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Whats The Best Transparent Finish?

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Well this is sort of generic question but not quite. Well I am getting a bass body that resembles a Les Paul style body. I am not sure what type of wood it is, I want to keep a wood look. I am planning to make it look very similar to a Les Paul Standard. I dont know about the finish though. I would like to put a flame /quilted maple top on it but I dont want to use a veneer, is there an easy to somewhat easy way to put on a thicker top to an already built guitar? Or would I have to cut off some on the top to add the approximate 1/4" top? Also what is the best way of going about getting the "cherry burst" that the typical Les Paul has? Do they use dyes in a spray gun or would it be possible to do it by hand. Also if I stick with the wood the guitar has what would be the best finish(not paint or anything that covers the wood I am a natural kind of guy)in your guy's opinion, if you could maybe give me a few ideas with pictures, if possible. Also I was thinking that yellow kind of vintage look that are common on telecasters. How exactly do I go about achieving this? Would I simple put a yellow tinted lacquer on top of bare wood? Or would I first dye the wood vintagy(if you could tell me what colors to use for "vintagy")and then lacquer it with clear lacquer? Or would it still be tinted? Thanks for your imput

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not to come off as a dick or anything; but these kind of questions are asked when your waay over your head;

if you want to do anything to a finished guitar, first you strip off all the clear and sealer; if you want to add a 1/4 " then yes, you have to take off that much, plus if its a les paul the top is carved, then after you howevere get the top on you have to reroute all the front cavities; the pot holes will be long gone, and then...if you choose to recarve the top, after that you can think about finishing it;

'I' would take that body, trace it onto a piece of mahogony, and put your top on that; then skoot over to the solid body section and get some finer pointers of construction;

dont get ahead of yourself; and enjoy

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I know you have to strip(of course)I have done guitars before but my main questions were if people had cool ideas of transparent finishes, and how they get that antique look on some telecasters(whether the wood is dyed or simply the lacquer is). I hope that didn't come off as a dick either. For some reason I just did a relative easy question in a long way. But thank you for answering my veneer top question.

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i got a real cool 'antique' look off a flamed top when i sanded back stain (not dye) then added some very watered down amber dye and finished with shellac;

it looked like dirt and sun damage all over it, it looked 100 years old; mind you ,i wouldnt do it again!

oh and sorry about not tottally understanding your qustion


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