Starting a partscaster build- need some finishing input

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by illinismitty, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys. Long time lurker. This page is full of friendly and knowledgeable members, so I am hoping a few of you would be so kind to guide me on staining and finishing. I do have a paint and poly finish job under my belt that turned out great. This will be my first stain project.

    I am going with Reda dye because I like the vibrancy of the blue (unless you all think that is a mistake), as it seems like an affordable solution to mixing colors. Top will be blue ( I want vibrant), may leave the back natural, perhaps just a light wash of amber dye? I would love some some input on other finishes besides poly. Poly was a pain in my arse on my last finish job, too soft and long cure time. So maybe shellac? Hand rubbed oil finish? My guess is that nitro would green the blue over time. But what are some options besides poly?

    Body will arrive tomorrow finished at 220 grit. I have watched videos on staining maple tops. I think I have the technique down, and I will practice on some scraps. Prep and finish I am not 100% on at the moment. I would love some input.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Nice looking wood - you'll have a lot of fun with that. If you have read very many threads here you will know that there are several approaches to staining or dying wood. The best advice I can give is to decide on one and practice it on your scrap (which should be exactly the same wood as your guitar) until you perfect it. That includes any sealers, the stain(s), other sealers, and top coats. I've never sprayed poly so I can't say how that would work - my personal favorite is lacquer but again, you should shoot some over your stains to see if you like the color.

    Some potential issues. The maple does not need to be pore filled, the rest of the body may (depending what it is). Since it is not bound you will have a bit of a hassle at any junction between stained wood and unstained or a different color. Your choice of solvents for the stain (alcohol or water) partially depends on what you are going to put on top of it. If you are going to wipe the top coats you run the risk of pulling the stain out - spraying a sealer might be wise.

    If you have read anything that I have posted about staining you know I am a great fan of James Condino - his finishes are some of the best. He does water based stains hand applied and French Polishes over the top

    https://www.finewoodworking.com/author/james-condino

    You'll get lots more advice, filter thru it and test whatever you decide to do. Good luck
     
  3. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    Thank you! This is good advice. The back is alder, walnut, and maple. So I probably will not stain that at all. I was thinking of sanding sealer except for the maple top and edge. Perhaps that will prevent some bleeding of the dye on the top. But yeah, not having binding is definitely going to be an issue if I don't approach this correctly.

    Of course I am going to do more homework, read more forums, and what for a few more responses that are helpful (like yours)
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    There have been a few forum members who have done blue finishes on highly figured wood. I have experimented on some scrap but have never done a complete guitar.

    IMG_5549.JPG
     
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  5. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    Which brand dye did you use? Water or alcohol base if you mixed powder?
     
  6. Georg Figel

    Georg Figel TDPRI Member

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    I can highly recommend the keda wood dye powder kit

    I used the blue on this build (I did a isopropyl/water mix):
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Colortone transtint reduced with denatured alcohol. Bare wood on the left, a coat of vinyl sealer on the right (confirmed what I have always felt which is sealer just seals the wood - duh). Its the same piece of wood - there is a piece of thin masking tape running between the sealed and bare wood. You can see the flame (sorta) on the right side - basically the stain is sitting on top of the sealer.

    This wasn't a very well controlled experiment - I mostly wanted to see the effects of the sealer before applying the stain.

    Here is some wood sort of like yours with an amber stain (Colortone diluted in DA) applied to the bare wood, then a coat of zpoxy for grain popping. Zpoxy does add an amber tint which you don't want with yours.

    IMG_4809.JPG

    I have an absolutely outrageous piece of quilted maple on my workbench right now that will be probably be finished like the tele above, but if I knew I could pull off the blue I might be tempted.
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Watch some of the BigDguitars videos on flamed maple bursts in various stains.

    That Maple and Walnut set of stripes reminds me of ... which were fixes here for a prior owner hack job on the pickup cavity.

    [​IMG]

    .
     
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  9. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    You may want to consider masking off the maple top and spraying shellac or clear lacquer on the back and sides,before starting with the blue stain. This may help maintain a clean line. You can always sand it off if you want to, before the final clear coats. Good luck!
     
  10. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    That is the plan. I am going to try it on a test piece first.
     
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  11. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    Looks great. That's what I am aiming for.
     
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  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Keep in mind: Shellac is soluble in alcohol. If you use alcohol in the dye solution, it will also quickly dissolve the shellac and ruin your line. Use only water, which will not hurt the shellac, or for the back, use poly instead.

    Keep the pictures coming, that's nice-looking body.
     
  13. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    What about lacquer over alcohol based dye?
     
  14. illinismitty

    illinismitty TDPRI Member

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    Here is the routing showing how the chambering is under the top.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Doc3

    Doc3 Tele-Meister

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    :cool:Valery Vaschenko is an old world Master Luthier. Check out this build photo log, he is building three Strats simultaneously (and his fingers never leave his hands (OSHA approved):

    http://guitarmaster.forum24.ru/?1-1-0-00000340-000-0-0-1577616813

    You can pickup a Russian wife to deliver it:p:cool:

    I am in line for a Stingray Corvette Rally Red Stratocaster! Stingcaster?

    Candy apple with Wtf kind of neck you will soil yourself looking at. You have been warned:twisted:

    http://guitarmaster.forum24.ru/?1-1-0-00000344-000-0-0-1577610016

    Valery started winding pickups for customers who want them, trust me, you want them. Tell him what you are looking for. Valery designed and installed electronics in satellites for 20 years in the USSR space program. Valery does not sell his pickups, only will install on orders if requested. He has a selection of the relevant magnets and a '50's winding machine. Valery apprenticed with a Master Violin Luthier when he was young.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  16. Georg Figel

    Georg Figel TDPRI Member

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    it might look pretty much the same when doing it just water based.

    well, I put the dye directly on the sanded maple top. The alcohol (and/or the water) evaporates, leaving only the dye pigment in the wood grain. And then it shouldn't cause issues with shellac.
    I used polyurethane on the blue hollow tele, but I've used Tru Oil and Nitro over an alcohol based dye and it caused no issues.
    but it's best to try everything out on a test piece first anyways :)
     
  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lacquer normally works fine on top of alcohol or water based dye,it goes well over shellac also. Re Georg's comment above, the issue is, if you are using the shellac to keep the dye off the sides of the body, any alcohol that touches any of the shellac will melt it instantly and let some dye through.

    Another heads-up: be especially careful with the places on the sides of the body where the end grain is, the side farthest from the neck, and especially the cutaway area. The end-grain soaks up dye like a vacuum, and it's the most difficult area to sand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  18. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    In the Condino link I gave the OP I mentioned that he uses water based stains because he FP's (read, rubs with alcohol) as his finish. Condino did a great demonstration of his techniques at the last GAL conference - it was written up in a latter issue of American Lutherie. Recommended read for anyone wanting to do hand applied stains.


    That is exactly what I do and mentioned in my previous posts. I do seal with vinyl sealer (or in the case above, finishing resin) before shooting the lacquer.
     
  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, but normally I want my 'burst finishes to be darker around the edges and sides so this works just fine. Again, practice on scrap

    Bill, do you seal wood before staining? If so with what and how do you apply it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  20. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm George, not Bill :), but I've done some testing with dyes on both sealed and unsealed wood.

    I get the most vibrant results on unsealed wood. The color looks deeper and more detailed.

    It's probably worth mentioning that I use a diluted solution of dye on the unsealed wood- not full strength, and that gives me more control over the desired effect and degree and depth of color.

    I can always add more color if I want with a stronger solution of dye.


    edit: For sealing, I've been using Sherwin Williams brand Sherwood Lovoc lacquer sanding sealer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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