Quilted Maple tops? How does it happen?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brendan, Sep 15, 2000.

  1. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    How do the manufactures get the quilted maple, and woods in gerenal, tops? I.E. Spector and Mike Lull (for example). Is it a different wood? Or the same, just treated? I really dig that stuff, and wanted to know how they get it. Side question along the same lines, how do they get it stained the colors they do, like a blue stain. That has blue and Black on it.
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Maple comes in lots of varietys.
    Some are plain maple...
    Quatersawn... Birdseye, Flamed, Quilted.. all of this are Figured maples, I think they are just that way when cuted.
    No man work is done to get it figured.
    About the stain colors, I really dont know, I think they use multi laminates of paint and clear gloss.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Quilted maple results from variable stresses being placed on the tree, and hence the grain turns out wavy. Flamed maple is similar, but the stress applied on the tree is in a single direction. The birdseyes in birdseye maple are cross sections from root growths. Don't know how spalted maple works; to me, it looks like the incursion of new growth into older, drier wood. If I'm wrong, please correct.

    From what I can tell, some figuring patterns tend to be more common to certain species. For example, quilted maple isn't that uncommon, but quilted mahogany seems quite rare.

  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Quilted maple happens when you pay a 'load more cash.
  5. geo?


    Mar 29, 2000
    Spalted maple is basically partially rotten wood, that is, wood that has a fungus infection. That's what causes the black lines in the grain. Very cool looking. There's "early" and "late" spalted maple and they have different looks. "Late" costs a bit more and, IMO, looks much cooler. The "early" is more subtle.

  6. Though you will see, from time to time, figured maple bodies that are one piece, the most common method of creating this look is with laminates. These are usually thicker say 1/8" or larger and are combined with another wood for the rest of the body. Thicker tops are needed so that the contouring at the edges of the body don't go completely through the figured top into the base material. Another reason for this type of construction is to limit cost. When the face of the guitar is the side most often seen, it makes little sense to waste the figuring in areas that are either covered, or not visible. Of course all makers take a different approach but you'll find this method most often used in the nicer production line basses.

    For a nice piece of figured wood to be enhanced, it is important to put the right finish on it. All figured woods respond to being sanded to a very smooth finish - that's the first step. Depending on the species, additional finishing steps will continue to enhance the depth and definition of the natural characteristics of the wood. Each type of wood responds differently and matching the finish to the wood will really bring out the beauty.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    My Tobias Classic 5 is actually made from solid Quilt Maple with Birdseye Maple neck. The only thing is that you don't actually see this, as it has a zebrano top. I actually like the way it looks from the back, better than the front - I love the look of Quilt Maple, but not many people ever see this - it's only visible on the back of the body and neck!