Working w/Spalted Maple

thecrushr

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I have a beautiful spalted maple drop top. It is glued up to the body and all rough cut to shape. I have not worked with spalted maple before and I'm realizing just how fragile it is from a piece of the off cut. I'm likely use some polyester filler/sealer or epoxy like Solarez or zpoxy to do the grain fill on the back and any fill any little voids on the spalted top.

Anything else I should do to the spalted maple to stabilize it or will the sealer soak in enough and do the trick as well as just being glued to the back?

If I do anything to it, should I do it before routing to final shape and routing the pickups and neck pocket or do it at the end just before finish?

Thanks.

IMG_1868.jpeg
 

ChicknPickn

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I have a beautiful spalted maple drop top. It is glued up to the body and all rough cut to shape. I have not worked with spalted maple before and I'm realizing just how fragile it is from a piece of the off cut. I'm likely use some polyester filler/sealer or epoxy like Solarez or zpoxy to do the grain fill on the back and any fill any little voids on the spalted top.

Anything else I should do to the spalted maple to stabilize it or will the sealer soak in enough and do the trick as well as just being glued to the back?

If I do anything to it, should I do it before routing to final shape and routing the pickups and neck pocket or do it at the end just before finish?

Thanks.

View attachment 944403
Spectacular piece of wood!
 

Speedy454

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Z Poxy. I had to do several coats on mine, 48 hours apart. But it did firm it up and allowed me to get it dead flat and level. The Z-Poxy will darken it slightly and really enhances the already stunning grain.
 

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eallen

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For a whole body I warm the body up a bit such as in front of a heater or lights for sometime followed by Zpoxy thinned with DA so that it soaked deep into the pores. If I have specific soft spots I soak them with thin CA 1st to make sure it penetrates in deep.

Follow with additional coats of thinned Zpoxy until it quiets soaking it up.

Eric
 

1954 Esquire

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Here is my first venture with spalted maple. I used Gluboost Fill and Finish, 2 coats after dyeing the top using Rit Dye. Then I finished it with Crystalac products. Very happy with the way it turned out, there were a couple of ‘happy accidents’ as I like to call them as this was my first time using this wood.
 

RickyRicardo

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I did this one 5 years ago and had no idea that spalted maple was fragile so I just clear coated it with water based lacquer and it's fine. The spalt is nowhere near as heavy as yours though.
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thecrushr

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Thank you all for the replies. I bought some z-poxy and will take that approach when ready for finish. On a related question, I am debating between leaving a natural edge and letting the beauty of the wood show on the side as well or going with some black binding which might have a more finished look. While the body routed to shape fine with no issues, I am worried about getting tear out or chips if I route a binding channel and how well the binding will adhere to wood. For that matter, I am wondering if I leave it natural if I can use a round over bit on it or need to do the round over by hand.

Anyone have any thoughts on the risk of routing that edge either for binding or round over given the instability of the wood?

I'm also happy to hear any opinions on the binding versus natural debate. Here are a couple of mock up picks with and without binding.

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RickyRicardo

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I like both natural and regular binding. But in my opinion the binding you're showing is way too tall. I've routed for binding on many figured tops and never had tear out. If it was me I'd go natural for that beautiful top. Especially if the body will be darker.
 




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