StewMac tools

Some maple tops

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including "disappearing" errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.

Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:52 pm

I've finished making 2 basses and 2 guitars for some friends I jam with.

Tops are maple, bodies alder, necks 5 piece alder and walnut. Maple zero-fret fretboards except one guitar with Honduran rosewood and no zero-fret. Bodies are chambered.

Generic (from China to keep costs down) hardware, including double action truss rods, Schaller type strap locks, tuners, bridges, knobs, neck bolts/plates, pickups, stacked pots, 3 way switches, jack plates. Any of these can be easily upgraded should the owners desire.

Finish is sprayed lacquer.

All are 24 fret. Guitar scale length 25.5", bass 34".
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:04 pm

Bass #1 - dilute Kodak Ektacolor violet dye wiped on, then garnet shellac over that. The amber color of the shellac turns the violet a warm brown.

matts-bass-top.jpg

matts-bass-back.jpg

matts-bass-end-view.jpg

matts-bass-headstock.jpg
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:15 pm

Bass #2 - She wanted amethyst color, which is about twice as much magenta as cyan. I mixed some printer ink refills I had, but it seemed a little grainy when I applied it to wood, so I matched it as best I could with the Ektacolor dyes, which seemed to apply a little smoother. The maple for the fret board was quite a bit whiter than the top, and it came out more blue. Oh well...

cindys-bass-top.jpg

cindys-bass-back.jpg

cindys-bass-end-view.jpg

cindys-bass-headstock.jpg
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:20 pm

Guitar #1 - Just the garnet shellac wiped on.

Jims-top.jpg

Jims-back.jpg

Jims-end-view.jpg

Jims-headsrtock.jpg
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:27 pm

Guitar#2 - The maple is partially spalted, and took the dye quite differently. The dye is from watercolor tubes, pthalo blue and some black. I initially tried it in alcohol but it was incompatible, so I had to raise the grain and sand back, then apply it mixed in water.

ricks-top.jpg

ricks-back.jpg

ricks-side.jpg

ricks-headstock.jpg
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Bob Francis » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Those really came out well.
I really like the blue.
Bob Francis
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Randolph Rhett » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:04 pm

The garnet shellac one gets my vote. How did you die the fret position markers? Is the whole fingerboard treated with shellac, or just those frets?
User avatar
Randolph Rhett
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Mike Conner » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:14 am

These are really unique. I like the headstock and truss rod cover designs, really artsy!
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Paul Rhoney » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:50 pm

It's nice to see more Alder necks. I've been making necks out of Alder for a while now, and I really like them. I think it just takes more people doing it to get the general public to embrace it as a standard neck wood.
User avatar
Paul Rhoney
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA USA

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:04 pm

Randolph Rhett wrote:The garnet shellac one gets my vote. How did you die the fret position markers? Is the whole fingerboard treated with shellac, or just those frets?

I gave the fret position markers the same treatment as the tops and headstocks, after the neck was completed and the frets leveled, dressed and polished. I wiped stuff (dye, shellac, or dye and shellac) on with some kind of small pads that my wife uses to wipe stuff on her face (a small folded piece of cotton cloth would do as well.) I wrung them out pretty well to keep them fairly dry so it wouldn't slop over onto the edges of the board, and was careful to get it up to the fret edges but not over. Then I sprayed the whole neck and fret board in the usual manner with clear coats of lacquer. The un-dyed areas between the markers have only the lacquer finish.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Bob Francis » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:51 pm

I keep coming back to admire these Peter.
Really nice
Bob Francis
 
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Dan Smith » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:32 pm

Great colors Peter!
Man, I dropped a small fortune on Transtint dyes.
I found out that mixing two dyes do not give and expected color.
I'll try some water color. Thanks for the tip!
Dan
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.
User avatar
Dan Smith
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Dan Hehnke » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:02 pm

Wow you have been busy! Those look great. I love the way the blue dye came out on the spalted top, that is wild. So that is just the same dye wiped uniformly on that top and it came out that way? I wanna try that with some spalt.
User avatar
Dan Hehnke
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:22 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Dan Hehnke » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:03 pm

Do you happen to have a picture of what that spalted top looked like before the dye?
User avatar
Dan Hehnke
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:22 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:03 pm

Sort of a reverse sunburst effect with figure thrown in for good measure. I like it.
MIMF Staff
Barry Daniels
 
Posts: 1734
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:12 pm

Thanks folks for the kind words. Glad you like them - the owners do too.

Yes, Dan, the dye (in this case regular watercolor paint from a tube, mixed with water) was just wiped on with a cloth. Same color everywhere, the spalted wood just took it differently, and somehow the black component was muted or lost.

spalted-top2.jpg

spalted-top3.jpg
Color applied, before lacquer finish
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:20 pm

I like those guitars Peter.
The flame is nice on the two basses, and that spalted top with the blue is spectacular.
The fret board staining is a really nice touch.

I see what you meant when you said you were working on a couple of guitars near the same shape as one I posted a while ago. :)
Those are different, of course, because they're yours!
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:53 am

Paul Rhoney wrote:It's nice to see more Alder necks. I've been making necks out of Alder for a while now, and I really like them. I think it just takes more people doing it to get the general public to embrace it as a standard neck wood.

I have to admit the reason I make many necks (and bodies) from alder is because I have a ton of it in the form of cutoffs from a cabinet shop I used to drive by on the way to and from work, and I'd go through their pile and tie the pieces (1x2 to 3x4, 10 to 16 feet long) on top of the car to take home.

I've made several acoustic necks (guitar, bass guitar and Irish bouzouki) from single pieces of alder, with the usual scarf joint and stacked heel, and have had no problem with them in the 5 or 6 years they've been strung up. It's stiff, light, non-porous, easy to work, and seems to hold up fine.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Jason Rodgers » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:18 am

Peter Wilcox wrote:
Paul Rhoney wrote:It's nice to see more Alder necks. I've been making necks out of Alder for a while now, and I really like them. I think it just takes more people doing it to get the general public to embrace it as a standard neck wood.

I have to admit the reason I make many necks (and bodies) from alder is because I have a ton of it in the form of cutoffs from a cabinet shop I used to drive by on the way to and from work, and I'd go through their pile and tie the pieces (1x2 to 3x4, 10 to 16 feet long) on top of the car to take home.

I've made several acoustic necks (guitar, bass guitar and Irish bouzouki) from single pieces of alder, with the usual scarf joint and stacked heel, and have had no problem with them in the 5 or 6 years they've been strung up. It's stiff, light, non-porous, easy to work, and seems to hold up fine.

These are great, Peter! I really like your top treatments. That simple bevel can look surprisingly fancy. I did that on one guitar and got a lot of comments on it at a show.

So, does alder have a noticeably different sound than maple? Maybe somewhere between maple and mahogany?
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.
Jason Rodgers
 
Posts: 1543
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Some maple tops

Postby Peter Wilcox » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:53 am

Thanks, Gordon. I've got a couple more of the same design ready to spray. A guitar with a one piece walnut top and cocobolo fret board, and a bass with a curly redwood top and osage orange fret board. I'm hoping the redwood and osage orange colors don't clash too much - I may treat the redwood with garnet shellac to see if it helps. As always, test on scrap. :)

Thanks, Jason - I'm afraid I'm pretty much deaf to the nuances of wood and tone. That's one reason I make mostly electrics (the other being they're so much easier to make), because to me the pickups, amp and player are much more important to how the instrument sounds.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Next

Return to Solid-Body and Chambered or Semi-Solid Electric Guitars and Bass Guitars

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Freeman Keller, Peter Wilcox and 2 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •