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guitar2005

Finishing And Cost

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I'm trying to figure out how a stain & clear coat finish is worth. I'm always real bad at estimating things like this. Finishing can be a real pain and there's always a LOT of time involved. I want to do a straight up stain with solid black burst edging, then clear coat.

How much would you guys charge?

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At least 300 dollars, probably more like 400. Finishing is labour intensive, and you have to include prep time, material cost, cure time, etc. Then again, I value my time quite highly for things I don't particularly enjoy doing (like finishing).

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All the rates for any type of repair are by the hour at my shop. It depends on the work being done though.

That said, its around $20 an hour for finishing.

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I had all my finishing done by the very skilled Addam Stark, formerly finishing guru Santa Cruz Guitars and now independently operating in the same neighborhood.

He charged me $450 for pore fill, a bunch of nitro coats, wet sand, and buff, all in his nice dust-free facility.

The quality of finish was unreal, like it had been dipped in a nice thick vat of magic shininess, it was a totally different beast than the pile of wood I dropped off. Given I have no finishing equipment, space, skills, or patience I considered this an absolute steal. Since I had some f-holes he was also dealing with funky masking issues and buffing cleanup. Clearly I'm pleased with the work.

Your mileage may vary, but he's doing all my future projects for sure.

As an aside, he told me that his big biz these days is doing finishing for some very high end (not to be named) single-proprietor acoustic builders. They pay him a flat rate of X thousand dollars per year for as many guitars as they build, which means he gets a decent pile of fixed revenues and they get to spend all that slow finishing time building another 1 or 2 $10,000 guitars. Everybody wins, the best kind of business model.

-Dave

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