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Getting A Good Blue On Maple


foil1more
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I'm starting to experiment with my blue dye on scrap pieces of the maple I used for the top. I thought the maple was light enough but it turns out I am wrong. I need a good (and inexpensive) way to bleach it or figure out a way to keep the brown grain from showing. I also found out that tru-oil is horrible over blue so I'm open to trying to spray.

1. I have at my disposal a bottle of clorox. Through searching, I've gotten a mixed message about how useful this is. Some people say it works fine, some don't. So, to the people who have gotten clorox to work, what is the best way? How should I apply, how heavy, and how many times? I only have a limited amount of scrap to test on.

2. Instead of dying, will shooting a clear coat over the wood then spraying a color coat keep the blue from turning muddy?

I'm really set on having this guitar have a blue top. Any help would be great.

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Depending on what you are spraying for a clear coat, go to StewMac or woodcraft and get the liquid dyes, which you might already have. These can be mixed with most clear coats. I forget which, but one says not to use with 2-part poly's one says you can. I've mixed it with 2-part poly, and it just took a few minutes longer to flash off, but I have not had that one finished long enough to tell if it will cause problems, years down the road. But they mix just fine with lacquers or conversion varnish.

If you want to use 2-part poly's. Get an airbrush sized container's worth of blue candy coat and then you can shoot the poly over it. You can get those from either Coast Airbrush or HOKPaint. People have also used Auto Air Colors in the past, but I have no experience with the way those turn out, but they are compatible with the poly's.

I did a top that I tried dying blue, and even though the dyed color looked perfect, soon as I hit it with clear coat, it got real thin and gray looking, so I sanded it back a little and just left enough to highlight the figuring and then sprayed with a transparent clear coat. It turned out beautiful.

Here is the final result.

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...6&hl=triton

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I'm starting to experiment with my blue dye on scrap pieces of the maple I used for the top. I thought the maple was light enough but it turns out I am wrong. I need a good (and inexpensive) way to bleach it or figure out a way to keep the brown grain from showing. I also found out that tru-oil is horrible over blue so I'm open to trying to spray.

1. I have at my disposal a bottle of clorox. Through searching, I've gotten a mixed message about how useful this is. Some people say it works fine, some don't. So, to the people who have gotten clorox to work, what is the best way? How should I apply, how heavy, and how many times? I only have a limited amount of scrap to test on.

2. Instead of dying, will shooting a clear coat over the wood then spraying a color coat keep the blue from turning muddy?

I'm really set on having this guitar have a blue top. Any help would be great.

Clorox is not wood bleach. It will work to help remove the some types of dyes but it is weak compared to other types.

REad this basic article and maybe that will help

Wood bleaching Link

Edited by MiKro
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I'll look into some proper wood bleach then and try it if it's not too expensive. I don't have any spray equipment or a place to spray lacquer or auto poly. The last time I tried to use lacquer I tried brushing it in my basement, which didn't work and made the house smell like the lacquer. I'm thinking of trying to spray shellac though.

I'm probably making a run to Woodcraft next week. I'll either get bleach or the lightest possible shellac. I guess blond shellac would be light enough to mix blue with. And I can do a burst with spray.

Is it possible to use tape with bleach? If that is what I use, I only want to bleach the top and not the mahogany.

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  • 3 months later...

I have bleached guitars dozens of times, and I have posted numerously here in the past

about doing blue tops on brownish Maple and bleaching.

Use the search engine, type in my name (filter by), and use the word bleach as your search word.

Or use the word blue, usually if I'm talking about blue, I'm talking about bleaching at the same time (I think)

If you have your heart set on it, just be prepared to do what you have to do to get there.

Yes, you need the two part bleach explained in the WoodZone article, they are spot on correct.

It's not that expensive either, and it IS what you need.

Clorox is a waste of time for what you want to do, just put it away.

Buy some latex gloves to use when you apply it, if you get any on you, it will burn and sizzle your skin like hell and turn your skin white (Michael :D)

I use the small hobbyist (get them at any hobbyist model train/plane store) measuring cups to mix it

(you have to be accurate).

I will sometimes do 2 coats, the directions to do 2 coats will be on the box.

Don't be in a hurry, let the stuff work exactly as the directions tell you to do. If you rush it, you will get lesser results.

If your Maple is really dark brown (and some are), you will never get to pure white, which is what you want.

Your Maple has to be somewhat light/medium to begin with, the stuff doesn't perform miracles, although it does indeed work.

PS, most of these 2-parts tell you to dilute afterwards with vinegar. Personally, I just wipe it down thoroughly with water afterwards, to each his own.

Good Luck!

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godzilla, if you read the posts above, you would understand that what you used was correct for removing dyes, but not for bleaching wood, they are two different things, and your advice would lead to frustration and an unbleached piece of Maple. :D

What you used was Sodium Hypochlorite at a strength of about 13%.

Clorox is Sodium Hypochlorite as well, but at 5% solution, it's just weaker than swimming pool shock, but is the exact same thing.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I've finished the guitar now. I did more testing and found I didn't need to do anything to get blue to work well. The problem was that I first tested with tru-oil for a finish and not the blond shellac I actually was going to use (I didn't have the shellac when I started testing).

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