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Natural maple color

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Whafrodamus, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I've seen many natural colors of maple. I've seen the dull and pale whites to the deep woody peach color, and I was wondering how to get the color a certain way? I'm building two basses this summer, and I want a maple body and flame maple top, and am interested in that pale while color.. Any tips on how to achieve it?
  2. Good lord man, it's a naturally occuring material. You GET what mother nature gives you for the most part. If you want flamey white wood, you'll have to search it out. That's what the builders of the basses you've seen have done. There aren't short cuts. Sure there are some bleaching techniques but they aren't always suitable for flame figure. Besides, the deepest flame figures are brought out by a finish penetrating the surface. That alone will darken maple to some extent.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Okay. Just to clarify a little more, take a look at the Warwick Infinity LTD 2000 FM. The Flame maple is soo white, and I like that :p.. You sure that's not a tad bleached? I've seen a lot of maple have a yellowish peachish tint. But hey, I'll keep looking and contact the people down at Righteous hardwoods :).
  4. Try Gallery Hardwoods - Larry is a great guy to work with.
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Warwick might be using European maple. It mostly is what you see is what you get, but some species are more inclined than others to have a lot of pure white sapwood. Some manufacturers may bleach their maple, but bleach can only do so much so you are best off looking for clear white to start with. Your finish may end up tinting the maple amber as well.

    Righteous is not typically a great source for figured maples. They are generally very good for cocobolo, figured exotics, and burl. Last I knew, they had some fair figured sugar (hard) maple, but much of it was not terribly clear. Very much worth a visit if you are in Andover, though.
  6. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    There is a trick to preserving the whiteness of maple, but it's a sawmill thing. The deal is to mill the log, resaw the cants, and dry the maple as quickly as possible. That keeps the sugars from developing the darker tone to the color. Frankly, I don't like white, white, white maple, but that's how you get it naturally. An even whiter wood is holly, but you won't get the figure. I totally agree that a penetrating finish is how to make figured woods really pop. We then put a gloss finish on top.
  7. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    What kind of penetrating finish, Rick ? Specifically for figured walnut.