Jump to content



Recommended Posts

I'm going to stain the maple top but I'm not sure what to do about the mahogany body wood. Are there any issues with staining mahogany? I know there are some things that need to be done when painting it but I'm not sure about staining (pore filling,...).

Depending on the color I choose for the top, do you think it would look strange to leave the mahogany as-is (with clear over it)? I was considering a dark-ish color (maybe charcoal, brown, earthy colors) for the maple top but I'm not sure yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Scott.

Mahogony is really sweet left just the way it is.

'Maybe' a coat or two of shellac first to give the pores a bit of character...

David McNaught (extremely high-end custom builder) does that...quilted dyed tops with the Mahogony left completely natural.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you want to see how maple top and clear mahogony back look.

look for pictures of Jacksons USA Phil Collins signature guitar.

it has a quilted maple top in varyous colors w/ a clear mahogony back.


If you wanna see how mahogony looks dyed/painted transparent.

You can find some pictures of the Jackson USA Mustaine Y2KV. Its mahogony ...i know theres a red one on ebay right now.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe that Collen guitar is natural, but it doesn't quite represent what I consider natural Mahogony.

I would say that NM is more a lustrous honey-gold color. That Collen guitar looks kind of reddish or something...maybe it's just a dark pic or something...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

the mahogany on the phil collins guitar looks pretty sweet. im currentlly planning (tho through lack of cash and tools i wont start it for a while) to build an explorer style guitar with a solid mahogany body, no veneer, id like to give it a nice dark red sort of finish tho if i get a piece thats dark enough to begin with i might just leave it natural

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, first post in this forum. Cool, how is everyone? I just built an all mahogany neckthrough. Pics in this link:


Some of the pics show the guitar looking really dark. Thats because I stained it heavily with red mahogany stain. I then sanded it right back down to the wood. Since mahogany is a very porous wood some stain was left inside the grain so it did a good job of filling as well as enhancing the details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that is a sweet guitar

how much stain did you use and how much did you sand it back?? id like to do something similar on my first guitar but id like to have it much redder in colour and i dont know whether it would be best to use more stain or less sanding?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the compliments! Mahogany comes in quite a few varying shades. The wood you see are the natural colors, all I did was darken the grain with the stain (rhymes! <g>). The middle neckthrough piece was a lighter shade of the same wood. I was looking more for fill than color, so the darkening just happened. I ragged on 3 coats of stain over a couple days and then sanded right back down to bare wood again (between the grain). This is my first "from scratch" guitar and the only reason why I sanded it back was because the stain (Minwax - red mahogany) did not get along very well with my polyurethane clearcoat. Good thing anyway, looks much better.

If you plan to leave more stain on you'd best make sure whatever clear you use will stick properly. Polyurethane is acetone base and I think the stain was oil (mineral spirits) base. The poly didn't stick very well.

Heres a few specs:

Grover tuners - tight fit up there and I might replace later with Grover minituners.

Schaller roller bridge (tune-o-matic) - had to cut 4 degree neck angle

Golden Age overwound humbuckers (12 Kohm)

StewMac Bi-flex "Hotrod" truss rod

Stainless steel pickguard - homemade

strat-style plugin - had to fashion a black plastic retaining ring, thats what happens when you cut holes a little too big.

body style is a tracing of the lower half of my 67 Hagstrom III and then mirrored.

Arrow shaped headstock w/ staggered tuners allows for strings running straight thru the nut.

3- 500K pots (2 vol. and 1 tone) .047 ufarad capacitor

Black Ice Overdrive capacitor mounted on 250K pot

Rosewood fretboard - 24 3/4 scale - precut

Medium jumbo frets

One thing I will avoid next time is the position I placed my fingerboard. The result was too much neck which put the guitar a little off balance, ie. heavy toward the headstock. I had to hog out some wood from the sides of the volume/tone pot cavity and poured about 1/2 lb of lead in there, lol. Its almost perfect and those Grovers are real heavy. When I replace with minituners it should be just right. Also, too much neck means less room for pickup placement. As the saying goes, you learn from your mistakes.

I also have some very nice Mexican abalone blanks and am still looking for an easy way to cut out 5-pointed stars for fret markers. My first attempt was a botched job. That stuff sure dulls saw blades fast. I have a friend who carves slate so I might get him to cut my pieces for me.

Anyway, I still have lots of mahogany left. Got it for nothing at a boat building shop I used to work at. I got the carpenter to split a 4" thick X 11" wide X 42" long slab for me. Now I can make a few true "bookmatched" guitar bodies. I tell ya tho, decent hardware can really put a dent in the ol' credit card.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...