View Full Version : Flamed pattern on uke I'm building

02-14-2011, 06:49 AM
Anyone done a flame finish? I am building a mahogany uke from a kit and am wondering if a "flame" pattern could be done without an acetylene torch (I know from working with gun stocks that is what's needed.)
I have a pencil butane torch with MAPP gass (a little hotter than butane).
Anyone? I've googled without success.

02-14-2011, 08:49 AM
I did it on a neck once with a sandblaster. I sanded it to 600 grit or so and then "striped" it using a very fine grit in my blaster. The sandblasted area darkened during staining the same way the curl in real flamed wood. I did it for fun but figured wood isn't too hard to come by so I'd prefer to go that route.

02-14-2011, 09:34 AM
If you take a rolled rag with ridges and soak it in a darker stain than your wood, then roll it across your uke face, you can create fake flame....
Or at least that's how they used to do it before photo-flame....

You see a lot of old fiddles with faux flaming, but if you rock them back and forth the flaming doesn't move, which is the dead giveaway....

02-14-2011, 10:31 AM
I thought the origin of the term, "flamed" for that rippled figure was from the technique of marking a similar pattern of stripes onto the wood using the soot from a candle flame or a taper.

I've seen pictures of old German guitars that were patterned using this technique.

02-17-2011, 12:20 PM
I have seen an article on doing this with gunstocks using high quality walnut or maple. They called it a "suigi finish" I believe and an acetylene torch was required. Probably burn a hole in a uke body

02-18-2011, 08:56 AM
I've searched for a photo of an instrument finished in this way, but in the end it was easier to try doing an example myself on some scrap. I'm damn sure I've seen guitars with this faux flame though..

There is no scorching in the technique - the stain is just the soot from the candle flame. Bear in mind, a skilled person would make a more convincing job than my first attempt!