Translucent Black staining technique

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Hi, I'm looking for some insight into how to achieve this 'translucent black' finish on this guitar:
http://sdf1.org/gibson.jpg
This finish is on maple wood and I think its just so interesting. I have no idea what sort of stain is being used .. I don't believe it is an ebony stain. Anyone have any ideas?
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Stephen,
It's possible that it's an aniline dye, possibly black diluted to give more of the grayish tone and then topcoated with a lacquer or other clear finish. It would take some experimentation to try to come close to it.
Dale
Stephen Jones wrote:

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It can be a dye or plain old stain. What gives it the translucent look is many coats of clear the buffed to a high polish. Also figured woods see to have more dept. In the picture that looks like Flame Maple or also called fiddle back maple, but it sure doesn't look like a good example.
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On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 23:28:06 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Stephen Jones) wrote:

The effect you're seeing there is from the grain of the wood, not anything special about the stain. It's (very) curly maple.
-Leuf
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I'm not really talking about the wood, I'm just talking about the type of stain used. The sap wood is gray and the grain is black and I want to know how to get that effect.
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On Fri, 15 Dec 2006 02:24:40 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Stephen Jones) wrote:

No. The grain is running the opposite direction you think it is. What happens with curly maple is the grain is reversing so parts of it are reflecting light and parts of it are not. If you tilt that guitar a bit the parts that are dark now will be light and vice versa. As far as what technique to show it off the best the other posters know a lot more than I do.
-Leuf
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Stephen Jones wrote:

This picture is an example of the same type of curly maple with no stain. First, unfinished:
http://www.cyrguitars.com/EUB_Body_Rough_Cut_02s.JPG
Then the same piece with an oil/poly wipe-on finish:
http://www.cyrguitars.com/EUB_Completed_06S.JPG
Note how the lines of the curly figure run at right angles to the grain of the wood.
--Roseville Steve
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wrote:

What GREAT looking stock!
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wrote:

WOW !
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tommyboy wrote:

Great looking piece of wood, isn't it? The figure was gorgeous unfinished, and after I put the finish on -- OMG!
Would you believe I bought it on Ebay?
--Steve
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wrote:

Every time I look for figured wood on eBay it's over priced or has a ridiculous shipping charge attached to it or has barely any figure at all. Man, you did real well for yourself.
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I've bought tons of fantastic wood on ebay. It's a terrific source for special wood.
Rick
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wrote:

Nice piece of wood Steve. How does it play? What is the maple cap attached to?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Mike Marlow wrote:

The body is a solid piece of swamp ash 1-3/4" thick. I hollowed out two compartments in the back side, one for a preamplifier and another for a 9v battery box. Other than that, it's solid. The fingerboard and tailpiece were made from a piece of Macassar ebony I got from Woodcraft. The neck is birdseye maple with a 1/4" walnut stripe.
It plays very nice, but the fact is I'm not really qualified to judge that - this is the first and only upright bass of nay kind I've ever played for more than a minute or two. But I've been playing guitars and electric basses for over 40 years.
My plan for the next one is to make the body semi-hollow, with a Sitka spruce bookmatched top and flame maple back. I'm still working on the body design. I want it to have figured maple on the sides as well as the back.
--Steve
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That Sitka spruce will make some nice sounds, especially if you chamber the body some. It resonates nicely, but it really wants some sound chambers under it.
My electric guitar is a handcrafted guitar from a luthier down in N. Carolina. It's a Honduran Mahogany body and neck with a flame maple cap. The mahogany body has sound chambers routed into it and it's very noticeable what the difference in tone is between it and the same model without the sound chambers. I'm sure you'd find Sitka responds to the sound chambers the same way.
From what I investigated at a point when I was going to build a guitar myself, I believe I've read that maple does not make a good body. It makes a good cap, but it really wants some other woods under it in order to get a less harsh tone. Maple is good for sustain, but not so good for tone - if I remember correctly.
--

-Mike-
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Its dye. Using dark stain on a light colored wood like maple looks like hell warmed over. It doesnt matter if its hardwood or soft. It doesnt work well

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On Fri, 15 Dec 2006 12:28:06 +1300, Stephen Jones

Warmoth offer bodies with this kind of finish and they call them dyed. If you don't want to buy a finished body or neck you can buy the raw materials from them.
www.warmoth.com
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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: Hi, I'm looking for some insight into how to achieve this 'translucent : black' finish on this guitar:
:
http://sdf1.org/gibson.jpg
: This finish is on maple wood and I think its just so interesting. I have : no idea what sort of stain is being used .. I don't believe it is an : ebony stain. Anyone have any ideas?
If the color is applied to the wood itself, it's dye, not stain. There's a technique for highlighting figure in e.g., curly maple which involves taking a very dilute dark aniline dye, dyeing the wood, sanding off most of the dyed part (leaving some in the endgrainish part of the figure), then topcoating it with any other color. Jeff Jewitt discusses this in a FWW article, and his book on finishing.
It's also possible there is a tint in the lacquer on the guitar -- hard to tell from the photo.
    -- Andy Barss
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Andrew Barss wrote:

Tinting one or more coats of lacquer is how this is normally done. No stain or dye is applied to the wood, since stains and dyes tend to diminish the lustre of the figure in the wood.
I learned this the hard way. I built a bass guitar body with a really nicely quilted maple top layer about 1/4" thick. Before finishing, I applied a Woodburst medium-brown stain to the wood, and lost most of the lustre of the quilting in the process. You can still see the quilt figure, but it doesn't capture the light the way it should. I was very disappointed by the result.
--Roseville Steve
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to tell

I know a couple of high end luthiers and they dye or stain the wood. Clear Nitrocellulose lacquer after that. I suspect your experience was more related to your stain choice, than to the practice of applying stain or dye.
--

-Mike-
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