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Finishing a Mahogany Strat


Kite
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Hello All, 

I'm new here but recently built up a strat with a 3 piece mahogany body, maple neck, ebony fret board and iron gear pickups. Shown below. 

I really pike the raw mahogany look, so just want to make the grain a little more pronounced and protect. 

So far, I believe I need to fill the end grain, stain and then protect. Does anyone have recommendations for products?

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I wasn't intending to copy a fender custom shop but found this during my searches of the internet which I really like the look of. 

29539_Roasted_Mah_Stratocaster_Oil_Finis

 

A couple of notes: 

1 piece body wasn't available at the time of ordering. I actually think its looks cool as it is anyway. 

Knobs will change to cream to match bridge pickup. 

Thank you all! 

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7 hours ago, Kite said:

So far, I believe I need to fill the end grain, stain and then protect. Does anyone have recommendations for products?

Recommendating a product can be a bit difficult since the brands and names are different. Here's some basics, though:

  • If you want to stain the mahogany, do it before grain filling and redo it after having sanded the filler. Especially water based stains may not stick to the plastic like filler (there may be ones suitable for staining but better safe than sorry) so applying it on bare wood ensures that every single pore will get the desired colour. Sanding the filler may expose wood so reapplying stain will fix the sanded spots.
  • Your choice of protect sets some requirements to the filler for the same reason as with the stains. Lacquer/poly will stick on most anything, oil will only penetrate into wood.
  • There's clear fillers available as well as tinted ones. You can also apply dye to some fillers. You can even make your own filler by mixing glue and wood dust. I've seen a stunning example where ebony dust and glue was used as filler to enhance the grain pattern of pale ash!
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4 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Recommendating a product can be a bit difficult since the brands and names are different. Here's some basics, though:

  • If you want to stain the mahogany, do it before grain filling and redo it after having sanded the filler. Especially water based stains may not stick to the plastic like filler (there may be ones suitable for staining but better safe than sorry) so applying it on bare wood ensures that every single pore will get the desired colour. Sanding the filler may expose wood so reapplying stain will fix the sanded spots.
  • Your choice of protect sets some requirements to the filler for the same reason as with the stains. Lacquer/poly will stick on most anything, oil will only penetrate into wood.
  • There's clear fillers available as well as tinted ones. You can also apply dye to some fillers. You can even make your own filler by mixing glue and wood dust. I've seen a stunning example where ebony dust and glue was used as filler to enhance the grain pattern of pale ash!

Thank you for the detailed response. I think I will lacquer and polish, mainly to get that glossy look and for a good hard wearing finish. 

I like the idea of a tinted grain filler and have seen some examples so that sounds like that is also in the plan. 

Just need to make sure I get the stain colour right I think. Nothing to red. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

That example you show doesn't look like it has any stain to me. There might be some tinted grain filler, but if so that is subtle. Looks like straight clear, but this is only my opinion!

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