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Enhancing grain on ash

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Brooks, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I'm doing a refin and was wondering what would be the best way to enhance grain of an ash body? I plan to finish it in natural using nitro. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    For my first Frankenbass, the luthier pre-stained the ash body black. He (his wife, actually) did it in such a way that the grain was enhanced, but the rest of the body did not become blackish or grayish. He then put a transparent red finish over top, with red pearl. It became one of the prettiest basses I've ever seen, especially under stage lighting.

    My understanding is that colored stains will enhance the grain...a hard transparent finish is then applied over top.

    Hopefully someone will give you specifics. Whatever happens, good luck... I love ash body basses.
  3. What I think Fuzz is describing is a technique whereby a stain is used to cover the entire body and is then sanded back to leave the color in the deepest portions of the grain. Ash has a pretty "open" surface and it's these little valleys that will hold the stain. When the area between these valleys is sanded and the stain is taken away, the darker, deeper areas remain and the pattern is enhanced.

    The combination of colors used in Fuzz's description is not a common mixture. I would suspect that the luthier worked long and hard to arrive at, what seems like, a striking combination. I would like to see that in person.
  4. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I have an Ash Jazz bass that I stripped, filled up the pickguard screwholes, then applied a handrubbed Tung Oil finish and it came out real nice (it smelled for a couple of years though).
    It has an open grained texture to it and resonates very nicely.
    I've attached a pic (it no longer has the EMG's though, I recently put the original pickups back in).
    It's developed some wear spots that I could easily fix by applying more tung oil (without even taking the bass apart) but they don't bother me.

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