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Some Finishing Pointers Please ?


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I've entered a just-for-fun "Build or mod a guitar for £100 max" competition with some folks on a UK guitar forum ( http://www.musicradar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15212 ) and am looking for some pointers re finishing the body.

The body in question is mahogany with a spalted maple cap - and it's bare wood currently (see here : http://s122.photobucket.com/albums/o270/t1...PoundChallenge/ )

My opening gambit is that I'd prefer the guitar to be a simple oil finish, but I suspect that the spalted maple would not take this well ? Yay or nay ? In this instance I am not concerned at all with flatness or shininess of finish - simple sealed is absolutely fine (a combination of liking 'organic' feeling guitars and needing to do this in short bouts of spare time :D )

If anyone has any opinions at all I'd be obliged,

thanks,

Tim

p.s. - I'm blogging my progress here : http://100poundguitar.blogspot.com/

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First, if you'll be doing any real amount of natural finishing, buy, read, re-read, then re-re-read Bob Flexner's book on wood finishing.

After that, I might suggest a coat or three of lacquer. From Bob's advice, it's the easiest to apply & work with. You could put on a minimal amount of coats and do a light buffing with steel wool. That'd probably be good anough for what you're talking about. I'd highly advise filling the grain on both the mahogany & the spalt as well.

Edited by avengers63
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do the grainfill on the spalt with superglue (CA) or epoxy - it will give you the hardness you need .... the downside is that oil wont soak into superglued wood so i would just do the top and build it up so it acts like a finish itself and maybe give it a rub down with wax and 0000 wire wool at the end for a oil and wax appearance.. then just oil and wax the back as normal

might also be worth asking organic guitars because i know he has done spalt guitars with oil finishes

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my experience with danish oil suggests it wont be good over CA as it wont be able to penetrate the wood and it may look patchy.. not tried tru-oil yet for this application but it does seem that it might work as it does set on a surface much better

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Thanks

I'd highly advise filling the grain on both the mahogany & the spalt as well.

Is that for durability or for appearance ?

A litle of both. For durability, reference WezV's post above. For the mahogany, it's all about appearance - and that's completely subjective to your tastes.

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Are there any guides to the application of the CA ? Do you smear it on then wait for it to go hard then sand it ? And roughly what amount will I need ? ie how many tubes of Wilkinson's own brand superglue do I need ? :D

Edited by timmyo
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dont buy tubes - buy bottles, i either order good stuff in from axminster or use the cheap bottles from my local B&Q. One bottle should easily do a guitar - two at a push but if you are only doing the top, half a bottle should do and you will still have some left over for other jobs - since its in a bottle it will keep longer. Its hard to be sure because i dont know how your spalt will absorb it. You can spread it with something like an old credit card or just get some disposable gloves.. but keep it moving. It will all dry with a white haze and look horrible and bumpy but once you sand back you should have hard wood rather than soft spalt. You have the option of actually building up a few coats to get a thicker layer for a good base for any finish you use. It might be ok with one coat but chances are you will sand through at an edge and have to touch it up

and lastly - do it outside, preferably with a fan blowing the fumes away... otherwise you will be crying all day

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dont buy tubes - buy bottles, i either order good stuff in from axminster or use the cheap bottles from my local B&Q. One bottle should easily do a guitar - two at a push but if you are only doing the top, half a bottle should do and you will still have some left over for other jobs - since its in a bottle it will keep longer. Its hard to be sure because i dont know how your spalt will absorb it. You can spread it with something like an old credit card or just get some disposable gloves.. but keep it moving. It will all dry with a white haze and look horrible and bumpy but once you sand back you should have hard wood rather than soft spalt. You have the option of actually building up a few coats to get a thicker layer for a good base for any finish you use. It might be ok with one coat but chances are you will sand through at an edge and have to touch it up

and lastly - do it outside, preferably with a fan blowing the fumes away... otherwise you will be crying all day

Cheers Wez. I've found a 20g bottle online for about £3 delivered - every penny counts in my budget - I'm already pushing the £100 limit

ta

Tim

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dont buy tubes - buy bottles, i either order good stuff in from axminster or use the cheap bottles from my local B&Q. One bottle should easily do a guitar - two at a push but if you are only doing the top, half a bottle should do and you will still have some left over for other jobs - since its in a bottle it will keep longer. Its hard to be sure because i dont know how your spalt will absorb it. You can spread it with something like an old credit card or just get some disposable gloves.. but keep it moving. It will all dry with a white haze and look horrible and bumpy but once you sand back you should have hard wood rather than soft spalt. You have the option of actually building up a few coats to get a thicker layer for a good base for any finish you use. It might be ok with one coat but chances are you will sand through at an edge and have to touch it up

and lastly - do it outside, preferably with a fan blowing the fumes away... otherwise you will be crying all day

Cheers Wez. I've found a 20g bottle online for about £3 delivered - every penny counts in my budget - I'm already pushing the £100 limit

ta

Tim

any suggestions for grades of paper to use to sand it back ?

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