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Spalted Maple


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yeah i just finished buffing my RS1 model (its a solid body) it has a flamed/spalted maple top, its a little lite on the spalting but its pretty cool looking. just shape it the same as usual but careful with planes and chissels! as they will chip it fairly easy. (but thats usual with any flamed maple) good luck and post pics!

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hey coen,the way i understand it(no experience though)spalted wood has alternately hard and super soft spots,so along with the obvious careful sanding(which i am sure you will be good at)i would look for a wood hardener.i saw at ace once a clear hardener which looked like it would work,but i don't remember what it was called.but gorrila glue...i have used it to glue a crack in mahogany and a side effect is that it makes the wood super hard and it penetrates very deep(about 1/16")in porous woods like spalted woods.i think after sanding but before clearing i would try to harden it with ca,hardener,or gorrilla glue.

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You should be able to get the CA 'Hot Stuff' superglue tho, eh?

The red (runny) label will seep into the pores like water, it will go deep and harden that punk right up.

I try to avoid using it if it's humid tho, CA accepts moisture when it's drying and will turn opaque whitish if it's humid when you use it.

2-part clear epoxy would work also, but epoxy is kind of thick, not sure it would really seep in very well, although if you used the 1-hour set epoxy, that's a lot of time to allow it to seep in...I'd use a plastic spatula to push it in the pores.

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The product you are looking for is CPES.....Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer. This stuff is great to harden the soft areas of spalted maple.....I have never used CPES on a guitar body, so I can't tell you how it interacts with laquer or poly. This stuff, if I remember correctly, is about $30 per quart. The Minwax product does OK. Thin superglue will harden the soft fibers and take a glass-like finish.....but to do a guitar top or body requires maybe 8oz or more.....the spalt really soaks up the CA. The superglue(CA) also gives off some toxic fumes if it cures too quickly....The heat generated by the large amount of the CA in the wood fibers, sometimes causes the rapid cure.

tdog....aka....Greg

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I wouldn't think that it would do anything but improve the tone. Spalted wood has no tap tone to speak of....relatively speaking. You won't hear that lovely ringing tone that you experience with a mahogany or rosewood, when you tap it with your knuckles. This type of wood is in the early stages of decay, so every piece of spalted wood will have very dense areas and softer areas, to varying degrees. With some spalts, the wood can be picked apart with your thumbnail. CPES will strengthen the wood fibers and it can be assumed, improve the tone by providing a denser material. The softer wood fibers will act as a shock absorber by not transmitting the kinetic (mechanical) energy from the strings efficiently. So by strengthening these fibers, you increase the efficiency of the string vibrations...not to mention increase sustain. I believe a spalted maple guitar build may be in my future!

GREG

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  • 4 weeks later...

I hate to bring back an old thread, but I just want to make sure I got the steps correct before I do anything. My plan is to put a spalted top over an Ibanez RG body. So if I understand this correctly I should:

1. remove .25 worth of wood from the top of the RG

2. glue .25 spalted top to the rg, gently steaming the forearm countour, using

Gorilla Glue as suggested by westhemann

3. once it's all nice and dry, apply a heafty amount of CYA / hot stuff (?? anyone

have a link to this stuff so I dont buy the wrong thing??)

4 sand with fine grit sanpaper until smooth as glass.

5. apply finish, -- any finishes recomended for this type of madness??

If someone could give me a yes or no to my methods, or provide further tips, I would sincerely aprecite it :D

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9 of 7.....Here is a link for the cyanoacrylate(super glue).

http://www.lonestar-models.com/cgi-local/Order.pl.cgi

I've been getting my CA from Lone Star for about 5 years. Spalt will tend to drink the CA very quickly, so you may want to get the 8oz bottle, it is much cheaper in the larger size. You may also want to get an empty 2oz bottle for ease of application. What you don't use can be stored in a freezer indefinately. When using CA for "stabilizing" spalt, be sure to use in a well ventilated area. With the volume of glue being used, it will cure quickly giving off tremendous heat and some really nasty fumes that can burn your bronchial tubes and lungs. I don't want to scare you off, just be aware and be careful.....Safety First!!!!!!

BTW....get the thin CA....Insta-Cure.......it has a water-like viscosity.

Greg

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Yup, t-dog is right on the money.

You will need a scraper or plastic spatula, and you'll need to work rather quickly, so I would heartily recommend a respirator and goggles and good circulation, the fumes will be so powerful, right at the very moment you need to be scraping and moving the CA around, concentrating on the work, ...you won't be able to get anywhere near it, the fumes will drive you away, the glue will dry quickly, ...and you're screwed.

You need the respirator and goggles to do this. If you don't want to buy a respirator and goggles, then use one of the other methods, maybe the epoxy stuff mentioned earlier.

PS, tape off the rest of the body so you don't drip CA or epoxy down the sides and have a very messy cleanup to do.

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Drak...There won't be enough time for a spatula, I've done hundreds of turnings using spalt and generally I just squirt or drop moderate amounts of CA onto the spalt. In some cases, I have used a q-tip on some very small turnings such as pens and letter openers and if you aren't perfect in your application, you'll glue the q-tip to the work piece.

9 of 7.......practice on some of the cut off from you spalt first so you'll get the idea of how much you will need to apply.

Here is a link to vase I made....the blue material is turquoise which CA is the binding agent.

http://groups.msn.com/GuitarGallery/shoebo...hoto&PhotoID=52

Here is a tele I'm working on with some inlay using CA. It has a way to go but looks cool.

http://www.fenderforum.com/userphotos/inde...html?recid=4696

Greg

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Well, there IS time, I've used those fiddy-cent white plastic spatulas before several times.

I understand with spalt, it'll pretty much just suck it all up, most of the times I used it it was on a hardwood like maple or Coco-Bolo, so it didn't suck up so fast, and there was time to wipe it around on top for about 1 to 1.5 minutes before it started to harden.

But I've used the red runny on Mahogony too, which had a lot of pores to fill, I still had some time to wipe and fill and squeegee the extra off the side (sanding CA SUCKS! I like to keep it to a minimum)

I think also that the red dries faster, the yellow not quite so fast, and the green the slowest drying.

But I understand your point using it on the spalt! :D

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Thanx Guys!!! B) The help is very much appreciated!!! :D

I have no problem with the respirators and goggles, they're pretty cheap at home depot. I'll be doing the job in my garage with the door wide open. I'll pick a day when the humidity and temperature is at its lowest (feb or march) Id rather go with the toxic CYA, cuz from other posts in this, and a couple other threads, I get the idea that it does the best for hardening with out discoloration.

Once again thanks for your help!! :D

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I forgot,...after looking on Lone star's site, would either of you recommend the spray bottle they sell along side with the CYA?? It seems a spray bottle would be very usefull for apllying evenly and quickly, as opposed to the little "time enough for spreading" debate you guys had. Or will the Cya destroy or clog a spray bottle??

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Here is a tele I'm working on with some inlay using CA. It has a way to go but looks cool.

http://www.fenderforum.com/userphotos/inde...html?recid=4696

THAT TELE IS SWEEEEEEEEEEET!

You make pens on your lathe too? What kinds of woods do you prefer? When I first started making them I tried a bunch of different woods, but found Cocobolo to be the best. Ebony was pretty cool, but REALLY likes to split when I drill out the blanks, so I've only ever done 2 or 3 ebony pens, The bulk of the 30 something I've made so far have been Cocobolo. Have you ever sold any of your pens? My Great Aunt has been asking me to make some so she can give them to her friends, and shes given me an average of $75CDN for each one!

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