Finishes that show up the flames in maple

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by giacomini, Dec 27, 2012.


  1. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

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    OK, I looked this up but didn't find a specific thread...

    I'm getting a new Jazz and I already got some beautiful flamed maple for the neck.

    My question is, what kind of finish makes the flames more prominent (like those that look quite "3D")?
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

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    The grain has to have the 3D look before finishing. If the quality of the figure doesn't have that look, you will have to settle for plain flame look. You can use a wash of light amber in lacquer thinner to make the figure pop a bit, then shoot your finish coats if leaving it natural.
  3. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

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    Well it looks 3D but the effect gets more prominent when I rub some alcohol, so I guess it will turn out good.

    I plan to leave it natural, but does it need to be glossy to make the flames stand out a little more? Or will a satin clear finish work as well?
  4. ThaLowEndTheory

    ThaLowEndTheory

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    I like to use tru oil on figured wood. I use it on just about every neck I have. Just rub in by hand until it builds. You can apply enough to polish out to a mirror shine, or leave it semi glossy or apply just enough for a satin look. Really pops the grain well. The wood itself makes or breaks the look in the end though. Here's a couple of bodies I used tru oil on.

    [​IMG]
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  6. giacomini

    giacomini Supporting Member

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    Those are incredible looking basses!

    Don't know which one I like best, the flame or the quilt!
  7. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

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    Nice work. Could you explain how you did the burst using Tru Oil?
  8. ThaLowEndTheory

    ThaLowEndTheory

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    Thanks guys, The tru oil is used to pop the grain. Both bodies were dyed, then I applied tru oil by hand. The jazz was of course blue, and the p bass amber. I did not sand back to enhance the figure at all. On the blue I just applied clear nitro. On the P I sprayed the burst using reranch 2 color burst then clear nitro.
  9. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging! Supporting Member

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    Experiment on a piece of highly-figured scrap.

    Apply a coat of relatively dark dye, allow to dry completely, sand thoroughly.

    Apply oil-based clear coat.
  10. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

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    +1. Here's a demonstration by Pete Skjold showing this exact technique. It never fails.



    Lonnybass

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