics of the progress.
     
  4. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I read thru that thread several times. I would be thrilled to get that color and finish.

    I'm leaning away from the dye, and am looking into spray gear now...would love to try to do what Allen082 achieved.

    This is my first build, so no shame in not being original.

    I'm comfortable with the sealer and grain filler.

    What kind of clear lacquer does everyone use? I'd like to pick some up, and get some out into the sun for aging while I inch along with my build.

    So this is my new plan per Allen082's build.
    - Seal coat (Zinsser)
    - Grain fill (will try out Timbermate walnut and black on the blank scraps)
    - Seal coat (Zinsser)
    - White Mixol with clear lacquer (brand TBD)
    - Aged lacquer (brand TBD)
    - Clear coat lacquer (brand TBD)
     
  5. Bagman67

    Bagman67 Tele-Meister

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    IT looks like you are already pretty well decided on the mixol Mary Kay white approach, but if you are still considering -

    I hit this body with a blast of India ink and blacked it out entirely, then sanded back until only the grain was black. I then hit it with General Finishes orange premixed dye at full strength, then when dry, sanded back the fuzzies and hit with shellac to seal. I used Timbermate ebony to fill the grain, then a couple coats of Deft gloss lacquer. I then sprayed the black burst edge with Behlen solid black gloss toner using the reverse-stencil method, and then coated with about 15 coats of the Deft. This photo is after the black burst but before the subsequent clearcoats, to demonstrate the color I achieved and the grain contrast:

    [​IMG]

    In short - very happy with the water-based General Finishes dye product.
     
  6. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    This one was done with Timbermate black grain fill, then sanded back, followed by transtint cherry red stain in denatured alcohol. Cleared with Seagraves Nitro.
     

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  7. scott74

    scott74 TDPRI Member

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    This is a swamp ash body from USACG. After one coat of light blond shellac to seal, I used a rosewood grain filler, Then about 8 coats of super light blond shellac. Finally, about 6 coats of KTM-9 water based finish from LMI. All finishes were brushed on, and non-toxic.The finish has not yet been buffed out, but is does show the grain.
     

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  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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  9. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Transtint (also repackaged as Colortone by Stewart MacDonald) is a concentrated dye that you can dilute in water, or alcohol (that would give you the same thing as Solar Lux NGR stain), or you can mix it into clear finish for a toner/shader coat.

    Mixol is a pigment suspended in solvent that works well mixed into any number of finishes.

    Can't possibly argue with mefgames's results - BTW "Seagraves" is the current owner of the "McFadden" product line which is reputed to have been used by Gibson.

    And yes, you really do want to consider some sort of spray rig in order to get the best results with the least headache.

    Both are available in woodworking catalogs or Stew Mac.

    Timbermate or other grain filler is going to be an important step if you want a gloss finish on ash.
     
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