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How hard would it be to refinish this spalted maple top?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jibreel, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    I have this amazing STR [japan] bass that is my go to fretless bass. Although I have a few higher end basses, I have never liked " fancy " tops.

    I am wondering how hard it would be to re-finish the top of this bass a darker mahogany color that is still slightly transparent but does not show the dramatic wood pattern differences so much.

    I have done a fair amount of wood work [ remodeling cabinetry etc] along with some touch up on basses. Just wondering what it would take to make the wood able to absorb a darker stain without being blotchy etc.

    Thanks for any information !!


  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Dude - I love the "dramatic wood pattern" as is. It's a beautiful top! I wouldn't alter it's appearance at all. Love me some spalt..
  3. Spalted wood is very soft and somewhat punky, so you would need to take GREAT CARE in sanding it down to bare wood. Then, you'd find out if the wood has been impregnated with epoxy (or some other substance to harden up the very soft spalted maple). If it hasn't, then you could stain it.

    To answer your question simply, it would not be easy...
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    many, many coats of stain. don't do it!
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I think it would be a crime to cover this beautiful top.
  6. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    All right, All right :rollno: :eyebrow: :D

    I will leave it as it is...... Just thought I would check.

    The fact that it would be hard makes it easier to just chill.....

    It is a killer bass!!!

    Thanks All !
  7. sometimes we can't have the same taste .
    i would use a tinted lacquer , as i do at work for custom colors ,I don't know if you got or can use spray gun ,first i get the surface dull with 600 grit sandpaper , couple of vinyl sealer (industrial grade) I add red dye in my lacquer (industrial grade) to get a lighter color than wanted then apply one coat and a second when it gets tacky , i add until i got my desired color ,then add 1-2 more clear ones and wait 12 hours then polish , each coat of colored lacquer it will get darker
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    To answer your question, you would have to spray a tinted clear over what you have. I don't think a dye or stain would work for you for the reasons described above.
  9. thrasher666


    May 22, 2011
    A wise man once said " Don't Eff with it"
  10. What manupulated and Hopkins said: tinted lacquer. I've done it a few times, and it's easy. If you then get bored or change your mind, you can sand it off to the original colour.
  11. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    Thanks Manupulated, Hopkins and Jose. I am back on it. Tinted clear it is !!!!