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Spalted Maple Top

 
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RorysStrat



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:42 pm    Post subject: Spalted Maple Top Reply with quote

Hello,
I have a spalted maple top tele body and want to finish pretty much with a clear coat. What sort of prep does this top require? Filler? etc...

The rest of the body is Basswood. I will be staining or dyeing the back with some type of color also.

This is my first finishing project and since I have it laying around I would like to give it a go.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Doug
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bigandtall



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 1403
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I handle all of the spalted tops at work. We first stabilize it with a marine epoxy called Total Boat. I brush it on till the top stops taking it in and then let it cure for 24 hours. After that, I sand it back and do fills with 5 minute epoxy. Sand that back smooth and do fills on any other areas with medium to thick super glue.

After that we will do a poly clear coat, though that's up to you. I have seen a lot of really cool 59 bursts on spalt.
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RorysStrat



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the reply. I have never worked with epoxy. Sounds like I will need to some research and some practice.
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bigandtall



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 1403
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epoxy is a pain to sand, so you just want to get as little possible on. The marine epoxy is penetrating and stays liquid, so it is great for stabilizing the wood, which is essentially rottenóbetter than rotten, but you know Smile

Just scrape as much excess off as you can after doing it before it hardens.
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ladyfinisher



Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 398
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epoxy isn't hard to use. Just make sure you trowel it nice and flat while it's wet. That makes sanding so much easier. Make sure you don't leave any runs, high spots, or drips. I prefer an epoxy that is clear, not amber tinted.

Ladyfinisher
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RorysStrat



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!

would the sanding be lsimilar to sanding as described in the basic refinishing here on the Reranch page?

Is it dry sanding?

Real novice here!
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Action-Cashin



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 1521
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the back/sides, don't apply dye on bare basswood.
It will soak dyes unevenly, and look splotchy and nasty.
Seal it first, then spray lacquer/dye mix on top of that that, and then more clear coats.
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RorysStrat



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! I really appreciate the information.
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SG Lou



Joined: 23 Apr 2004
Posts: 3471
Location: Fords, New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RorysStrat wrote:
Thank you!

would the sanding be lsimilar to sanding as described in the basic refinishing here on the Reranch page?

Is it dry sanding?

Real novice here!


Yes it is dry sanding. As stated earlier, the better you level and remove the excess epoxy the easier the sanding operation will be.
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 2897
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ladyfinisher wrote:
Epoxy isn't hard to use. Just make sure you trowel it nice and flat while it's wet. That makes sanding so much easier. Make sure you don't leave any runs, high spots, or drips. I prefer an epoxy that is clear, not amber tinted.

Ladyfinisher


When you sand it back, are you sanding it back to wood - similar to the process of using a grain filler? So that the epoxy remains only in the low spots?

I used epoxy on a piece of spalted maple because I was under the impression that I had to harden the wood - but after sanding back, there wasn't much epoxy really left there. Only in the ridges and open grains....

Was wondering if I was supposed to NOT sand back so much, and rather, leave it as a base coat.
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bigandtall



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 1403
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tnt wrote:
ladyfinisher wrote:
Epoxy isn't hard to use. Just make sure you trowel it nice and flat while it's wet. That makes sanding so much easier. Make sure you don't leave any runs, high spots, or drips. I prefer an epoxy that is clear, not amber tinted.

Ladyfinisher


When you sand it back, are you sanding it back to wood - similar to the process of using a grain filler? So that the epoxy remains only in the low spots?

I used epoxy on a piece of spalted maple because I was under the impression that I had to harden the wood - but after sanding back, there wasn't much epoxy really left there. Only in the ridges and open grains....

Was wondering if I was supposed to NOT sand back so much, and rather, leave it as a base coat.


When we do it, we use a very liquid marine epoxy that actually soaks into the truly spalted areas and impregnates them with epoxy and doesn't harden too quickly. You can actually brush it on and see that it soaks in. Once the wood stops soaking in the epoxy, we stop applying it. If you don't know your spalt that well, you can tell what parts are actually hard wood because the epoxy just sits on top and never soaks in.

Then when it is dry, we sand back to bare wood and, like you said, you don't really "see" much epoxy, because it has soaked in.

I'm sure that there are other ways to do it and there might be something to leaving a small and smoothed down layer on top of it all... I just can't speak to that from experience.
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tnt



Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 2897
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigandtall wrote:
tnt wrote:
ladyfinisher wrote:
Epoxy isn't hard to use. Just make sure you trowel it nice and flat while it's wet. That makes sanding so much easier. Make sure you don't leave any runs, high spots, or drips. I prefer an epoxy that is clear, not amber tinted.

Ladyfinisher


When you sand it back, are you sanding it back to wood - similar to the process of using a grain filler? So that the epoxy remains only in the low spots?

I used epoxy on a piece of spalted maple because I was under the impression that I had to harden the wood - but after sanding back, there wasn't much epoxy really left there. Only in the ridges and open grains....

Was wondering if I was supposed to NOT sand back so much, and rather, leave it as a base coat.


When we do it, we use a very liquid marine epoxy that actually soaks into the truly spalted areas and impregnates them with epoxy and doesn't harden too quickly. You can actually brush it on and see that it soaks in. Once the wood stops soaking in the epoxy, we stop applying it. If you don't know your spalt that well, you can tell what parts are actually hard wood because the epoxy just sits on top and never soaks in.

Then when it is dry, we sand back to bare wood and, like you said, you don't really "see" much epoxy, because it has soaked in.

I'm sure that there are other ways to do it and there might be something to leaving a small and smoothed down layer on top of it all... I just can't speak to that from experience.


I think that's basically what happened with me - thanks for the info....
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