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Making the flames "pop"

 
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ccondon23



Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 23
Location: Blackstone, MA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Making the flames "pop" Reply with quote

I've got a Les Paul kit from Precision. The flame is not that great and I'd like it to 'pop' a bit more:

https://imgur.com/a/lxu92

Most things I read basically say to use stain with a bit of black in it and then sand back any excess if necessary. However, every time I try this in scrap, it either comes out too dark or looking terrible. Here's a top that I stained then sanded back:

https://imgur.com/a/EN0l4

The looks awful in my opinion, but I'm not sure if that means I've done something wrong or if it is supposed to look like crap before it's finished.

Is this the correct method for getting flames/grain to pop? Am I doing something wrong?


Thanks,
Chris
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Gatorcountry



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 601
Location: Gainesville, FL

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of finish are you trying to end up with? That will make a big difference on how you do any kind of initial dye/sandback.
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ccondon23



Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 23
Location: Blackstone, MA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm basically looking to do something like what brewdude did in the "LP Finishing Questions" thread below - nothing fancy, just a trans amber thing.
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marksound



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 16670
Location: OKUSA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For an amber, forget the black. That'll just make it all greenish and nasty.

Gibson uses a toner, like a tinted clear. You can get the same effect by rubbing in amber dye, sanding back, then rubbing in more diluted dye until you get the effect you want. You can also do a rubbed in dye/tinted clear, or just tinted clear.

PRS does the double or triple dye process by dyeing, sanding back, and repeating with one or several colors depending on the desired effect.

Post a pic of what you want the result to look like and we can detail the process.
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Gatorcountry



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 601
Location: Gainesville, FL

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. If you are going for an amber finish I wouldn't dye it with anything else but a more concentrated mixture of the amber you are going to use. Dye it, sand it back, then proceed as you would.
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dougk



Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 9440
Location: About to lose his head in Sacramento

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't pop what isn't there. I wouldn't recommend direct dyes on that top. Do your tinting with tint mixed in clear. I'd recommend transtint lemon yellow and vintage amber. A LIGHT dusting of the brown maple (the name escapes me) before shooting your yellow will help it pop a bit.
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The Ballzz



Joined: 14 Jan 2014
Posts: 160
Location: LAS VEGAS, NV

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before going too crazy, try wiping it fairly wet with some mineral spirits or naphtha. This will give you a clearer idea, while it's still wet, of how much that "flaming" actually will pop and what it will look like under a finish. I'm guessing that there is a lot nicer definition there than you are giving it credit for! FWIW, the mineral spirits won't "dry" as fast as the naphtha will. Dry, sanded wood rarely gives of it's true nature until you get it wet.
Just My $.02 & Likely Worth Even Less,
Gene
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