Ibanez Tobacco Burst Low Gloss - How would you create this finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bdplaid, Sep 15, 2016.


  1. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I'm digging the Ibanez finish below, and want to do something like it on a new bass build.
    It's a Warmoth Dinky P in the whitest Ash you've ever seen.
    What dyes etc, like TransTint, what colors, what techniques would you use to get this effect? I am assuming something like TransTint in alcohol.
    I was hoping to use TruOil over it at the end, as I don't have spray equipment and prefer rubbing methods anyway.

    Could I do it with just a brown and a sand-back, or do I need yellow/amber? I've never done a full-on burst, but what the H...

    thanks mucho!

    screenshot-www.sweetwater.com 2016-09-15 16-48-12.png
     
    seang15, Luke19Boarder and Will_White like this.
  2. Christopher DBG

    Christopher DBG Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar
    With the Stew Mac stains I would go with vintage amber and red mahogany. Doing one that looks like, with a nice even gradation, is difficult without spray equipment. Stain the whole instrument with the amber. The more coats you use the less yellow and more brown it will get. Then start applying the red mahogany around the very edge with one piece of cloth, then using either the piece of cloth that you used to apply the amber or a new piece of cloth with some amber stain on in, rub in small circles where the two colors meet and pull some of the mahogany stain in from the edge. Make sure that the cloth with the amber is just barely damp. Repeat the steps of applying the red mahogany around the edge and pulling it in until you are happy with the results. The edge should look very dark, darker than you think it needs to be. The last step is to take the cloth you used for the mahogany, let it completely dry, then starting a bit in from the edge, rub the whole top towards the center. This will drag in some dry stain and some with come off the rag and give the amber a nice look. Diluting with water instead of alcohol will take longer but be easier. Go slow, once you drag the darker stain in it's pretty much impossible to remove.
     
  3. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Thanks for that detailed set of instructions. I'm teaching myself how to do a sunburst based on it, and here are results so far; a couple of boards later, IMG_20160923_223127.jpg I'm not there yet, but this is an update:
     
    eyeballkid, smithcreek and mpdd like this.
  4. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Most likely you are going for the staining look only, but if you are also interested in creating the scars/worn 'look' like on this example, you will need to do your burst staining first, coat it (matte poly?) and then scar it. Once done, rub a brown/black/grey blend of stain into the scars. Shoe polish can also work and due to the wax will give the scars a satin-worn look.
     
  5. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    That's a good idea, thanks. I don't think I'll use it, but what the hey...
     
  6. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Boy, you weren't kidding. I dyed an [EDIT: ALDER, NOT amber] body black some time ago, and somehow it seemed easier using alcohol than water. But for this one... the alcohol dried so fast I couldn't get the dye even. I had to sand it down and start over, fortunately I had only done the back. Using water, man is it easy. On my second coat now. Many more to follow.
    IMG_20160924_203843.jpg
     
    smithcreek likes this.
  7. Christopher DBG

    Christopher DBG Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar
    Your test scraps look great. The place where water vs. alcohol will make the most difference is doing the dark edge. Make a mistake with alcohol and it penetrates and dries so fast it's nearly un-fixable. Plus, if you put it on with the rag "wet" with alcohol it wicks across the wood very fast and leaves a very defined dark "ring" where it stops wicking. I've made a few mandolins that I had to make the center light burst area smaller to fix mistakes on the edge. Water will do the same, but it wont' happen fast so you have time to correct it. Looking forward to seeing the results!
     
    bdplaid likes this.
  8. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    My current issue is that it's just so... yellow. Wasn't expecting that, as it's stew-mac vintage amber. Not really sure how to proceed. The yellow really needs to come down, not sure how to do it.
     
  9. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Maybe add a drop or two (only!!) to the amber, and retry.. ?
     
  10. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    A drop or two of what, the red mahog? To the amber mix I am using?

    I did a small test of the RM in the neck pocket and the Ash really absorbs the heck out of it. It's a risk. I have found the RM mixed very thin to come out pink rather than reddish brown. And a problem mixing Amber and RM means it looks orange.

    I'm thinking that a mixture of a half- or even a full-pipette of RM in about 2 ounces of water, but on a very, very damp rag might do it. I'm thinking the RM need to originate as a dark color in the mixture.

    waiting to hear others comments about techniques. Don't make me break out the black lacquer! :)
     
  11. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Yes, a drop of red to the amber would go orange, up to you if that's where you want to go.

    I think your test piece looks nice.
     
    bdplaid likes this.
  12. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Thanks. don't worry, I'll foul it up.. :)
     
  13. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Don't sell yourself short.
    Just follow your test piece...
    You can do this.
     
  14. Christopher DBG

    Christopher DBG Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar
    More coats of the amber will make it more orange first, then more brown. Both of these are Stew Mac vintage amber. The bass is two or three coats, so it's past the yellow stage and more orange, the mandolin is probably four. It actually looks a little more brown in person and the bass looks more orange, but the camera and florescent lighting don't show it. You could probably try mixing a drop or two of the red mahogany in the amber first, that might shift it a little more brown less orange.

    If you look at the wood next to the pipe you can see where it just got hit with overspray and did not get much stain, and it's pretty much the same yellow as your bass picture.

    DSC03514.JPG

    DSC03533.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    JIO likes this.
  15. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    What bass is that?
     
  16. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Warmoth Dinky P, with a slightly shortened lower horn to make it look less devil-hornish.
     
  17. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Man, those are beautiful!

    Thing is, I'm well past 4 coats, so I'm thinking I may have mixed the amber too light. Do you have any recollection of the amount of amber you put in whatever medium you used?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  18. Christopher DBG

    Christopher DBG Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar
    You can put in as much as it takes to get the color you want. Looks like you were getting a nice amber on the scrap but the body isn't taking it as well? Try going in reverse on a piece of scrap wood. Start with 100% straight stain out of the bottle and see what the color is, then if you want lighter, cut it 50-50, 25-75 until you get what you want. The bass below, same as in my avatar, was straight orange stain. Squirted it right out of the bottle on the bare wood. Looks more like a dark red than orange at that concentration, and it came out very even because the wood soaked up all the finish it possible could, then adding more did almost nothing. That picture is bare wood with stain on the burst and brown tinted lacquer on the edge. One last suggestion is for the base color you can use alcohol without any issues. It soaks in better and dries faster. It's the dark part of the sunburst that water makes easier.

    DSC03129.JPG
     
    JIO likes this.
  19. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I'm sorry... I meant the Ibanez.
     
  20. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Thanks. I'm pretty timid when if comes to this dye. Which is odd for me because I'll take a router to anything in a heartbeat. I'll try what you suggest, it sounds very logical.

    And now you have me wanting one of your basses, damn they look great!
     
    smithcreek likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Aug 1, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.