Staining an alder body

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
Hi, i just recieved my new strat yesterday, solid alder body, CBS neck with rosewood fretboard and jumbo frets, Wow! Warmoth products are flawless!! I have a couple of questions. I want to stain this body, do I need to seal it first, or can I apply the stain to the bare wood then use sealer before the clear, or is alder ok to clear over the stain without any sealer, I've been painting cars and finishing furniture for years, but a guitar seems to be a little different. The neck fit is very snug, I know thats a good thing, but should I use something to help it in the pocket like soap or something? I don't want to sand any wood away. I would appreciate any input. I will post before and after pics when finished. Thanks

Paul.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
As you don't typically need any more grain filling on alder than 2-4 coats of sanding sealer, I just apply the stain as desired, then sanding sealer as needed, level back to #320/400 and start on the top gloss coats. If you seal it first the stain won't penetrate.

The neck fit SHOULD be very snug; insert from top of body and firmly press down, DO NOT insert from top of pocket.
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
Wet the wood first to raise the grain and sand it smooth again, maybe a few times. As you probably know, you can make a diluted stain and just apply coats till it's dark enough - they lighten as they dry, but then the sealer and finish coat darken them back to about the wet color. Very fortunately, pine stains about the same as alder, so it's cheap to test your stuff.
 

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
721
http://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=2622.0

That's how I did it.  No grain filler needed on alder.  Easy as pie.
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
Thanks for the help everyone! I'm heading to home depot to get my whisky and rhum stain. Has anyone used Varathane or minwax spray clear coats on a guitar? I could use dupont automotive clear, but not sure if it will work over the sanding sealer. I live in Canada and ordering clear from Stew Mac or ReRanch is a huge pain in the ass! and expensive. I've used minwax satin spray clear on a neck before and it worked great.after all wood is wood right!
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
There is a large amount of info on Deft Semi Gloss (Nitro Lacquer) around this board.  Hit the Local Walmart for the Deft Sanding Sealer and the Semi Gloss Lacquer.  If there is not a Walmart near, well that would be odd, but it is easy to find Deft products elsewhere.  Walmart just has them quite cheap.
Patrick

 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
Is there anyting else out there that will work a good as sanding sealer? I live in Canada and I can't find it anywhere. I have found the Deft clears in aerosol cans, but that's it. Thanks!

Paul
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
If you can find "Bullseye SealCoat" made by Zinnser, it's perfect - it's a premixed can of wax-free shellac, that will work both over oil or water-based dyes and under both water and oil-based polyurethanes. Any hardware store that carries Zinnser products should be able to order you a pint, to save on shipping. Another alternative is to buy the dry wax-free shellac flakes from LMI or Stewart McDonald and mix your own:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Finishes_and_solvents/ColorTone_Shellac_Flakes.html

Looking at the Zinnser site it looks like they have about three new products that would work, depending on what else you're doing:
http://www.zinsser.com/subcat.asp?CategoryID=1


(hint: wood is just wood, hmmm where have I heard that....) :blob7:
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
I checked out the Zinsser site, I can choose my province, but it brings up USA areas only. If a shellac will work, what other brands can be used? I'm guessing without the sanding sealer it would take a lot of clear coats to get the finish I'm looking for. I want a very glossy finish. I can use automotive clear coat, I have a paint shop. will this work over stain? I have painted other guitars with both base clear and enamal paint, but not from bare wood and I want this guitar stained. I guess wood isn't just wood, This is my guitar!! not just wood.
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
I contacted Lee Vally tools, they have the deft clear in aerosol cans, but no sealer, They recomended using the Deft danish oil over the stain, then use the clear coat. Does this sound ok?

Paul.
 

sundin4prez

Senior member
Messages
350
where in canada do you live????  if in ontario , specificaly toronto , they sell the zinser shelac at home depot in clear and in tinted ...
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
"They recomended using the Deft danish oil over the stain, then use the clear coat"

I wouldn't do that, you'll have moisture under the lacquer, as the Danish Oil takes a LONG time to dry.

Technically you can just use additional coats of the Deft gloss lacquer as sealer; after staining and letting the stain COMPLETELY dry, do 3-4 relatively heavy lacquer coats with the Deft. Sand back level with #400 sandpaper. Then do all your additional Deft lacquer gloss top coats in normal thinner coats.
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
I did find someone in Canada to sell me the sanding sealer, By the gallon !! I live in New Brunswick, Home Depot here won't even order it it for me. I figured you could use multiple coats of clear, just takes longer and costs more, but should look pretty awesome! I'm thinking of staining the back of the neck to match the back of the guitar and the front of the headstock to match the front of the body with a natural masked binding. Should look pretty slick right? Sorry to be a pain here, but I cant help but look ant this project as a work of art!! It's hard to be patient, I really want to play this thing!!!!!! Thanks for all the help you guys, I'll post pics when complete. Have a great week everyone!!

Paul.
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
Hey guys, I just checked out Lee Valley again on the Danish oil, It is a tung oil and Urathane resin mix that can be recoated in one hour and they say can be coated with any clear. Check it out at LeeValley.com under woodworking finishing. Let me know what you think. If you still think it's too risky, I'll just go with several coats of clear. Thanks!

Paul
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
Ok, so it's starting to look like I'm replying to myself, but I have a new question. Has anyone stanied a maple neck to match the guitar? I'm assuming that it will just take several more coats to bring the color to match the body or is this a bad idea? I keep seeing all these great looking guitars and just love the looks of the darker necks, so I thought I would make mine darker and the same color scheme as the body, I'm going with a dark red transparent stain. Any tips would be great. I will be attempting it this weekend. I will also be purchasing the hardware from Warmoth, what is the quality of the trem like?

Paul.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
It depends on what type of Maple.  Some you can stain, others become splotchy when you try to stain them.  Birdseye will not stain well.  In those cases, folks around here usually coat with some nitro, then spray some reranch toner to get the color they want, and finish off with nitro.  I would search the forum for finishing necks to see what people have done and how close that is to what you want to do.  Also, there is a lot of info on the Deft SEMI gloss nitro around here.  It has properties that work well for guitar finishing.
Patrick

 

tfarny

Senior member
Messages
4,481
Stew mac also sells a "vintage tint" nitro gloss spray finish, I think it's designed to do just what you're asking, in one step. Never used it but I plan to.
 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
I guess I was thinking of staining the maple neck to a dark red, not the usual amber. I did a test of the stain on the back of the heel and it went on good just not very dark. the neck is just a clear maple, no flame or birdseye. I have finished maple before, but usually clear only , no color. I planned on using a prestain first for a more even coloring.
 

ByteFrenzy

Senior member
Messages
1,177
This is a maple neck I stained mahogany colour before finishing it with first linseed oil and then Tru-oil.
I could have obtained a darker colour by doing more applications of the stain but this was the tint I was after.

 

vanhagar

Senior member
Messages
227
That color looks real nice, I plan to use  Deft danish oil for a finish over the color and then a couple coats of deft clear gloss, I'll definately post pics after I complete the neck.
 
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