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Thuya Burl and Dye

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kelly Lee, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I have been considering Thuya burl as a top for a future project.

    My question is, can it be dyed with water or alcohol based dyes? I am thinking of using a blue stain with a clear satin nitrocellulose lacquer top coat. Anything I should be worried about, tricks, tips?

  2. if you want to dye a burled wood a particular color, i'd suggest going with maple. thuya burl is very expensive, and is naturally a beautiful color- dyeing it seems like a bit of a waste.

    this is a picture of a thuya topped guitar that i built some time ago- now would you really want to color that?

    Attached Files:

  3. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    Don't do it!!!!!! Thuya is an incredibly beautiful wood.....If you want to dye something, Birds Eye Maple would be far less expensive to screw up. If you ever worked with Thuya, you most likely would not attempt to dye it....It is very oily....on the same level as Cocobolo.....You would have a difficult time getting even color, that is if the dye could get any penetration worth mentioning.
  4. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Thanks, that was what I was looking for. And no, I have never worked with Thuya Burl before.

    I really love the curls that it has but I want to have some color. I guess I will have to find something else then. :meh:
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Use maple or myrtle. They both can have attractive curl and burl. Both will take a dye better than thuya and will save you some money.

    Better yet, call Larry at Gallery and have him do one of his dye-through jobs on a piece of maple burl. Unless you have your own spray rig, doing transparent finishes is a pain in the butt. The dyed through stuff looks pretty cool.
  6. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Yea, maple looks like what I'm going to look into.

    So everyone knows, what inspires me are MTD's satin blue finishes. I love the look Michael Tobias can create on a bass!