Reply by Woodminer

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Posted on Decisions need help

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69 posts in 3905 days

#1 posted 09-05-2007 05:06 AM

Hi Donna,

Decorations on wood is such a wild topic, and coloring them once that’s done is sure to draw an even wilder bunch of answers.

Question: is the soundboard where you’re going to put the Celtic knots? If so, what’s the wood? I read your blog and get the impression that it’s a plywood of some sort, but what is the face of it? If it’s a baltic birch type ply or a spruce faced ply, you can do lots with pyro to gain shadings. You could do a lot of masking and then do airbrushing.

One issue on most of the softer woods on the face of many musical instrument plywoods is that colors will wick very quickly. If you burn the edges of your pattern, that should essentially cauterize the ends of the cells to help prevent that wicking. If you seal the wood well before you add color, that also will help limit any wicking that wants to take place.

No matter what you choose, you’re also going to have to choose between opaque and transparents colors. I really like to see the wood so I’d choose transparent colors no matter what. And if I used pyro to do the actual shading, I’d still go with a transparent set of colors to enhance the knot. Or you could carve it and make it tactile, too. Then the end grain of the wood would be exposed and that alone would take finish differently and show up in a totally different way.

Almost anything can work. Depends a great deal on who you’re doing this for. Some folks WANT vivid, intense colorations. Kind of like bright tattoos on lily white skin. And some folks really like the decoration but want it to be subtle and not jump out. Saw an embossed ceiling texture yesterday that would be my example of that subtle idea—the light play was the only way to actually see that texture. Very subtle. Or a black outline only tattoo on black skin. A person could miss the tatt unless it was pointed out.

What do you want to accomplish with the Celtic knot anyhow? Logo? Statement?

-- Dean, Missouri

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