Warmoth Strat Build Help

Gejodi2021

New member
Messages
11
Hi all I hope these times and holidays find you all safe and happy!  So I just joined this site and was hoping to find a few answers/suggestions for a new strat build.  My unfinished body and neck should be arriving soon from warmoth and thought id run some things by you all.  The body is an alder with a quilted maple top.  The neck is Bloodwood with an ebony fretboard.
I understand that the body comes sanded to 220 grit and has no sealer/finish on it.  The neck im not so sure of how it is prepped before shipping?  So now the fun begins.  My intention is to use angelus leather dye to dye the body. Starting with a rose color and finishing with turquois perhaps a burst or just have the rose pop the grain.  The back alder I will do the same but it probably will be a tad darker.  I am worried about blotching so I came across a water based product called CNW pre stain conditioner by charlesneil.com.  Seems to work on some scrap I had  so my first question is have you all had any experience with either dye or conditioner??  My intent upon arrival is inspect, wipe with naptha, ammonia and water,  inspect grain, let sit for 24 hours and sand raised grain/ imperfections up to 220 on maple top and 320 on alder back and 400 on sides.  Perhaps raise grain one more time and repeat.  Apply pre conditioner,  wait as prescribed then apply dye.  After dried for I guess a week apply a few coats of colortone sanding sealer then wait and sand smooth.  For my finish I intend to use either wipe on poly or mix my own urethane with mineral spirits 50/50?  And sand between coats perhaps as many as 12/14 coats?  Anyhow this is my plan does anyone have anything to add or comment on I would certainly appreciate the advice.
 

Gejodi2021

New member
Messages
11
Edit.... I think I found a mistake above...I dont think i can put poly on top of laquer  so what to use to seal in dye before poly??
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
417
The guitar I'm building right now for my friend's son followed similarly to your plan.  After prep and grain fill, I applied a mixture of green & yellow TransTint dye (edit: dissolved in water).  After it was dried for several days, I just started with the wipe-on poly.  Very, very thin coats, very light touch.  Took and has taken forever.

After the garbage-looking first coat, subsequent coats started looking much better -- smoother and glossier (I'm using high gloss; it's for an 8-year-old, so the fancier the better!).

Lacquer & poly are chemically incompatible and you might get really funky effects (I got some spider-webbing in another build when I wasn't careful enough in removing all of the poly before switching to lacquer).
 

wildbill

Senior member
Messages
185
The Angelus dye is alcohol based I believe, so it should work well on the maple but I have not used it and would be a little concerned as to how it works on the alder. Maybe someone else has experience in the product. I haven't used that pre-stain conditioner either but Charles Neil was THE Master at wood finishing, not likely to go wrong with the product line. I use aniline dye in alcohol for maple tops and it gives a great outcome. It tends to want to be a little splotchy on softer woods but manageable. I wouldn't mix in the sanding sealer and actually wouldn't use it on anything. If your were using a lacquer top coat, I would just hit the dye with a very light seal coat of lacquer  and then build coats. I would also be concerned about wiping on poly over the dye and would test that on like material ( always the best practice). You can seal the dye layer with a light shellac (de-waxed) spray coat under whatever topcoat you choose but I don't like to put it under lacquer if I can help it. You really only need to whisker the wood once and just sand lightly after it has dried. Your body should come from Warmoth ready to dye / stain / spray without any additional real sanding. Just check it for dings and shipping depressions as they show up large after you apply finish. Other than drying a lacquer build for final leveling and buff which is measured in weeks, most of these finishing processes dry in hours. Overnight is always a safe bet. Alcohol dye dries faster than you want usually, that is why some people prefer using waterborne dyes. Good luck, enjoy.
 
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