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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, so Soopahman and I are pretty much waving the Strictly 7 flag, so I'll share a little of my current 7 +1 build, and ask some advice. Here's the guitar as it stands now: Spalted maple top, mahogany back, bloodwood board, maple neck, black BOs and Kahler 2228. So Jim emailed me today to say that his paint guy highly recommended we paint the mahogany black (see the image from his website as an example) because it will make the spalt lines pop. I was planning on leaving the mahogany natural, because it looks like such a cool piece of wood, but the painter said the color of the mahogany and the spalt would offer little contrast, and instead would blend together. Thoughts? Which would look better?





 

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Maybe paint/stain it a trans-black? I wouldn't want to completely cover it's grain with a solid color.

Or maybe a darker shade of red/brown to match the bloodwood.
 

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I think it looks great just as it is. It's a shame to cover up such beautifully grained wood.

Trans-black would hide the grain too much, IMHO. I would only go for an *extremely* translucent finish. Probably a lighter color.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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I'd give the mahogany a slight black dye job just to give a bit more contrast, but i don't like opaque backs on guitars when they've got pretty tops.
 

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Maybe a LIGHT burst, but no more. That's gorgeous.
 

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The ONLY thing you want to do with spalted tops is clear them. Color ruins the effect.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Why the hell do this guys leave the arm contour like that? It looks cheapo :noway:
It's my understanding that because of the brittle/rotten nature of spalted maple, it can't be bent the way other types of maple can. It just cracks/splinters/crumbles.

And BTW, the OP is asking about colour or clear on the back, not the top.
 

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It's my understanding that because of the brittle/rotten nature of spalted maple, it can't be bent the way other types of maple can. It just cracks/splinters/crumbles.

And BTW, the OP is asking about colour or clear on the back, not the top.
Actually I asked the builder, he's still figuring out how to do drop tops, so that's how he does his tops at this time. He seemed really nice and enthusiastic about building guitars and is working on expanding his repertoire of building techniques.

I'm going to agree with what a couple of others here have said and go with some stain to darken up the mahogany for contrast. Either trans black, or something more reddish to go with the fretboard :2cents:
 

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some kind of light stain (reddish brown).
that's a nice piece of wood, youdefinitely want to be able to see the grain
on this one.
 

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NSLALP
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I think if you dig the way it looks all natural, keep it. :yesway: But if you do want to add some contrast, do a stain (reddish isn't a bad idea at all, something to match the figure in that spalt) instead of just covering it all up. Unless that's appealing to you.

Technomancer is right about the drop tops. The reason it's cut away like that is to preserve his forearm contour, which is pretty comfy BTW. :D

Wood pros: Is the red figure in the spalted top maple heartwood? Or is that some sweet red lightning bolt tree disease?
 

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[

Technomancer is right about the drop tops. The reason it's cut away like that is to preserve his forearm contour, which is pretty comfy BTW. :D
Technically, a drop-top is bent, such that the top curves over the contour. It's a bit tricky, maybe especially so with spalted maple, but I've seen it done by cutting a bunch of channels in the underside of the top to help it flex.
 

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NSLALP
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Technically, a drop-top is bent, such that the top curves over the contour. It's a bit tricky, maybe especially so with spalted maple, but I've seen it done by cutting a bunch of channels in the underside of the top to help it flex.
That's a good tip, I might call Jim about that. He's looked into equipment and wants to get there, but my guess is that with all of the development he's working on, he's simply got higher priorities right now.
 

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Two words: Vacuum bag.
:agreed:

My uncle (who builds furniture and often veneers them as well) said that sometimes you have to steam the wood a little bit, because if it is heated up and a LITTLE moist, it bends easier. That combined with a vacuum bag might do the trick.

I really cant stand the look of the top sanded through on the forearm contour. I hate it enough that it is a deal breaker for S7 guitars. Hopefully he gets his processing down so that he can bend the top, because then I might think about placing an order. :yesway:
 

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DONT GO NEAR IT! natural! nothing beats natural spalt like that!
i actaully gasped when i saw that. seriously staining or painting that would be a huge mistake
 
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