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Natural Wood Finish Acoustic Guitar?


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Forgive me if this has been asked before.. But if i wanted to have my acoustic look like its still made out of wood and not all shiny... but still want it to be protected.. what is the best finish to use on something like that? I have this stuff called bush oil that i picked up at a woodworking show that is used on bowls and stuff.. Thanks!

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Forgive me if this has been asked before.. But if i wanted to have my acoustic look like its still made out of wood and not all shiny... but still want it to be protected.. what is the best finish to use on something like that? I have this stuff called bush oil that i picked up at a woodworking show that is used on bowls and stuff.. Thanks!

I will be interested in the replies you get also. I was thinking of a natural finish on my project, and had planned to use something like satin polyurethane for an easy finish. However, it's good to know alternatives. I have heard of oil, but have no experience with it. Does the guitar feel oily at all when it's finished, or does the oil dry completely? To complicate matters, I read the other day somewhere that a lot of "oils" are really varnishes.

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I recently finished a Grizzly kit nylon acoustic with french polish, which as you probably know is shellac. Violin makers often use oil varnishes, but even then I think they're very careful to seal the surface so that no oil penetrates, particularly into the soundboard because it dampens it and makes it sound dead. I think a hand rubbing type of oil finish (like the one you mention) would be very audible if you applied it to a soundboard, and I don't think you'd like the results.

Shellac arguably gives wood the deepest looking grain of any finish known. Especially if you level the wood with a scraper instead of grinding it with sandpaper. French polishing is tricky, but mistakes are easy to fix, so you can get the hang of it as you go, even on a valuable axe. I think the results are beautiful and well worth the effort. Of course, I put on enough FP to make a level, shiney surface. But, you could easily stop after filling the pores.

Also, I think that after you seal the wood with the shellac, you could oil the back, sides and neck with your oil (I know I've loved the feel of the hand rubbed oil electric necks I've checked out). Maybe finish off the soundboard with a few more coats of FP rubbed on...

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  • 1 month later...
I recently finished a Grizzly kit nylon acoustic with french polish, which as you probably know is shellac.

+1 I built the grizzly steelstring kit and used FP on the body and headstock and tung oil on the neck. as dugg said oil may dampen the soundboard. Shellac is a very hard very thin finish so it will vibrate with the wood. Even though i don't have a comparison of FP and non-FP of the kit, it may very well be why an $89 kit sounds like $200-$300 guitar (according to one of my friends who also owns a Martin and Fender acoustic )

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I have been once. I saw a bass kit in a summer flyer. Then it was taken off the site so I called and they found one and sent it to me. The reason it was taken off was because the instructions were written so poorly that they were worthless. So I built it without instructions. But that's the only time I've been disappointed (I did learn a lot though)

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I have been once. I saw a bass kit in a summer flyer. Then it was taken off the site so I called and they found one and sent it to me. The reason it was taken off was because the instructions were written so poorly that they were worthless. So I built it without instructions. But that's the only time I've been disappointed (I did learn a lot though)

I've been looking at their kits but i've been skeptical about buying one cause they don't provide much info about them and the materials. How was the bass? electronic? what kinds of wood? Was the nylon actually good when you finished it???

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