Dye/stain flame maple neck questions


New member
Greetings, I recently custom ordered a 3A flame maple neck with ebony fretboard. I am doing a build loosely based on the Taos Guitar T-bucket model. They use a flame maple neck that is stained or dyed black with a flat finish. Would like to get this look, but don’t want to ruin a neck. Anyone have any ideas on how to achieve this. Thanks for any input.


Senior member
Howdy, hopub229.  Welcome to the fray!

So this is an image of the back of a Tao T-Bucket neck I ganked from the Tao Guitars website.  Looks like plain black dye with a satin clearcoat of some kind, possibly polyurethane, possibly lacquer.


This look is easy to achieve, but let me give you a piece of advice before you do anything to your nice new neck:

Buy a strip of curly maple lumber to experiment on.  Rockler will give you 0.5"x3"x48" planks for $22USD, if there's a shop near you.  That's WAY more than enough lumber to tape off into segments on both sides and experiment on with dye colors at various dilutions as well as clearcoat products, and you can always sand it way back and start again if you need to.  ANYWAY.

What I would do here is get a can of General Finishes Ebony dye stain and apply it full strength.  Pour some into a disposable container and dip your rag in that, so you don't contaminate the can.  Irrigate the surface before you apply color so you don't leave lap marks.  If you're in San Diego area, I have a can of this stuff I can lend you .

Here it is on a Warmoth flame maple chambered guitar before I sanded it way back for a burst effect (final product here: https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=24262.msg353344#msg353344 ) .  After applying the dye, let it dry thoroughly for a day or two.  Then sand back the raised grain with 320 grit.But don't go nuts - you only want to knock down the fuzzies.  Tack or blow the sanding dust off, then apply your planned clearcoat.  Minwax satin poly is easy to apply and inexpensive. 


You can make the striping more pronounced by sanding back more assertively with 220 grit, which will lighten the color of the denser part of the grain.

Have fun!



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Senior member
Bagman covered it! :icon_thumright: Only thing I have is for me maple sometimes doesn't like to take stain super easily and I had to put more on/let it sit, then I thought in the first place.