Thursday, 28 November 2013

Les Paul Florentine: First Trace Dye

Today I finished raising the grain and sanding to 360 grit on the Les Paul Florentine. Time for the first trace dye to identify any areas of glue or other issues that will ruin the final dye job. Currently, I have changed my mind about the colour - at the moment I'm considering an Amber finish with brown highlighted figure. I'm still undecided and may go back to my original plan of wine red. 

In light of this indecision, I did a trace dye with Red Mahogany Colortone dye. It's reddish brown so I still should be able to go either way when I change my mind again. To do a trace dye, firstly I wipe the whole face down with a wet rag to allow the dye to be taken up evenly. Then I move to the actual colour solution and wipe it on, quickly enough so that the wood doesn't dry out before the dye hits it. Before applying anything, I generally mask off any binding that may come into contact with the dye (as best I can). For this purpose I always use 3M 6mm vinyl tape. It's the only thing that keeps a nice edge and has any chance of keeping the dye out.

Thankfully, the operation was completed without incident/ Here's how she looks with the trace dye in place..


Surprisingly, there's still a crap-load of these spots to be dealt with. So many it's a little disappointing to tell you the truth. You can see where these pesky glue spots that have been highlighted by the trace:


God damn. I really sanded the life out of this thing! That glue must be in deep. On the positive side, there is some nice quilted figure in this maple top which should look great once the glue is dealt with. I think that Vintage Amber may well be the best choice here as wine red would definitely hide a lot of this beautiful figure.

Next step is to sand the top again, paying close attention to those areas sporting glue. When I think all the glue is gone, I'll hit it with another trace dye to find out. Fun times!