Monday, 15 December 2014

Ash Les Paul: Grain Filling and Dying a Burst

After many silly-season distractions, I managed to get some more work done on the Ash LP build today. I sanded the body with 240 and 360 grit sandpaper before grain filling both the veneer and the back/sides with a slurry of Walnut Timbermate. The Timbermate was then sanded back with 400 grit until just the filled pores remained. The walnut has certainly popped the ash grain nicely indeed! After a couple of rounds of grain raising with a little water, and then cutting back with 400 grit, the body was finally super smooth and ready for dye.

Grain filled with Walnut Timbermate and sanded back with 400.
Some water brings out the colour and allows the grains to raise.

Timbermate and grains raised on the back and sides also.

Since contemplating the sand-storm colour scheme, I've had serious second thoughts (mainly centred around my lack of skills to adequately perform the dye job) and I've reverted to a very simple burst for this build. Time for the colour to go on!

I started with Yellow Colortone as the base colour and progressed through 3 more colours - Vintage Amber, Red Mahogany and Tobacco Brown - to arrive at a burst I was happy with.

The base colour - Colortone Yellow over the grain filled Ash.
A very subtle burst with Amber Colortone to start the fade.
Red Mahogany Colortone next to continue and darken the fade.
Quite a nice "Honey Burst" at this stage.
Finally the Tobacco Brown Colortone to darken the edges,
and complete the burst.

All in all I'm extremely happy with the results. I think I'll go over the burst again tomorrow with a little more colour to try and soften the colour boundaries even more, but even as it stands, it's still looking pretty damn good! I'll have to make a video of my burst technique one of these days just in case anyone out there is interested.

The next step for this build is to decide on a stain colour for the back and sides. I want a colour that will compliment the burst top and yet not take the eye away from it. Something pretty neutral, but still with some style. Maybe some red mahogany and amber mix, but I'm still contenplating that one.