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Advice: Neck Through Finish

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Advice: Neck Through Finish

Postby Scott Freeman » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:33 pm

Hello All -- I have a neck through ready to be finished. It's a maple neck with Honduran mahogany wings. I don't want it to be completely natural, but I do want the difference between the neck and the wings to still be evident.

Since the mahogany is relatively dark, any color stain would have to be dark as well. Could I do something like use a dark colored wood dye and count on the two different woods taking up the stain differently?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Advice: Neck Through Finish

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:14 pm

I think the trouble with that approach is that the mahogany is going to take up any dye or stain much more than the maple, which could enhance the contrast which I don't think is what you're after. I'd glue up some test strips and play with a dye or stain that will closely match the mahogany, so that even if it takes it up more than the maple, it will have less of an effect. You could vary both the number of coats and the color of the dye.

I would stick with a dye as you're suggesting, though, as the open grain of the mahogany would tend to make it darken more with a mahogany-colored stain.
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Re: Advice: Neck Through Finish

Postby David King » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:17 pm

I'd say first off to experiment on scraps just to see what happens with the stain on each wood. Make sure the scraps are sanded, wetted to raise the grain and sanded again to 600 grit. Consider that the end grain can behave very differently than the face grain. You may find it makes sense to seal one or both woods with shellac prior to staining. I'd probably start by focusing on the maple neck by taping off the body wings with green masking tape and sealing the tape edges and the maple with a light coat of shellac and then staining to the desired shade. At that point you can seal off the maple and focus on the mahogany.
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Re: Advice: Neck Through Finish

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:40 pm

I have stained maple and mahogany together before.
If all you want is a "vintage amber" on the maple, leaving the mahogany natural, masking would be the way to go. The amber stain turns the mahogany a dark yellowish brown.
Remember that the mahogany will have to be filled before stain, if you want a nice smooth, glossy finish.
That will change the color of the mahogany also.

The above suggestions about practicing on scrap are good advice.
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