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Light Clear Coat

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I don't get the question. What else would you put on there? I am assuming you're talking about a bare, unfinished instrument. If it's finished already, leave it alone.

You have to finish your guitar with something. Gloss? Then yes, you'll need clearcoats. Several of them. If we're talking proper sprayed (not rattlecan, need more for rattlecan, usually) finishes, a total of 9-12 coats. Not too thick, just enough, and yes that means it won't be as bulletproof as the 1/8" thick poly finishes on Korean instruments (I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea).

For electrics, a normal thickness finish will do diddly for the tone. It won't hurt it, either. It will protect the wood from the weather, grime and dirt. Somewhat.

Check the finishing tutorials right here on the forum, in the tutorials section.

Edited by mattia
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i guess i should haved explained the situation. i have a sanded body that i am going to stain. i have heard that a light clearcoat (as in only a few coats) brings out the tone from the tonewood better, and i was wondering the advantages and disadvantages to only having a few coats as opposed to having a lot of coats.

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That's subject to lots of debate...

Unless you're talking about a really, really thick clearcoat, I don't think it makes a noticeable difference on a solid body.

It takes a lot of practice to do a super-thin finish without sanding through into your stain. You don't want to sand through. :D That means you sand it all back and start over, unless you don't mind the blotches. :D

Hope it turns out well.


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Oil finished or unfinished guitars always seem more resonant to me. Look at the BSB tutorial, little to no finish. I have to say that guitar is holding up well after several years of giging and practice with my old band.

Its a season to taste issue. Also depends on how hard you are on guitar finishes.

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Always the same debate.

But do people know that a lot of guitars like Anderson, Music man, Fender, G&L, PRS use Poly?

I hear only positive comments about those guitars and not that the finish it's too thick or kill the tone!!!

I agree with mattia about oil finish but maybe on a solid body isn't really an issue.

The finish usually hardens, you know?!?! :D , and it vibrates with wood. It's not a cloth you put on your guitar to stop vibrations!!!


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Getting back to the original question...there's an advantage to doing light clear coat finishes, but it really depends on how you look at it.

If you want a guitar that'll 'relic' more quickly, then go for a light coat. That stuff rubs and chips away real fast...doesn't take long for the guitar to get that 'worn in' look.

Which I like, personally. You might not.

On the other hand, trying to polish a light clear coat is a bitch...

Also, you won't get that solid shiny look from a light coating of clear. It'll lack depth because...it's just not deep.

Tonally? Pffft. Can't believe any of that makes any audible difference.

I just bought six cans of clear for my current project--that's all they had left in the store...going back for two more....that oughta do it!

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