Is this how to get this honey amber finish?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by eddie27, May 19, 2020.

  1. eddie27

    eddie27 Tele-Meister

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    IMG_3282 2.jpg

    I'm on my 20th ever build and I've never down a trans finish. Only opaque nitro finishes. I'm doing a variation of the Billy Bo in mahogany and want to achieve this finish shown in this pic. (I know the wood is Korina in the pic.)

    My planned process is:

    - ebony Timberbmate grain fill
    - clear waxless shellac
    - nitro vintage amber
    - nitro clear

    Will that work? Any other suggestions?
     
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  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds about right. You may want to consider using amber shellac under clear nitro, it may be easier to control the color. Good luck with your project.

    Also, ebony filler may be too dark for that finish. Try some experiments on some scrap wood to find the right formula.
     
  3. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    adding a little garnet shellac to amber will amp up the yellow, but a little goes a long way
     
  4. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    You could start with Korina and be about halfway there! :)

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Whoops! Missed that you mentioned korina in the OP. Please ignore!!!
     
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  5. Kevin Wolfe

    Kevin Wolfe Tele-Meister

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    The black filler works great on open grained woods like mahogany or black walnut. Just sand it like a sanding sealer.
     
  6. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    The Billy Bo in the original picture looks to be Korina finished natural. I doubt there is much, if any, tint in the finish. To get that exact color tone with Honduras is going to be fairly difficult. If you're using Khaya (which is not actually Mahogany), it can tend toward a yellowish color, so it might be easier. Are you actually using Mahogany or something else?

    Are you using TransTint dyes? Vintage amber and Honey amber are quite different in color with Honey amber being more yellow. I'd try both on scrap pieces to fine tune the recipe.
     
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  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Mahogany is not going to yield that look no matter what finish you put on it, ime. Now, if you are committed to the mahogany, you might looking into radical approaches....bleach the mahoganY???? Just thinking out loud. I have a book on exotic wood finishes and will check it out. You could go with the limed mahogany finish that yielded the TV yellow Les Paul Specials in the ‘50’s.
     
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  8. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with Wally. If you are using true Mahogany, the only way you're going to get close to color in that photo is to first bleach the Mahogany. If you're using African "Mahogany" aka Khaya which is not actually a Mahogany, it might work. It can range from Pinkish brown to Yellowish. A picture of your blank might be helpful.
     
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  9. eddie27

    eddie27 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks guys. I've decided to do a Pelham Blue top since the Mahogany won't get that color.
     
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  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    IF I really wanted to go to that ‘korina’ look with the mahogany, I would look into bleaching. There are articles about using bleach to take mahogany to light straw color or even white....I imagine the particular wood being bleach would have some part in the final results.
    Otherwise...
    Imho, a transparent cherry red over mahogany is a classic and beautiful finish. It would look really good on that shape, too....in my eye. If that wood has nice grain, imho it would be a pity not to see it. If I did not like the grain, I would do a metallic gold on that Bo!
    But if Pelham blue gets it done for you, there you are! Go for it! Note that if you use nitro, it will turn to a green over time due to the yellowing of the clearcoats.
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    What others have said about mahogany wanting to impart its own color thru the finish is true, but you can push the color a bit too. Here is a maple guitar with a mahogany neck. I changed my mind during construction and decided to do a amber blond finish instead of the 'burst I was originally planning. Here it is "in white" IMG_3550.JPG

    and with the amber stain and finish

    IMG_3583.JPG

    Not a perfect match, but acceptable. If I was going to do it again I would make a maple neck

    One of the important things if you decide to take this on is to have pieces of your original wood to practice on and don't do anything to your guitar until you have it totally nailed on your practice pieces
     
  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like that color combo.
    PBLP.jpg
     
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  13. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Not to hijack, but I have a Fretwire 70s Thinline Tele kit coming in for Father’s Day and I’ve been unsure of what to go with, finish wise and this just answered my question. It’s a maple top and mahogany back with white binding and I think this color combo would look killer on it. Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Since bleaching was mentioned I thought I'd add that Wally is NOT talking about laundry bleach. Wood bleach is involves two products with multiple steps to the process.

    You can get wood bleach products or kits at professional contractor paint stores and specialty woodworking shops like Rockler.
     
  15. J.E.M.

    J.E.M. Tele-Meister

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    IMO there's really nothing you can do to get a red mahogany as pale as it needs to be to show that amber finish, there's too much red for the bleach to overcome, and I've tried.

    Here's my latest project, the entire guitar was stained with an amber water based stain, then clear sealer, a few coats of clear mixed with amber toner and then clear top coats - both the maple and the Mahogany got the same treatment (I stained and tinted 100% of the guitar) - the amber stain/tint doesn't show over the red of the Mahogany and I sincerely doubt bleaching it would have made enough difference...

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Amber on mahogany is a traditional setup in finishing in the furniture world, but it's more to highlight certain tones to make it "sparkle" more. J.E.M is correct that it's not going to materially affect the mahogany otherwise. (And that instrument he shows is really beautiful, too!)
     
  17. J.E.M.

    J.E.M. Tele-Meister

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    Yes, once you're building a Mahogany guitar a clear amber finish is always going to be tough to achieve.

    (Thanks for that, here's the other side. ps the board is brazilian)

    [​IMG]
     
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