i am planning on purchasing a quilt maple top tele ..i need to know what type od dye i should use for the top, and i need to know how to use it.....is it stain black , sand back then stain whatever colour i want the go over it with clear??
On the examples you posted, it looks like they are finished thusly:
The green strat looks like they've done a green dye on the quilt top, then sprayed the black with black gloss toner, bursted that over and finished with clear high gloss top coats.
The blue strat looks like they did a blue dye - I'm still working out how to do the "washed out" piece - then sprayed the back/burst over with "candy blue" and high gloss top coats.
The blue Tele doesn't look dyed at all; they left the quilt natural, sprayed the back/burstover "candy blue" then high gloss top coats.
If you can find the right colors you want, the Woodburst transparent color stains work real well, and so far it appears that unlike many sites, their color chart on the web is dead on accurate: http://woodburst.com/colors.html
As to toner, I reallly like the Mohawk Ultra Classic toners - CB sent me some leftovers I'm doing the cherry burst finish on my Thinline with, but I just checked their website and besides their color chart being way off, they only offer colors in wood tone hues, so no blues/greens; maybe CB or somebody else can recommend some vendors for other toner colors.
That appears to have been dyed green, then "washed" in the center with solvent to soften the dye - perhaps sanded ever so slightly to help with the softening - in the center only. The edges were overshot with green tinted finish, and the edges given more and more buildup (stronger tint) finally with black at the edge. You could do this with a pressurized disposable spray rig...but... its gonna be a hell of a first project to get right.
This was just bursted over with blue transparent finish. Ditto - hard to get right without some experience.
Probably the easiest to reproduce. The wood was dyed, then sanded and washed back with solvent (not sure on the sanding part, its possible though). Then the edges were bursted over with tinted finish. You can use "reducer" to limit the strength of the dye, and I suggest this. In this case - go VERY light, much lighter than you want as its easier to get darker, but can be impossible to make lighter. If you look, its not a totally "even" finish, and its a bit of an artistic thing to fade out dye with solvent by rubbing with rags. But... Its probably doable on a home finish.
I like the stuff from Mohawk (google Mohawk finishing)
Also, I've been known to use leather dyes (alcohol based metallic dyes)
StewMac dyes, probably Mohawk, since they repackage Behlen, and Behlen is an arm of Mohawk (or arm of parent corporation.. I forget which), but... oh the price is dear. They definitely make money by repackaging. You can get about 4x the dye for same price, direct from Mohawk distribution.
I went to the Mohawk website on the advice of CB some other time and they had this section about requesting a catalog. I filled out the info there and a few days later got this huge package in the mail with everything about all their products, like I was thinking of opening a paint shop or something. It was pretty cool, I definitely have found some great ideas going through their stuff. They have more color type stuff in this catalog too, besides just the wood toned stuff that Jack mentioned, but it is their woody colors that have gotten my attention in a big way!
Been playing with the Woodburst transparent stains I ordered on an ash test body; I just have yellow/brown/oramge, but playing with them it seems like you can get a similar effect like on the green Strat by doing a real light application then going back and putting additional application on "bursted part; looking at the green one closer, CB's right that's been sanded/washed back in the center.
Again, while that green may have actually been sprayed with green toner on the burst over, you can get a similar effect with additional application of stain dye, and the rag's a lot easier to control than the spray...