Jump to content

Esp Burner Finish?

Recommended Posts

hey guys,

esp japan did some amazing work on their swamp ash guitars. they called it burner finish. its basically a clear coat over what looked like wood burning on the grains. anyone knows how they achieve the said finish?

i was thinking of using dark colored filler only on the grains followed by clear coats instead of physically burning it with a torch. some even suggested using color pencil/pencil lead. here are some pics for reference.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't really got a clue how they did this :D

But the first thing that popped into my head was run over the surface of the wood with an iron. Probably a completely stupid idea and I'm sure there are lot's out there that will give hundreds of good reasons why NOT to do it, but that's exactly what it looks like to me.

I'd not recommend doing anything like that without trying out on a piece of scrap wood first mind.............and I wouldn't borrow 'Wifeys' iron to try it either............not that I'm a wimp or anything!! :D


Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah - blowtorch... but dont stay in one place for too long

you need a wood with a good grain and you need to practice on scrap first!

the first guitar is definately burnt - the second could be done on ash with a brown grainfiller

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it is burnt...some people use a propane torch like you get from a hardware store...you need practice to get it even,and don't burn it too dark or it will just look stupid.

A light touch is required...and no,you don't "stain to make the grain pop" first...the burning makes the grain pop all on it's on and I really think heating stain will make it smudge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...you need practice to get it even,and don't burn it too dark or it will just look stupid. A light touch is required...

Yea, a regular old propane torch is going to be tough to get things even. They are designed to deliver a pinpoint localized area of heat for brazing and soldering.

If it were me, I'd either try and find a bigger weed burning type setup or build a camp fire and roast it like a marshmallow :D



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The top one 'looks' like Pine to me, maybe Ash.

The bottom one definitely looks like Ash.

Both of these woods can and do have the ability to dye 'splotchy', the wood does not accept dye evenly throughout.

Both of these 'could' have been done simply from dye alone if it is a 'splotchy' wood (Spruce reacts the same way)

Or if it was indeed burned, I would guess by the even temperament of the burn that it was done with a heat gun,

not a torch.

You have to remember, these companies want guaranteed results, they are in business to make money, I doubt if they have a guy standing there with a torch burning bodies, there is too great a chance that he would screw up too many along the way, thus dropping the efficiency of the operation and reducing profits. They are not interested in a 'hit or miss' type of finish, where it might look good and might not.

Whatever they did, it would have to be 'repeatable' to some extent so they wouldn't be constantly resanding back or tossing bodies if he burned too far...

They could both have been done with dye if the guy was really good with dye and using a 'splotchy' wood, which does indeed look possible from the pics.

The bottom one especially looks like dye to me, I know I could probably 'get' that finish just with dye.

The top one is a little more questionable, but not much more...

If that was Mahogany or Alder, some wood that is known to accept dye very evenly and that effect was achieved, then I would say for certain that it was indeed a truly burned finish, but probably with a heat gun. But the wood used is known to have the ability to splotch.

What I actually see is a company that took a known 'defect' of a particular wood and slapped a name on it and found a way to use it to their advantage.

The only way I would say it was really 'burned' was if it was coming out of a custom shop and very pricey, because then you are paying for their loss if they have to go thru a couple to get a good one.

Otherwise, it's probably dye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

both are ash bodies and are mass market guitars as opposed to a custom shop instrument. the first guitar is a signature model and it is even available in the lower end edwards line.

drak has a point on the "risk" of burning especially on mass market productions. so what gives?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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...