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best wood for dyeing

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by marsk, Mar 23, 2003.


  1. marsk

    marsk

    Aug 17, 2002
    Hi. Anyone have ideas about a good choice of body wood for a one or two piece body (no top laminate) that is light in weight, is conducive to an open sound (not compressed sounding), and which would take a black analine dye well? Aesthetically, I would like the result to look like unfigured ebony with an oil finish.
     
  2. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    SPOKANE WA
    poplar?
     
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Some people complain that poplar gets blotchy. I poked around a little bit, and I was not a big dye-on-poplar fan, but I'm certainly no expert on colored finishes.

    Some manufacturers use pearwood dyed black for the ebony look. Pearwood is still kind of expensive, but it's the closest you get to the real ebony deal. I guess alder would be the next wood on my list. Then maybe soft maple.
     
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Maybe basswood??? Superb warm lows but soft and dents easily.

    Here's a Dean with a dyed basswood body -

    [​IMG]

    IMO, forget alder. I had a nice cherry sunburst bass with an alder lower plate and that underside still looked butt-ugly.
     
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Is that Dean dyed or painted? Looks like paint to me.
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Great question, Matt. You're the expert here. They say that finish is "transparent black" as well as their other finishes are "transparent."

    I interpreted "transparent" in relation to other "transparent" finishes I've seen where the wood grain is apparent because the wood is dyed, not painted. I could be wrong, but painted finishes I'm familiar with are termed "painted" not "transparent."

    Here's a better pic of one of their all basswood "transparent" bodies in a different color. It doesn't look painted to me. See what you think -

    [​IMG]
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The black one looked opaque, the lighter colored ones looked dyed. Black can be hard to tell, I guess. At any rate basswood seems like a decent wood to dye.
     
  8. marsk

    marsk

    Aug 17, 2002
    Thanks for the replies. Anyone ever try dyeing mahogany black?
     
  9. bassmanatlarge

    bassmanatlarge

    Jan 30, 2003
    I've had success dying several species...even oak and northern ash, I don't see why mahogany, one of the easiest to stain woods, would be a problem at all.