How does mahogany age?

Lhdr

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Curious how the color changes over time with nitro Finishes. This would be for the natural finish backs. Does it darken like cherry does? I’ve seen cherry cabinets get real dark over time. Anyone have any before and after photos? On this new guitar, the mahogany looks quite light and nice.
 
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ARandall

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The wood in the typical well looked after guitar does absolutely nothing at all. This is because it has finish on it.....its whole purpose being to preserve the wood in the condition that that it was cut in.

If there is any change to the appearance, then that's down to dyes and finish aging.......And a greater dose of the environment the instrument is kept in.
 

Lhdr

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I know water based poly on oak floors wont change color. It will retain the original light oak color over time. Any oil based poly on oak floors will darken and amber over time. So I was assuming the nitro would amber and darken.
 

ARandall

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Dyes fade. Even modern ones. So even if the clear yellows (which doesn't automatically mean the result is darker) then you can end up with a lighter tint over time.
 

Lhdr

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Would they dye the natural finish back to the standard 50s? It looks un-stained, has a light brownish orange color. So I assume it's just a clear nitro over mahogany. You think it will retain most of that color? Stored mostly in case.
 

Christosterone

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They always stained and pore filled...even with a very clear stain...simply to bring out some grain...
the nitro always yellows...always

-Chris
 

gball

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They always stained and pore filled...even with a very clear stain...simply to bring out some grain...
the nitro always yellows...always

-Chris
And it does it faster than you may think, even with the nitro they are spraying today. Where you can see it the quickest is on the binding of a guitar that has white binding...I have a 2017 SG that has yellowed so much that areas of the binding look almost like my guitars with cream binding. The guitar is only out of its case when I play it.
 

mudface

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They always stained and pore filled...even with a very clear stain...simply to bring out some grain...
the nitro always yellows...always

-Chris
Yes.... Sunburst top finishes will receive a Back in a cherry pore/grain filler that you can see in most control cavities like this 2014 Custom Shop 1958 reissue... this particular dye will bleed and fade over time depending on how much UV or direct sun light it is exposed to. As you can see the Mahogany is rather light in its natural color.
pictures from phone 943.JPG



A gold top will either have a light or dark back..... even the light back will have a pore filler that has a bit of tint with a clear over that.
 
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moreles

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I have a '36 acoustic with mahogany B&S, finished outside and not, inside, and the mahohany wood itself shows no change. I'm waiting about 10 years to see what the current rage of blue guitars looks like when the nitro yellows. I saw the Chinery Blue Guitar show when those were new, and many look like crap now.
 

efstop

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I'm guessing that my Vintage Sparkling Burgundy SG would become Sparkling Brown if I left it out of the case. I saw a photo of a '68 ES-355 TD that looks like a dark gold top now. But I won't be here in 52 years, so...
 

Lhdr

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Does Gibson use nitrocellulose over catalyzed acrylic?
 

vintageguitarz

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Curious how the color changes over time with nitro Finishes. This would be for the natural finish backs. Does it darken like cherry does? I’ve seen cherry cabinets get real dark over time. Anyone have any before and after photos? On this new guitar, the mahogany looks quite light and nice.

"Darken" .... that's funny, I have never ever seen a Gibson or any other brand Mahogany bodied guitar get darker. Like my 1958 Les Paul Junior with a Nitro clear finish that started out Cherry Red is now, without any exposure to sun, Mahogany tan. And I've owned it since High School (1964) when it was still Cherry Red. (It was previously owned by the retired Midwest Gibson Dealer Sales Rep.)

1982 Les Paul Std Black 1958 Les Paul Jr sales demo.jpg
 

Axis39

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Mahogany can get sunburnt. It also oxidizes a little when left unfinished. It turns more brown and less orange.

I am currently working on a cabinet with mahogany face frames. I'm doing it in a Greene and Greene style and want it to look like it;'s been in place a while... So, after applying a varnish/boiled linseed oil finish, I'll be placing the faceframe, drawer fronts and doors out in the sun for a day or two to add a little 'age'. (I wouldn't recommend this for a finished guitar however... It can get too hot real quick).

Mahogany definitely doesn't change like cherry or maple will... Both of them change color drastically. Mahogany is a much more subtle change.
 


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