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What's upder Poly?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by betardfoosier, May 13, 2011.

  1. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    I have begun removing the thick clear poly coat on my 'natural' finish ash J bass. It's popping off easily with the heat gun and leaving what looks like bare ash underneath with a deep grain. My question is, is there anything else underneath the clear coat I need to strip before the wood will accept stain, or is that bare wood? It absorbs water, so I don't think there is a sealer, is there?

    Also, I love the deep grain, but do I have to fill that in before I stain? I like the old Gibson Voodoo guitars with the deep grain you could feel, can you stain it like that?
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    It is possible to wire brush or media-blast out the soft grain to enhance the "feeling" aspect of the surface if that's what you're going for.

    Just as an FYI, keep in mind that most instruments are not stained before finishing. Any tinting is usually added to the clearcoat and sprayed on to prevent unevenness in the finish. Stain directly applied can be blotchy as it takes differently depending on the density of the wood and other factors. This may be desirable for you, I don't know, but I thought it was worth mentioning...
  3. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    I want that tactile grain feel with a satin finish, can I stain without filling or sealing the ash, just onto bare wood? What will happen if I do it this way?

    THORRR Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Parker, Colorado
    Yes - if you stain the wood directly you'll get a light and dark stain effect accenting the grain of the wood. It's a more striped effect, but if you seal it first and then add stain to the clear satin it'll be more even in coloration.

    If you have a particularly good grain pattern on the wood you might want to highlight it by directly applying the stain.
    Then clear satin coat finish,

    It's a really nice look IMHO.

  5. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    Yes I really liked this particular slab, thats why I stripped it instead of just buying a bare body.

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