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Front Or Back First?


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Hi everyone!

I'm going to be doing a dye job on the carved quilted maple top and filling and staining the mahogany back of the guitar. I'm thinking I should do the back first so as not to mess up the dye job before clearcoating. This sound OK?

Another question. What's best to use as a sanding block on the curved sections? Wouldn't a solid block have problems in the hollows?

Thanx all!!


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Hello Stew. I also have a body like this, LP with maple top and mahogany back. I had planned to first to tape off and mask natural binding around the edge. Then shoot with clear laquer. Then stain the top and headstock veneer black and sand back. Then, like you too, I was not sure to do the top or back first. I had thought I should then mask off the top and headstock veneer with some foam and plastic to protect it. Then do the back and neck at the same time in this order grain fill, sand and sealer, then clear laquer with light reddish brown tint mixed in. Since you have to grain fill mahogany I don't think a stain would look that great. I never tried so I am not sure. Anyway Once the back and neck have set up for a few weeks then I planned to tape it off and do the front by rubbing dye on the maple top and head stock veneer followed by a clear coat and set up time. Then finish the whole thing together with more clear coats. I am not sure of the best way but that is a way. Hopefully Drak, Setch or some other guys will chime in with the best methodology. :D

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I had the same issues on two guitars that I have done. Both with light tops and black backs. I did the top first on the theory that black will cover a light colored stain, but a light stain will not cover a black stain. So I did the tops and then taped and did the backs. One other thing that I learned is to use the blue 3M tape, not the white. The white does not adhear very well, so you get leakage.

Guitar Ed

Just my 3 cents worth.

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