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I'm not sure what you're asking, but seems to me that the most common method for getting extreme depth in a quilt top is stain black/sand back, then lay your dye color, and give it an absurd number of clear coats and sand/buff to perfection.

On the second note, I am a big fan of the abalone/quilt maple combo.

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I think he means how to leave the wood natural but still use something to bring out the pattern in the wood. Well thats the way i understood it anyway. I dont know the solution, but im pretty dang sure its possible so one of the guru's will have some ideas for sure :D

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I'm sure there are some guys here with some great ideas for this but here's my little scrap of info that I picked up at a finishing class:

This is what I was told:

The depth you eye perceives comes from refraction of light as it shines through the clear, to the wood, and back up through the finish. To give a perception of increased depth (in theory), increase the number of times and angles of refraction. Do do this, use as many different (and compatible) finshes as possible.

For example, use nitro lacquer with shellac and use a combination of clear and toner (color) coats of lacquer along the way. I really don't know if the shellac is a good idea but I can't think of another safe alternate right now for nitro lacquer.

This may be BS but it sounds reasonable to me (the theory). Certainly not the only trick but something to think about experimenting with on scrap at least.

PS - this is what he claimed to have learned from an employee from Martin who worked in the finishing area. He seemed to be a smart guy - let me know what you think. I may have mentioned this before - I can't remember if it was here or not?

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With regard to will Paua looking good inlaid into quilted maple..

It depends upon the strength of the quilt, and the stain color. In a natural finish it will show up clear as a bell. In anything dark at all, excepet for maybe reds, and other red through orange tones, it will most likely get blurred into the grain a bit. If the paua is really strong patterned, like in abalam, you may not notice it as much, or it may look messy. You should try to shoot for a clear contrast to make the inlay jump out. Maybe outline it with another even patterned material, or some other idea.

Of course it's your own guitar, and it is art. Whatever you decide is best for you. But you did ask. :D

C Lavin

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I've read a Muther Truckload of threads about this (mainly at the MIMF) and I'd say the most generally accepted way of getting a high-octane look out of a natural Maple finish is to FIRST properly buff the wood up to 4000 grit, so it SHINES LIKE A MIRROR WHEN BONE-DRY.

If you've ever buffed wood up to 4000 grit before, you know what I'm talkin' boud'. :D

Then use an oil finish, like Tru-Oil, to soak in. Then use whatever topcoat you want, but have the equipment to bring it to a high gloss buff.

PS, you have to be a little careful when lac'ing over an oil-based finish, you need to let it dry THOROUGHLY (like 2-3 weeks, a month would be better B) ) then lightly scuff sand so the lac has good adhesion to the oil finish.

There ya go.

I use Abralon pads to buff my wood up to 4000 grit. :D

PS, inlay into natural figured Maple I think would be GORGEOUS! B):D:D

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thank you for all your comments and suggestions. I'm sorry i wasn't very clear. i have a tendency to get ahead of myself and skip things. i was planning on a clear finish. only on more question.... chrome or black hardware? some may suggest gold but gold always gave me the impression that the guy who owned a guitar like that has a lot of money but can't play worth beans. nonetheless i guess that's an option too. I'm looking at RG or Firebird style body, suggestions on that too, please :D

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Hi SouthPaw,

You might want to check out the Carvin website. If you go into Guitars/In-Stock/Solid Body or Acoustic-Electric, they often will have one or two quilt top guitars with a clear finish. It will give you an idea as to what it might look like for you.

Guitar Ed

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Thanks. I found one that was exactly what I was envisioning. It was a TL60. but now i'm doubtful of the abalone inlay on the body. maybe the neck (once I find out the grade of quilt for the body top all ask Warmoth about necks). I was thinking a quilt maple neck with a Macassar ebony or stiped ebony fingerboard (but the abalone would kill on the ebony fingerboard) :D if you don't know what i'm talking about, look on the Warmoth showcase. They have a pair of all mac. ebony bass necks with abalone dots (makes me wish i played bass more). but anyway i'm rambling... thanks to all for suggestions and ideas. i've all but decided on a Jem style (or 777, RG whatever you want to call it) and i have a few questions (better to ask here than post new threads every which way). monkey grip or no..... pickup config (anything cept SSS) and what is the standard jem scale neck. i want make sure that there is equall amount of distance from nut to 12th fret and 12th fret to bridge.

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