Dark Mahogany finish

Matte

New member
Messages
5
Hi!
I’m planning on order a soloist mahogany body. I would like to have a similar finish as Martin 000-15, dark mahogany.
I wrote to warmoth but they only offered satin o gloss clear finish, no oils or whatever to make it darker. Thats why I’m reaching out to you guys! What do I need to make a mahogany body as dark as the Martin guitar?
This is the finish I’m talking about…
https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/15-series/000-15M.html

Have a good one!
Mattias
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,311
Mmh, did you ask Martin what they use?
If they won't tell you, it looks sort of brownish rather than reddish on my computer, so I'd look at a light brown dye or stain, maybe mix in a little red stain.  Plus with mahogany you need to fill the grain.  If you contact the keda dye people they will have some suggestions.  It all depends on how fancy you want to get.  Others here are more knowledgeable than I and will probably give better advice, but you got a start.
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
To me it looks like a dark brown. I would get a few half pints of testers and some scrap wood and do some testing.
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
360
dont listen to me but i am thinking shoe polish, but seriously , dont listen to me.
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
teleme01 said:
dont listen to me but i am thinking shoe polish, but seriously , dont listen to me.

That was actually my first thought too. But, never having tried it I was afraid to rec it!
 

bagman67

Senior member
Messages
8,235
Shoe polish is wax with a bunch of petroleum distillates and pigments, so if you should go that route, putting anything on top of it is likely to be a no-go.  Wax doesn't play well with other finish types, as a rule.  If you wanted to topcoat with a hard wax like, carnauba, or a soft one, like beeswax, so the shoe polish doesn't come off on other things (like your fancy shirt you wear to gigs), that might work.  But it all seems iffy to me.


Another way of making pale mahogany turn brown is by painting it with a solution of potassium dichromate, then neutralizing with a weak acid like vinegar. Others of our Unofficially Warmothian ilk have experimented in that vein:


https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=15229.msg220228#msg220228


https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=22364.0


Bear in mind the K2Cr2O7 is nasty stuff. Safety first, and whatnot.


If you're near a decent hardwood supplier for the woodworking and cabinetmaking trades, they will likely have a line of Mohawk/Behlen toners in rattle cans, which it seems to me would be far easier than experimenting with chromium salts.  If you're not near such a business, and you're in the states, shellac.net has your back, at a reasonable price.  Check out the toner line about halfway down the page.  https://www.shellac.net/behlenfinishingproducts.html


Good luck.


Peace
Bagman
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,311
Something else to keep in mind, based on my experience, when I've stained mahogany, even with home depot stuff, it gets dark fast.
 

Matte

New member
Messages
5
rick2 said:
Mmh, did you ask Martin what they use?
If they won't tell you, it looks sort of brownish rather than reddish on my computer, so I'd look at a light brown dye or stain, maybe mix in a little red stain.  Plus with mahogany you need to fill the grain.  If you contact the keda dye people they will have some suggestions.  It all depends on how fancy you want to get.  Others here are more knowledgeable than I and will probably give better advice, but you got a start.
I never asked Martin, it’s probably a secret 😄
I have never done woodwork before so I’m a little afraid of messing up..
Does ”fill the grain” mean that I need another oil ( or finish) as well?
 

Matte

New member
Messages
5
Bagman67 said:
Shoe polish is wax with a bunch of petroleum distillates and pigments, so if you should go that route, putting anything on top of it is likely to be a no-go.  Wax doesn't play well with other finish types, as a rule.  If you wanted to topcoat with a hard wax like, carnauba, or a soft one, like beeswax, so the shoe polish doesn't come off on other things (like your fancy shirt you wear to gigs), that might work.  But it all seems iffy to me.


Another way of making pale mahogany turn brown is by painting it with a solution of potassium dichromate, then neutralizing with a weak acid like vinegar. Others of our Unofficially Warmothian ilk have experimented in that vein:


https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=15229.msg220228#msg220228


https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=22364.0


Bear in mind the K2Cr2O7 is nasty stuff. Safety first, and whatnot.


If you're near a decent hardwood supplier for the woodworking and cabinetmaking trades, they will likely have a line of Mohawk/Behlen toners in rattle cans, which it seems to me would be far easier than experimenting with chromium salts.  If you're not near such a business, and you're in the states, shellac.net has your back, at a reasonable price.  Check out the toner line about halfway down the page.  https://www.shellac.net/behlenfinishingproducts.html


Good luck.


Peace
Bagman

Thanks for your reply, but this seems to dangerous to me haha 😊 But I will check out your links
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
910
Seems to me that Warmoth's transparent brown finish in satin would be pretty close  :dontknow:
 

DuckBaloo

Senior member
Messages
282
Martin either stains the wood, then clear coats or, more likely, sprays a tinted clear lacquer.

Open this, scroll down to "Transparent on Mahogany", look at Transparent Brown or Transparent Red.
https://warmoth.com/skin/images/PDFs/BodyFinishes.pdf

If you were to do it yourself, you could go with a wipe-on sain or wipe-on poly like Minwax and select the shade. Get some test pieces like Spud suggests. Mahogany should be pore filled for a glossy or at least an even, smooth finish, but it doesn't have to be, the Gibson Faded series is a good example of satin without filled finish.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,311
Don’t be afraid of messing up.  You gotta crack some eggs to learn how to make an omelette.
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,591
Yea I know it’s watermarked now but this is transparent brown on mahogany
P1000025.jpg
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
412
Matte, if you can't acquire a scrap piece of mahogany from somewhere or someone, you can order some small pieces from Rockler or Woodcraft or other online retailer to experiment.  It's worth the $20 - $30 to discover that what was in your head doesn't work in real life or that what you hoped to accomplish wasn't as easy as you thought it would be as opposed to finding all of that out on a $400 guitar body!

Since this is your first attempt, I strongly recommend going that route first.  Also study up on grain filling technique and process, especially with mahogany.  Lots and lots of resources out in the wild for that, as well as seemingly varied techniques, depending on the person.  Another reason for practicing first because one person's method may not work for you.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
What Ned said, + you can test on your guitar's cavities (if those are also mahogany anyway).

Since it comes in a pretty wide range of color, that can help. For tinting, I'd say get a dye concentrate, dilute (I like isopropanol for that) and start well diluted, increasing 'til you get the effect you like. I don't love the shoe polish idea, if you want an oil, or even poly / lacquer over the stain, it might not work well over that.
 

Matte

New member
Messages
5
ragamuffin said:
Seems to me that Warmoth's transparent brown finish in satin would be pretty close  :dontknow:
I’ve been looking at that too, seems like a good way to go!
 

Matte

New member
Messages
5
rick2 said:
Don’t be afraid of messing up.  You gotta crack some eggs to learn how to make an omelette.
You’re right, the problem is that I live in Sweden and have to pay toll, shipping and import taxes which makes a bit more expensive. That’s why I don’t want to mess up…
 

bagman67

Senior member
Messages
8,235
Everything you mention below suggests you will be very well served by letting Warmoth's finishing wizards do the job for you.  At least you know it'll be done correctly, and you won't worry about messing up a very expensive part yourself.

Matte said:
rick2 said:
Don’t be afraid of messing up.  You gotta crack some eggs to learn how to make an omelette.
You’re right, the problem is that I live in Sweden and have to pay toll, shipping and import taxes which makes a bit more expensive. That’s why I don’t want to mess up…
 
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