Jay Scott Guitar

Private guitar and bass lessons, jam camps, guitar building and repairs in West Chester, PA

Guitar Building: Humbucking Esquire, Part 2

I wanted this guitar to be blue, so I bought a bottle of the appropriate TransTint dye. I like to use the liquid concentrate and dilute it with water, for longer working time when wet. Sanded to 600, raised the grain, and re-sanded. You can see where the first coat got me, and where the final coats landed. Just the shade I was hoping for!

Then things went a little sideways, and I was reminded once again that sometimes the process moves in its own direction. The Tru-Oil did its usual grain pop, but it also changed both the shade and the depth of the color. Tru-Oil is amber-colored, and of course blue plus yellow equals some kind of green, so I expected a little of that. But the top coats interacted with the dye in a way I’d never seen before. I had done four different guitars with dye and Tru-Oil before this, and the color came out as I expected, with the greater depth from the top coats.

I never could have planned this, though. The color changes in different light, as you see, and in sunlight has amazing depth and variety. The green in the last two shots is mostly a reflection of trees overhead, but otherwise the Tru-Oil seems to have “opened up” the blue dye in a strange but cool way. The gold flecks on the front and elsewhere are dried pitch which mostly resisted the dye. Again, who knows, but I think it’s beautiful! So, in a way, I can’t take credit for planning this result, and I suppose there’s some chemical thing happening between the Tru-Oil and the blue dye that produced this result, but hey, here’s to happy accidents!