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Finishing ash

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Grantrudd, Apr 18, 2010.


  1. Grantrudd

    Grantrudd

    Jun 26, 2007
    Boston MA
    Hi,

    I am finishing an ash body in a translucent blue finish, and i would like to darken the grain so its more visible under the finish. i was thinking of just using a dark pigmented pore filler, sanding off the excess, sealing, then applying my finish. do you think this method would work? and which pore filler would you guys recommend for this job? i cant seem to find anything oil based around, and i hear thats the best. what has everyone had some success with?

    thanks
    Grant
     
  2. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    You could always do the tried and tested method of dye black sand back dye black sand back pour fill finish trick. :)
     
  3. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Another method which can be quite dramatic depending on the shades of colour used is to dye the wood to a colour of your choice with water based dye, not a pigment stain. Then seal the dye in with either dewaxed shellac or thinned out finish. When that's dry wipe on a coat of a gel stain that compliments the base colour (or use black). Work it into the grain then wipe off thoroughly across the grain before it dries. Don't wipe it off with the grain or you'll pull all the gel stain back out. This will leave the dark gel stain in the deep grooves of the ash and not on the non porous parts. Then finish with a couple protective top coats of finish. The effect is more 3 D looking than using a stain and sanding part off.

    I'm going to be doing the same thing on an ash bodied Carvin Bolt 4 bass I just ordered. I just tried it on some oak I have here at home and it works very well, although the effect on ash will be slightly different. I'm using a rosewood coloured dye for the base colour and very dark brown gel stain for the grain. It's a dark walnut gel that I've added some black to. I'm looking forward to getting the Carvin kit so I can get started. For a finish I'll probably use Waterlox Original Sealer Finish which is a blend of polymerized tung oil, alkyd resin and solvents. You can use anything compatible over the stain.

    I read about the technique in an article in Fine Woodworking about 8 years ago written by finishing expert Jeff Jewitt.
     
  4. praisegig

    praisegig Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Stephenville, TX
    If you want a super smooth surface when completed, then using a colored pore filler is necessary. Stewmac has a black filler
    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Fillers_and_putties/Lawrence-McFadden_Grain_Filler.html
    http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=Filler&NameProdHeader=Seagrave+Pore+Filler

    I would sand and prep the body, spray a wash coat of nitro or shellac to seal the surface before starting the filling procedure. This keeps the oils in the filler from staining the surface.

    I've also seen other projects using colored epoxy. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Glues,_adhesives/Stewart-MacDonald_Epoxies/Stewart-MacDonald_Epoxy.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=17107

    Others have used a nitro based filler that can be tinted with good success. http://http://www.hoodfinishing.com/Products_info/Wood_Repair_Surface_Prep.pdf

    Another option http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/CPF-2530/CrystaLac-Wood-Grain-Filler
     
  5. Ask Cheryl Cole, she managed to do it alright.
     

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