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Mahogany Finish


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I'm about to embark on my third guitar project. First was just replacing all the hardware and electronics on my Schecter C1. Second was to redo my crappy old BC Rich Warlock, trying to make a $88 warlock sound and play pretty good. The results of both these projects were pretty good. My next project is to make a custom guitar from an ebay body and warmoth neck. I've decided on just a tung oil finish on the neck (mahogany neck and head, ebony fretboard) as I like the feel and look (and ease of applying), but want something a bit more protective for the body. Below is a pic of the body, it's majogany, purpleheart, and padouk. I would like to maintain the colors of all three woods as is. Just want some advice on how to prepare the wood and finish it. I'm not opposed to some sort of edge burst, but without a sprayer at the moment, would prefer something I can just wipe, brush, or rattle-can on.


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Something like this?

1. Sand unfinished wood to 200 grit. Wash surface with denatured alcohol.

2. Apply waterbase grain filler (stemwac #5576) using filler spreader to remove excess. Wipe off with cloth, sand with 320 grit.

3. Apply brushable waterbase varnish (stewmac #5567). 3 coats per day, 2 hours in between coats. Sand daily with 320 grit.

4. After a few days of 3 coats per day, sand with 800 grit, 3 more coats, then let it sit to cure.

5. 2 weeks later, wet sand with 800 grit; then buff with coarse, medium, and fine polishing compounds.

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I'll tell you your dilemma straight up, no chaser.

Your problem is that Paduak is an oily wood, and if you wipe ANYTHING over it, be it alcohol, naptha, lacquer thinner, finish of any sort, you'll pull the oils out of the paduak and smear them all over the rest of the guitar.

You are in for an uphill battle my man with no spray equipment I think. I'm sure you'll figure out a way to deal with it, just consider this a forwarning so you don't hit that landmine with your whole leg. :D

PS, water-based filler is a horrible choice for that body, you'd hate it.

Varnish is thick stuff, I'd just skip the grain filler and use the varnish right off.


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go to ace hardware and buy this:


You will be able to play around some what. At least you will be able to mix your own stuff.

Ace also sells parks Nitro lacquer. so just buy some thinner and go.

I would just stick with and oil. teak or tung and just leave it.

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PS, as soon as you get your first coat or two on it OK, you're out of the danger zone, the oils will be locked in place (at least if you're using unthinned varnish). It's the very first coat where you need to think things out and have your act together.

If I was doing that and I was working with what you have in mind, I would sand/prep the body up to 320, then blow it off or use a vacuum cleaner (hey, if that's what you got, that's what you got) then proceed directly to your varnish.

I would apply the varnish to the rest of the guitar first, then attack that center section last with one or two very straight strokes going with the pattern, and don't go back over the stroke, use a decent brush worth of material, not globs worth, do it, and leave it.

One decent brushstroke worth of varnish should be enough to lock everything in, then you can proceed as normal.

Best plan I can think of using what you have.

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