Which finish for a spalted maple top?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mr M, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. What would you suggest to use on a spalted maple top bass for finishing? Any natural oil or some finish to not to change the characteristics of the wood?

    I hesitated if this thread belongs to setup but OK if it's not you can kick it (please be nice :) )

    Thank you
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Spalted maple is at least partially rotten and very porous. I don't think it would be advisable to use anything but hard lacquer on it.
  3. This isn't necessarily true. Spalting can be as mild as a simple "staining" of the wood or as extensive, as you've pointed out, as literally rotten. Though I've never used any in a bass, I would think that the former version would be the type used in instruments rather than the latter.

    Tried & True varnish oil is among the best stuff available. This is a true honest-to-god boiled linseed oil that won't get sticky, turn rancid, or smell for ages after application. When it hardens you've got a very nice finish that will really bring up the beauty in your wood choice. After that, if it's needed, you can even put a clear coat over the completely cured oil like Brooks suggested.