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How do you achieve Fbass Ceruse Finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rubo, May 19, 2005.


  1. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    I'm talking about George's Fbass Ceruse finishes: Lets take the two more complex ones. Black & White Ceruse and the other one is Black & Turquoise Ceruse finish.

    http://www.fbass.com/finishes.htm

    I'm guessing it involves water based dye, sanding in between colors and thin finish like Tung oil or polyurethane between colors as well. Btu which one do you start with or do between coats, basically what is the exact process, and does the final layer has to be Lacquer to get that look, or few coats of Tru-Oil will be fine as well.

    Cheers
     
  2. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    If I was going to try and do something like that I would put down sealer, then a base coat of whatever main color you want (black), then pore fill with some kind of colored paste (white/blue/whatever), wipe away the excess pore filling material and spray clear over that. It's only going to work on woods with super huge pores. I'm guessing he only does these on ash.

    I have no idea what to use for pore filler. I usually use the brand LMI sells and I think those only come in natural colors.
     
  3. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    I'm using Swamp Ash, so it should work.

    1) what type of sealer, and is it clear color sealer?

    2) How many coats of sealer?

    3) Pore Filling color paste? LMI only has the wooden colors nor regular colors. Any idea what other product, and is it powder or mixed with anything?

    4) Again how many coats of what, please me more specific.

    Cheers
     
  4. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    One of my dry coats of product X might equal two of your wet coats of product Y. You don't need to be so concerned about the exact steps when you are experimenting, just the basic ideas behind what you're trying to do. You want to put some kind of sealer or wash coat to bite into the wood, you want the base color there so it can be seen, in this case you want to pore fill with as little finish on the body as possible so the pores are as big as they can be, you want to put down as much clear as you think you are going to need to get a perfectly flat surface before buffing. Experiment on scrap with whatever product you're used to using.
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    If you like the f-bass ceruse, take a look at Sandberg's Zebra colors.

    http://www.sandberg-guitars.de/frameset1.html , then click "instruments", then "wood and color" then click on the "zebra" sample. Then you can click on the little bass to get a popup of an actual instrument in that finish.

    It looks like they must sandblast to carve out the rings and get that texture. Cool.
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Also, FWIW, "ceruse" is defined as "A white lead pigment, sometimes used in cosmetics."
     
  7. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Scott I don't have enough scraps of Ash for experiments only enough fro one experiment, that's why I asked about the process. now you got me confused with pore filler sealers and wash coats. Can you please recommend the exact products I need to buy we'll go from there. I already have the water Based Dye Black and yellow colors, also have Tung Oil, Tru-Oil and Varnish Polyurethane Satin.

    Cheers
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    the sandberg looks a bot too exagerated on the grain for my tastes. The F-bass job is very sharp in person...t
     
  9. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    here's a thought for you. (meaning try it on some scrap first i'm not sure this will work.)

    what if you used spraypaint, say a white spraypaint. you paint the whole body of ash white, with a few coats to fill in the pores. then you lightly sand off the upper levels of paint, so that only the paint in the pores remains. then you dye the whole thing black. finish it off with a few coats of polyurithane or clear coat lacquer.

    maybe? i'd like to try this, if anyone's got scraps, tell me if it works.
     
  10. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Yes, that was my original guess that sanding is involved here, but even light sanding might take off some of that white point form the deep grain. My main concern is what to use in between paints, what kind of product a sealer, filler or something else, I'm not an expert on what kind of effect each does, so that's why I ask for those who have messed around with wider verity or products and can take a better guess then me.

    Cheers
     
  11. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    Ok i tried out my theory.

    i had a scrap peice of oak i tried it on. Unfortunately i only had dark colored spraypaints, and a really dull brown stain to try it with. i should have let the paint dry longer, and i should have been more carefull sanding to that i wouldn't take so much off, but apart from those errors, i got the desired results.

    with a little care, and the correct colors,(not dark on dark like i did) this method would work, i'm sure of it.

    i attached a crappy low-res picture, but because it is crappy, you don't really get the full effect of how this turned out.
     

    Attached Files:

    bholder likes this.
  12. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    what was the procces and products you used?
     
  13. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    I took the scrap of unfinished oak and layed down a really thick coat of blue Krylon so that is would leak into the grain. if i saw the grain drinking it up, i put more on. i let it dry according to the instructions on the can (i would really suggest letting it dry much longer though)

    after it dried i hand sanded it with 100 grit, but i would reccomend NOT using such a strong grit. the picture doesn't show it but there are some really ugly scratches across the wood that more sanding would take out, but would also take off more paint. i would reccomend like a 200 grit or 150 at the strongest, but do some experiments.

    after i sanded it to see the wood and the paint in the grain, i took some minwax jacobean stain and applied a liberal coat, and let it sit for a short while before rubbing it off. really rub hard over the grain so that the stain doesnt stick on over the paint.

    to make it permanent, use the polyurithayne. i don't think that the oil will coat the paint into the wood.

    Obviously you can use other products. i just grabbed whatever i had on my workbench and whipped out this peice of work in about an hour.

    using a brighter paint, and a really dark wood dye instead of a brown wood stain would work. or the opposite: using your yellow dye and a dark paint would create the inverse effect.

    the cool thing is that you can choose whatever colors you want for both aspects. good luck, and i want to see your finished product :D
     
  14. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    Ok I've been experimenting non stop to get this type of color:

    http://tinypic.com/66i5ag

    I've got these products

    1) Water Based Dye black color.
    2) Benjamin Moore Natural Wood Grain filler (238)
    3) Hoppe's Walnut grain filler.
    4) Varnish Polyurethane

    So far I've tried every possible combination and no luck so far. As soon as I start to sand a little so I can only get black I the tight grain, I get all of it off or not enough - I tried all sandpaper grades and all was done by hand. The color doesn't; penetrate deep enough into the grain to get the desired effect. I've tried different grades of sand paper before the stain and after as well, from 80 to 400, my understating that the Ash has to be really rough for the black color to go deep enough and stay which is not an option for me, since my blocks are fairly flat already - done by a pro planer.

    Any other ideas?

    Cheers

    P.S. Artis can you turn that block that you did into white and black, if you sand it a little more?
     
  15. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    i'd have to take all the stain off, and oak soaks it up like a sponge, so to answer your question: not feasibly no.

    however, i would try useing a lighter grain filler, maybe some watered down acrilic paint, or even spraypaint. i'm thinking you might have a filler that's just to thick and heavy to seep into the pores deep enough so it just sits on the surface waiting to be sanded off.
     
  16. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    My guess as to the process was as follows:

    1: Stain the entire instrument deep black
    2: Fill the pores with white filler
    3: Shoot tinted lacquer over the guitar w/the "highlight" color
    4: Finish with clear lacquer

    You could alternately stain the filler, though it's contingent on the chemistry behaving right.

    For the "grain-enhanced" ash like in the pic, proper pore-filler technique will blacken the grain like that without staining the wood. It ain't easy!...last one I did turned out slate grey.

    Or, you could finish it in a gloss piano black, then get a small can of colored paint...and a *really* fine paintbrush...and a magnifying glass...and just paint that grain right in!

    Just kidding.

    Peace,
    Martin Keith
     
  17. rubo

    rubo

    Aug 25, 2003
    what's a white filler?
     
  18. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Here's what I came up with after about 15 minutes of work using the method I posted above. I don't remember exactly what the F bass one looks like but I don't think this is exactly it. I didn't have black so I just used some blue I had sitting around. The pores are filled with LMI's natural pore filler.
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    you can buy different colored minwax grain filler at home depot or hell even at wal-mart for about five bucks. On the bottle of white filler it says "for painted finishes" because they don't think anyone is crazy enough to show off white wood putty.
    :rolleyes:
     
  20. This is a VERY sad attempt I made several years ago. I used a jet mahogany stain, then sanded it off, then went over it with a vintage amber stain, then (not enough) nitro from a spray can.
    [​IMG]