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Ask Bob: Accelerating the Darkening of a Top

Question: I’ve been the proud owner of several awesome Taylors (I’m one of those “traders” you mentioned in BobSpeak in the fall 2011 issue of W&S). My favorite right now, and a keeper, is my 1999 W14c. As you said, as it gets worn, the cooler it becomes. In particular, I love the Western Red cedar top and how the color has aged and darkened a bit over time (also found on Taylor’s 714, 514, and probably others I can’t remember). I really like how it’s so distinguishable from the lighter spruce found on most others. Is there something I can do at home to accelerate the darkening of the top without refinishing or other harsh measures? I’m thinking maybe exposure to sunlight?
Centennial, CO

Answer: Yes, Kyle, exposure to light will do it. Direct sunlight does it the fastest. Don’t do that. But filtered light inside your home where it’s bright will work much faster than storing it in the case. Just be sure to learn how to watch its moisture content and be willing to put it back in the case for humidification when the need arises. In this way, you’re on your own a bit, but we have lots of info to teach you how to discern its dryness. I keep guitars out, in my home, and with a watchful eye they’re fine. 

Thank you for reading.