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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Stain Question

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 31st, 2018 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I got a project that I've been slow rolling and started working on it again. The body is swamp ash and is complete. I stained it using General Finish Gel Stain from Woodcraft and am very pleased with the way it came out. I next stained the neck after sanding off the finish on it. It looked like total crap so I decided to sand it down and start anew. Since it was fairly easy to sand the stain off it led me to believe it had never really penetrated the the wood and was just sitting on top. The guy at Woodcraft said this could be that the woods take to the satin differently. I'm tempted to just use oil stain, but they don't make it in the same color - go figure. Another possibility is that I had not fully removed the previous finish that was on the neck. I've done what I consider a much better sanding job and feel I should test the gel on the heel. If it doesn't take that's an easy area to sand it off from.

I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with gel stain on maple. If so, were they able to get a suitable result?

Thanks

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 31st, 2018 09:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes, but the trick is to use a stripper to remove the existing finish, and then sand the wood smooth.

That really is the only way to properly apply stain to wood.

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Jan 31st, 2018 09:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Stain doesn't penetrate very far as a rule, perhaps even less so with hardwoods.

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Feb 1st, 2018 11:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Maple just doesn't accept any stain very well. Its one of the reasons that its often used for cooking utensils and butcher-block work surfaces. It slightly darkens with UV exposure.

1600
Contributing Member
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USA

North of I10
Feb 1st, 2018 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My guess is you did not remove the sealer. I ran into this when I thought my neck sanding had been very thorough but the stain/dye did not penetrate. I ended up scraping the neck and everything came out great. I used a pocket knife but have purchased some card scrapers since then as they are more accurate and not very expensive.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Feb 1st, 2018 06:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Maple just doesn't accept any stain very well."

^^This^^

You certainly do need to be certain you are down to bare wood, but maple is a pretty tough wood to stain even under the best of conditions.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Feb 1st, 2018 06:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

An alcohol stain is the best option for maple because the pigments are dissolved in solution. Most oil and water stains have particles of color in solution.

It also helps to not sand the bare maple super smooth. Sand to 220 and apply alcohol stain. The slightly rough surface promotes capillary wicking of the stain into the wood.

You can apply multiple coats too. Wipe it on, let it soak for five minutes, and wipe dry. Let it air dry for a few hours, and repeat the process for as many applications as you need for the color saturation you want.

TonyMan
Contributing Member
*********

Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Feb 3rd, 2018 10:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thought I had posted this, but guess I didn't.

I have a little confusion over alcohol stain. I googled alcohol based stains and the results came up as oil based stains or dyes. Is it possibly a wood dye I should be using.

TonyMan
Contributing Member
*********

Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Feb 6th, 2018 09:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, I took another look at all the advice here, finally. I re-sanded the neck pretty good down to 120 and tried the gel stain at the heel. I left it on a little longer, wiped it off and it looks like it took good. It's lighter than what I wanted so it looks like a second application will do it. I do see some sanding swirls, so I will lightly continue up to 220 as advised and proceed from there. Otherwise, I believe the issue was not getting the old finish totally off the neck.

Thanks for all the tips.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Feb 6th, 2018 08:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Outstanding!

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Stain Question




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