Working with spalted maple top

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by 1954 Esquire, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. 1954 Esquire

    1954 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    Decided to build a spalted maple topped Tele. This is my first time dealing with this type of wood and found out while trimming it that there are ‘soft’ sections. My concern is once I start to trim the top with a router I run the chance of running into a chipping issue. My thoughts are to use a thinned epoxy mixture, probably brushed on to help stabilize the ‘soft’ areas and doing the entire top for uniformity. Is this a good idea or are there better ways of dealing with it.
     
  2. Speedy454

    Speedy454 Tele-Holic

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    I saturated it with thinned Z-Poxy to stabilize it. It worked well for me. Others will suggest saturating it with CA gkue. Different product, same result. Either make a solid base for any finish you would put on it.
     
  3. 1954 Esquire

    1954 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    Was planning on using Z-poxy thinned with denatured alcohol. Going to use stain on the top to bring the grain out, should this be done before the Z-poxy?
     
  4. 1954 Esquire

    1954 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    Will not be using stain, will be using TransTint dye.
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I think it is very common to stabilize spalted wood with either an epoxy or CA. Zpoxy has become my standard pore filling product and I even wrote a thread about how I use it. I also do a fair amount of staining, both to highlight wood grain and to change its color. I apply the stain first, directly to the wood, but I am told by one of our finishing professionals that what I do is all wrong. In your case I would definitely experiment on some scrap before committing to your actual wood.

    In case you are interested, here is the article on zpoxy. Please note that I have never worked with spalted wood.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/zpoxy-for-pore-fill-and-grain-enhancement.940522/
     
    wadeeinkauf likes this.
  6. 1954 Esquire

    1954 Esquire TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply and the link.
     
  7. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    I used zpoxy to fill some bark inclusions on a spalted maple top, colored with transtint, on my last build and it worked well. I didn't use it to stabilize the wood during the build though, I only applied it once everything else was done and I was ready to begin applying the finish. I would think it would work well for your purpose though, it definitely makes soft wood more durable and it also brings out the best in the grain.
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    One thing about Zpoxy, it does have a slight amber cast. There are other epoxies that might be better if you want pure clear.
     
  9. wadeeinkauf

    wadeeinkauf Tele-Holic

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    I work a lot with roasted maple. My blanks are $48 a piece. I have learned the hard way to keep a router far away from the neck head. I have not tried a sprial bit so that may work ok...Maybe someone that uses one will tell us how it works on this lumber that is prone to chipping. Anyway the way I handle it. I have a miter saw with a laser light. I clamp down my neck on the miter saw base and cut a straight cut next to where the tuners go. I bring the rest of headstock in with sanding drums on my drill press. I do the same thing at the very end of neck also. I think I have a one inch, a half inch, and a two inch drum..The roasted maple is very easy to sand so this goes fast…Will be much longer with regular maple. For another alternative to Zpoxy for a crystal clear filler/sealer.. stabilizer https://www.tdpri.com/threads/solarez-grain-filler.981012/
    One of my necks using drum sanders

    20191006_152840.jpg
     
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