You are currently viewing Kit Guitar Forum archives. To view the current forums go to www.KitGuitarsForum.com/board



Log-in
Register
Members


I'm an idiot (Minwax stain content)
Author
Post
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 338
I look at the floors in our house every day. I walk on them. They even wind up in a lot of our family pictures.



I don't know why it didn't occur to me until today, that I could use the same stuff to stain the guitar with.

Check it out. Minwax red mahogany.





I learned that transtint dye diluted with alcohol is pretty difficult to spread evenly, both upon bare wood, and over shellac seal coats. And transtint dye diluted with water can make the wood cup (warp) outward, even when applied very lightly, and I don't like that. It's also tough to get the color right with the dyes I used.

The minwax applies evenly, and has a nice transparent look to it. Plus, it's cheap. Amazing.

You probably can't tell in this picture, but the dye diluted with water gets the color close, but it leaves a dead, fuzzy, and dull look on the wood. The Minwax looks very light, natural, and iridescent. It isn't fake looking.



I plan to pick up some Minwax dark walnut and see what that looks like. I'll also try a mixture.

My hog 00 is just about ready to finish.






The look I'm going for is like this (a 1935 00-17):


The red mahogany is close, but just a shade off. Am I on the right track?

May 06, 10 | 7:23 pm
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Staining can be challenging. I have used the Minwax stains before, mainly on my wife's craft projects. She likes the stuff and finds it very easy to use.

Good luck, Martin. That is a good looking top you are shooting for!

Ken

May 07, 10 | 3:49 am
longbow

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
All the Minwax stain's I have sitting around have poly mixed in with the stain. Is the stain you have poly free?.....Dave

May 07, 10 | 5:11 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
I don't know if this stain is poly free. is that bad?


May 07, 10 | 5:36 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
my current plan for finishing this guitar is:

1. minwax pre-stain conditioner
2. minwax stain (I'll use whichever color combination looks best in upcoming tests - maybe english chestnut?)
3. 2 seal coats blonde shellac
4. pore fill using pore-o-pac mahogany filler
5. blonde shellac seal coat
6. french polish body coats, blonde shellac
7. if I don't get good results with FP, a friend of mine will spray a few coats of gloss nitro, and buff it

May 07, 10 | 5:57 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
If you are going for the Martin look you need to follow a 2 step process. You need 2 stains , red Mahogany and Brown Mahogany. You can substitute Special Walnut from Minwax.
Sand to 220 and apply the red first , then the brown. Seal then fill. You a dark filler , then again seal. Once you are sealed you can start the actual finish. Avoid using the blonde shellac and use a sealer that will work with your finish.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

May 07, 10 | 8:32 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
Thanks, John. I knew you'd be able to tell me exactly what I needed. special walnut for the brown, and red mahogany for the red?

What sealer do you recommend?

When testing, I found that with two coats of stain, things can get too dark in a hurry. I put on very light applications, just enough to cover the wood.

May 07, 10 | 8:55 am
longbow

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
I just try and stay away from poly, I was afraid it would screw up my shellac. I think it's what seals on the can. But do what John say's, he should know. Martin I would use the same sealer as finish to be safe. Also nice clean work so far, I can't wait to hear it some day. Dave

May 09, 10 | 5:06 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
Now I'm kinda second guessing myself about the whole finish method I was thinking I should use. it was easy to get an even color with minwax and I was excited about that.

Fumes do really bad things to me (I have Crohn's disease). I thought maybe only using minwax stain and pore o pac filler wouldn't be too bad. but if shellac-flakes-dissolved-in-alcohol won't work with those things, then I'll probably go back to square one and stick with transtint dye and pumice pore fill.

I didn't like what transtint-dye-dissolved-in-water did on test pieces. (it warped them and looked fuzzy). but if I dilute the dye it so it's very weak, and do very light applications of dye/water, then perhaps I can sneak up on the shade of brown that I want by doing many applications of it, and letting each dry thoroughly before I apply another one.

maybe I'll do it this way:

1. transtint-dye-diluted-with-water. first red mahogany. then brown mahogany.
2. seal with blonde shellac.
3. pumice pore fill
4. french polish bodying, etc.
5. if I don't get a good result, give it to a friend of mine, who will spray it with gloss nitro.

May 09, 10 | 6:06 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
you can french polish on the minwax. This is shellac flakes and moonshine


John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

May 09, 10 | 10:19 am
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
So I tried Minwax stain in a few tests. I really like the ease of use, and the color went on evenly. A big drawback to using it was that once I put it on, it seemed pretty much done. I wanted to be able to tweak the shade either light or dark once on the guitar, so I went with transtint dyes. I also liked how the transtint dye just seems like a pure color rather than residue and oil base and all else. maybe there is nothing to do that but it just felt better to use the transtint dye.

So, I proceeded on the guitar using the dye diluted with distilled water. I used transtint red mahogany and transtint brown mahogany. like John said, I stained with red first, then brown.

I applied the 2 dye colors over about 2 days. First I did the back, then the sides. I then used a wet tshirt to wipe the whole thing down to lighten and even out the appearance. this is a great tip!...I picked it up from this page: http://www.joewoodworker.com/transtints.htm











The sunlight makes it look a little more red than it really is, like Koa. But I do like the redness. I was going for a look like this: http://www.guitarrez.com/newpics/sc2900cu.jpg

Next I'll do the top.



May 13, 10 | 7:28 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
Hey Martin, nice job on the staining. Looks very even. Do you hit your bindings with the dye as well?

Ken

May 13, 10 | 1:10 pm
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
I actually did, unintentionally. It doesn't look good. I tried to keep it off, but it is real easy to get it on. but isn't too hard to sand it off. I am using teeny pieces of 400 grit, so I don't accidently take too much stain if I go too far. I hold it between two fingers and go around the edge, cleaning the stain off the bindings.

I wised up by the time I got the top. I used a Q-tip to shellac the binding and the rosette.

May 13, 10 | 1:15 pm
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Its looking great Martin. Cant wait to see it under finish!

May 13, 10 | 3:25 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
Martin,
It is turning our really nice. I am a fan of natural wood, but your stain job has turned out great. From the pics the binding looks fine too. What don't you like about them?

Are you staining the neck too?

Kevin

May 13, 10 | 7:56 pm
enalnitram (Martin Lane)

Total Topics: 47
Total Posts: 332
thanks Tony!

Kevin, thanks...you can't see it in the pics, but up close the binding looked in places, like it had drips or runs of red going up onto it. it was sloppy looking. so i just sanded it off and now it's all better.

it was really slow going. it's super easy to get dye on the binding, of course. and then it's even easier to accidentally sand off dye from the body while sanding the bindings.

I'll stain the neck, too. the neck is a different kind of mahogany. i'm anxious about how it will turn out. so far, all my work has turned out different than any of my test pieces did. funny how that goes.

I stained the top last night.







in these detail shots the wood was still wet.







after applying the dye and letting it dry, wiping it off several times with a damp rag seems to even out the color, and also gives the surface a more natural look. it is REAALLLLY easy to overdo it with the dye. I'm using about a half cup of distilled water with about 10 drops of dye in it.

May 14, 10 | 5:52 am
Tony_in_NYC

Total Topics: 29
Total Posts: 448
Wow. I don't have the stones to try staining anything. My attempts in the past with some trim didn't turn out great.

May 14, 10 | 9:39 am



You must be a registered and logged in member to post in this forum