First project: flamed maple transparent black tips



Hey! I'm new to the forum, I'm about to do my first Warmoth project, a VIP style body (mahogany back, flame maple top) and I was thinking of trying a transparent black dye on top, with a slight black-burst around the edges, and then solid black on the back of the body. Any suggestions, tips/instructions? (I've never done any of this before!)
Welcome to the forum!
Wow, that is a very ambitious first project.  Good for you!
We will have a lot of questions before we can chime in.
1. What kind of clear finish?
2. How do plan on applying it?  
3. What kind of paint application background do you have?
4. What is your level of wood preparation experience?              

Lastly pictures help, Fernando (Nonsense Tele) will go crazy if you don’t post pictures.  :laughing7:

Haha, I'll post pictures for sure, I don't have the body and neck even ordered yet! This is literally my first time building a guitar, so I know NOTHING about finishing/dyes/finishes etc.!! I figured I'd just dye the flame maple a trans black, then blackburst the edges and coat with some type of clear coat, but since I've never done any type of wood finishing, I need to do my homework about it first!!
My suggestion would be that you order your dream guitar from Warmoth and have them finish it the way you want. They do beautiful finish work.  

Do some lesser projects to get your feet wet and gain confidence. Start by refinishing a couple of cheap guitars.  A lot of information can be found right here on the DIY threads. Try using the search feature to look for specific topics.  Most of it is right here for you.

If your mind is still really set on doing it yourself I suggest you go buy a nice board of flame maple and practice on it first.  Also make sure to get a piece of mahogany and practice filling the grain.  Anyone here that has done open grained wood like mahogany will tell you the most difficult part is getting that grain filled and level.  If you are planning on a black finish the grin filler is even more critical. Make sure you can get the effect you want on sample boards before you try it on a guitar.  
Tonar really know about finishing guitars, so take notes.  As far as suggestions, I'd get Warmoth to do it if possible.  It will take months to do on your own.  I have been through it and am still not to a point to call the project done.  But, if you do want to try it...

Get test pieces of everything.  eBay flame maple pieces.  This is the single best investment I made in the process of dying my guitar.  I used Reranch alcohol dyes to do mine, and they are rather painless to try.  The black dyed maple is a cool look, but getting the right amount on is obviously the trick.  You can always sand some of it back and get more figure contrast, then re dye it.  You can burst it as well.  Using alcohol on a rag/paper towel you can blend and remove excess dye as well.  But, all of this is mainly a comfort issue and that comes with experience. 

The grain filling is a large headache.  Simply put, it is a pain.  If you are going to paint the guitar black any blemishes will show.  Black is very difficult to get right.  It is much easier to go with clear.  The grainfill would have to be right on, and not rushed (pretty much every ones problem the first time around) to get the black to look right.

Finally spraying it.  Weather, finish, patience, patience, and a helluva lot more patience is required to do this part right.  Once again, experience works out to be the key.  If this is your first guitar, I wouldn't take all of these things on.  Go in steps.  I found that the pieces of figured maple I got I could cut into coasters and give to friends.  It made it fun to work on them, different dyes and finishes and a no loss result.  If they didn't like the coaster they didn't tell me.  I got the experience of playing with the dyes and finishes.  I guess I would read up on this stuff first and ease your way into it.  The awful part is waiting, and Warmoth provides some serious eye candy so waiting is that much harder.

Hey thanks guys, I sure appreciate the tips, this is going to be tough, but worth it!