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Old 12-01-2014, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Hey all, well I am working on my 2nd Strat build as the first one was a success. My plan is to build a basic strat with Texas Special pups and a Mexican 70's Style headstock Fender Neck, adding Fender locking tuners, keeping it pretty basic with wiring to. I am just waiting for a bridge template from StewMac so I can mark the holes for the bridge for a 2 point pivot trem. Really dreading drilling into the body, but this is a learning project for me.

I was going to get a local Inuit artist to paint it and do some inuit artwork on it. But the more I look at it the way it is au natural Ash body with Maple pick guard and Vintage Cream knobs and Pup covers. I think it gonna look wicked that way and am now wondering...to paint it or not? Maybe get another body for the artist to paint and just go with clear coating this one as is. Any suggestions? I'm really torn on this one.









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Old 12-01-2014, 12:34 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

To me that's to beautiful of wood grain to cover up with paint. I think it will look totally awesome left as is with a nice oil finish. Or if you wanted to add color do some sort of transparent finish like stain or a nice burst. Either way don't cover up that wood with paint.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:22 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Maybe a transparent stain, for some reason I could see blue...? I'd consider staining the guitar and leaving the pickguard natural, but probably at least oil finishing them both.,
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

I purchased some RIT purple and black dye stain and was going to try that originally. I saw somewhere someone doing it and just putting some in a cup and watering it down a bit then spreading it with towel on the body. They applied several coats and created a burst effect. Has any one ever done this before here? Is it a hard process? THe video I saw looked easy, but I've found some things look easy when watching someon else do it then going to do it myself proves to be more difficult. LOL
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:15 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

I've done that poor mans burst with stain/dye several times and have had really good results. That RIT dye that you got, you may as well pitch that in the trash. It doesn't work worth a crud as a wood stain. And it's funny that black and purple are the colors you picked because that's the ones I tried too. Neither color absorbed into the wood well, both were all blotchy and uneven, and the purple dried more of an ugly brown color. All I can say is I'm glad I tried it on test pieces instead of going straight for the guitar body.

I've had the most success using Dr. Ph Martin's India Ink diluted with alcohol. It goes on nice and evenly and the colors blend together really well. You can find the india ink at craft stores in the calligraphy section.

Dying the burst is pretty easy. I start by dying the center color first then go back around and do the outer color. While they're both still wet start swirling/blending the colors together until you're satisfied with the results. Best thing to do is get some some scrap wood and practice blending the colors. I watched a few videos on how to blend the colors and then practiced a little, In the end I ended up coming up with a method different from what I watched but it worked for me.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:32 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

If it was mine I'd dye the pickguard a see-thru black and leave the Ash all natural. That would look killer IMO

I've never used Rit dye...

You want Keda dye, it works great with water or alcohol and is inexpensive as well.

http://www.kedadye.com/
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:59 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

I agree, don't use the RIT...... it will do nothing more than piss you off.

FWIW, I've had the best results using liquid leather dye. I use Feibing brand, but there are other brands available that will do just as well.

I did this test piece in about 4 minutes using the feibings navy and purple over a black sandback coat.

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Old 12-02-2014, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Thanks RG, Swirltop and Madas...

I'm heading out of town Thursday so will look at getting some other type of stain. If I were to go with just a natural wood stain. What would I use to keep it light in color but bring out the grain? Keep it a butterscotch blonde type color? I'm new at this so sorry if these seem like real noob questions. After I get it stained I'm sending it out to get clear coated professionally.

Thanks again,

JD
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:19 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirltop View Post
If it was mine I'd dye the pickguard a see-thru black and leave the Ash all natural. That would look killer IMO
^this would look awesome IMO.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:29 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrastruck View Post
Thanks RG, Swirltop and Madas...

I'm heading out of town Thursday so will look at getting some other type of stain. If I were to go with just a natural wood stain. What would I use to keep it light in color but bring out the grain? Keep it a butterscotch blonde type color? I'm new at this so sorry if these seem like real noob questions. After I get it stained I'm sending it out to get clear coated professionally.

Thanks again,

JD
If you want to bring out the grain more dye it with a darker brown and sand it back off of the high spots. This will leave the deep grain more pronounced and the high flat spots natural
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:07 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafafas View Post
^this would look awesome IMO.
+1, I'm not a wood pickguard guy, but that would be sweet
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

OK so going the stain route for just a butterscotch color effect. Would I do the following with Swamp Ash:

-Sand
-Grain Filler (Apparently Swamp Ash wood should have a grain filler)
-Sand
-Stain
-Light Sand
-Poly Clear Coat

Thoughts ideas? There seems to be a plethora of info online but everybody has their own method. I don't have access to sample wood. I live in the arctic above the tree line so lumber selection here is pretty thin.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:18 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrastruck View Post
OK so going the stain route for just a butterscotch color effect. Would I do the following with Swamp Ash:

-Sand
-Grain Filler (Apparently Swamp Ash wood should have a grain filler)
-Sand
-Stain
-Light Sand
-Poly Clear Coat

Thoughts ideas? There seems to be a plethora of info online but everybody has their own method. I don't have access to sample wood. I live in the arctic above the tree line so lumber selection here is pretty thin.

Yeah, that's pretty much the process for doing a basic stained finish. You may or may not need to do a light sand after the staining depending on how much more the wood grain raises up. And if you do end up doing a light sand after the stain go really light. Use a higher grit paper like 400 or 600 and dont use any pressure, let the sandpaper do the work. You don't want to sand the color off.

A few extra things, and this is more my methos and what I like. Personally I like the feel of the wood grain on a natural finish so I skip the grain filler. And while a poly finish looks great I like to do a matte wipe on oil finish usuallyTru-oil. If you don't want to send the guitar out to be finished, Tru-oil is easy enough to do yourself and looks really nice.

For the tru-oill finishI just wipe on several coats with a clean cotton rag; letting each layer dry before applying the next coat. After I've built up the layers enough I hit it with some 0000 steel wool to knock down the rag strokes then a quick wipedoen with birchwood casey gun stock sheen. it gives a good matte to semi gloss finish and really pops the grain. Here's an example of a tru-oil finish on a mahogany SG.


Last edited by madasahatter; 12-02-2014 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrastruck View Post
Thanks RG, Swirltop and Madas...

I'm heading out of town Thursday so will look at getting some other type of stain. If I were to go with just a natural wood stain. What would I use to keep it light in color but bring out the grain? Keep it a butterscotch blonde type color? I'm new at this so sorry if these seem like real noob questions. After I get it stained I'm sending it out to get clear coated professionally.

Thanks again,

JD
Hey Tundra, I was thinking about this a bit. Since this will be your first stain/dye attempt- it may be smarter to try more user friendly materials than a dye.

I'm assuming you have minwax products available to you. You may want to think about getting a small 1/2-pint can of Natural (#209) and a 1/2-pint can of pickled oak (#260). These are very easy to use materials and are extremely forgiving of mistakes.

Following up with minwax wipe-on poly will, of course, give you a very durable finish, You can choose either satin or gloss for the poly.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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Re: New Frankenstrat Build - To Paint or Not?

Very nice piece of ash. Please don't slap me.
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