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how to create a hard edge when dying a maple top?

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Hi all, I just bought a flame maple top Ibanez as a fun project, i want to do something a little unique with it.

I saw some amazing finishes as kiesel guitars and one in particular i'd like to try has a blue dye on part of the top only and a different color on the rest with a hard line between the 2 colors. i don't know how you would do that, since i expect simply using masking tape wouldn't work, the dye will bleed under the tape.

any ideas?  

thanks, steve


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Hey Steve,

here's how I do it. By using 3M pinstripe masking tape (3mm width) I mask of the edge of the top that I'm gonna dye, the tape goes ON the top, not on the bevel/binding/whatever. I'm using pinstripe tape because it's flexible when doing curves, it's not made of paper but od some sort of plastic. When I finish with 3mm tape, I put at least one more round with 3M blue masking tape (20-22mm or so) so I can be more relaxed when using lacquer in the next stage.

So, when the top is masked off nicely with precise edge and curves, I take a clean cotton rag and damp it a little into my 2K lacquer, and wipe it over the plain wood (binding, or in your case bevels) in 2-3 thin layers. Lacquer soaks in the wood and dries quickly, leaving the fine, precise line between the bevels and the untouched top. Then I do dhe dyeing. If some dye goes on the lacquer, I clean it in no time with a clean rag slightly dampened with acetone or nitro thinner. The dye doesn't soak the wood that is lacquered because the pores are sealed.

By using this method, I get a nice crisp line without a problem. Here's the latest example - dyed top and sides, and a natural maple faux binding.

I hope it helps.



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  • 2 months later...

When I’m doing faux binding (prs style) I don’t mask anything off, I am careful at the edge not to spill too much over, however once I’m done staining, I scrape round the edge carefully with a fresh razor blade to get the perfect solid line. Try not to scrape against the grain as it will leave a rough edge, but said edges can be gently knock back with 600 grit. That works for me anyway

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