Jump to content

New At Finishing


Old Rocker
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi gang, glad I found this forum, lots of good reading in here. :D

I got a Carvin bolt kit coming in Wed and the body is black walnut. I've already decided to tung oil the maple neck and as to the walnut body I'm undecided.

I still want the natural wood to show so I'd like a clear gloss finish on it. I did a lot of readings here and there and still can't decided what will give me the shiniest gloss.

Since I'm doing it at home so I figured on wipe-on poly or high gloss tung oil like Formby's (guess I could do the neck with this too).

Any tips on what I need to prep one guitar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To prep it. Sandpaper, a dust mask, and lots of patience. You may want to pore fill the walnut if you are really shooting for ultra smooth and high gloss. That's not my favorite finish, but some people love it. Walnut is used a lot on gun stocks, and they often use Tru-oil. Run a search here with +walnut and +tru-oil. Might find what you need.

Looking forward to pics,

Todd

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am pretty much at this same point with regard to finishing. I am reading a lot of stuff, but it is difficult to understand (for me) the required prepping before applying the gloss coat. Things like sanding sealer, grain filler, and which is appropriate under what top coats, has my head spinning at the moment.

Let's say, like you, I want to use poly with no stain (to keep it simple). Firstly is that poly, one part or two? Easiest for me would be a one part poly from a rattlecan. Wipe-on also interests me.

OK, so what goes on the bare wood? Some type of clear sealer? Is this the "sanding sealer" or is it "grain filler" or something else? Is it, perhaps, better to just keep applying the poly, straight onto the bare wood, and sand flat every 2 to 3 coats, until the desired finish is achieved? How porous, or open-grained must the timber be, before some prepping coats are mandatory?

After a flat high-gloss surface is acihieved with poly, is further buffing recommended? Is waxing useful on poly, or is that just for bare or oiled woods?

These are just some of the questions I have :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

bluesy - I love your questions - cuz I used to have 'em too.

Poly + No stain: 1 part or 2 part isn't really the question because they'll both do. Whether or not you want to use rattlecans is more of a question. One part (Minwax, etc.) is readily available in rattlecans and works fairly well. Two part poly typically doesn't come in rattlecans. The one that does, that I know of, is about $27 a can and it takes 2-3 cans to get an adequate finish. It produces an exceptional finish, but has really high cost and requires above adequate respirator and ventilation. Wipe-on is ok - but if you just want shiny bare wood - why not Tru-Oil? Granted this is usually used on the back of the neck, but there's a recent thread by Prostheta where a guitar that was Tru-Oil'd is getting refinished because now color is desired.

Sanding Sealer = (typically) shellac, water and soap (to make dust). This is typically sprayed or brushed on and used to prepare the wood for an even finish.

Grain Filler = (typically) a thick, almost epoxy-like substance usually spread on with a squeegee or brushed and then sanded flat. This is used to fill any dents, grain or pores that would show in the finish.

Typically - you would have wood + grain filler + sanding sealer + paint or stain + clear (paint/stain optional)

Whether or not you use grain filler and/or sanding sealer is predominantly personal preference. I will always use grain filler to ensure a flat mirror finish. Sanding sealer I will use to make sure there are no compatibility issues between the grain filler and top coats.

On very closed grain woods, Tru-Oil looks beautiful (IMHO), but something like basswood, pine, or ash would definitely get grain filler.

Did I help or confuse?

*EDIT*

Missed your last question...

Additional buffing is what really clears up the finish (again IMHO). You sand from 600-2000 (or greater) then buff. Wax doesn't really help on poly, polish does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tremendous help there. :D

I've been looking up about tru-oil and seen some pics so I think I'm going to do the body and the neck with it.

I'm where I don't have a shop or an area except my room or backyard so my options are pretty limited there.

Tru-oil a good bet there?

Yes. As Tru-Oil is also used for gunstocks, it's quite tolerable inside (for me anyway). I have numerous kids/pets in the house so not much is tolerable. Everything else is done in the garage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

bluesy - I love your questions - cuz I used to have 'em too.

Poly + No stain: 1 part or 2 part isn't really the question because they'll both do. Whether or not you want to use rattlecans is more of a question. One part (Minwax, etc.) is readily available in rattlecans and works fairly well. Two part poly typically doesn't come in rattlecans. The one that does, that I know of, is about $27 a can and it takes 2-3 cans to get an adequate finish. It produces an exceptional finish, but has really high cost and requires above adequate respirator and ventilation. Wipe-on is ok - but if you just want shiny bare wood - why not Tru-Oil? Granted this is usually used on the back of the neck, but there's a recent thread by Prostheta where a guitar that was Tru-Oil'd is getting refinished because now color is desired.

Sanding Sealer = (typically) shellac, water and soap (to make dust). This is typically sprayed or brushed on and used to prepare the wood for an even finish.

Grain Filler = (typically) a thick, almost epoxy-like substance usually spread on with a squeegee or brushed and then sanded flat. This is used to fill any dents, grain or pores that would show in the finish.

Typically - you would have wood + grain filler + sanding sealer + paint or stain + clear (paint/stain optional)

Whether or not you use grain filler and/or sanding sealer is predominantly personal preference. I will always use grain filler to ensure a flat mirror finish. Sanding sealer I will use to make sure there are no compatibility issues between the grain filler and top coats.

On very closed grain woods, Tru-Oil looks beautiful (IMHO), but something like basswood, pine, or ash would definitely get grain filler.

Did I help or confuse?

*EDIT*

Missed your last question...

Additional buffing is what really clears up the finish (again IMHO). You sand from 600-2000 (or greater) then buff. Wax doesn't really help on poly, polish does.

Does it help? Sure does. It did provoke some more questions though :D

Firstly, Tru-oil. Sounds like a brand name. My local H/W store had things like Tung Oil, Danish Oil, Scandinavian oil... Any idea what's in it? How shiny is it, I mean, do you get that deep, wet looking, mirror finish with Tru-oil?

"Sanding Sealer = (typically) shellac, water and soap (to make dust)" Soap dust? Is there a formula you make yourself, or is it a commercial product? I am sure I have read of people just using shellac alone. So can any type of top coat be put on top of shellac, e.g. poly, nitro laquer, wax?

"Wax doesn't really help on poly, polish does." I am a little confused about the difference. I thought most "polishes" contain wax?

btw: thanks for taking the time to help us out here...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tru-Oil is a brand name - you can typically find it in the sporting goods section at Wal-Mart or gun store as it was designed for finishing gun stocks.

It does put a "sheen" on wood (depending on how many coats you use) but nowhere near a high gloss like lacquer/poly. This is why a lot of us use it on the back of the neck - it makes a sheen that protects the wood while keep the neck fast. Some people don't like a heavily coated neck as it tends to get sticky.

Tung, Scandanavian and Danish are all different types of oil finishes. Of the three, I have experience with Tung Oil in the same capacity as Tru-Oil. Linseed Oil also comes in handy on fretboards (just in case that question comes up). Tung Oil can be added in several coats to produce a rich sheen, but is not designed to be. therefore won't, be a mirror finish necessarily. I have on request used it to protect a fretboard.

Zinzer and Deft make sanding sealer that I've used. The soap is added so that when you sand a dust is created. You could just use shellac as well - sanding sealer is (IMHO) a little more forgiving.

Polishes are typically an emollient or lubricant with really tiny abrasives inside to make a shine by gently scratching and buffing the surface - think toothpaste.

Waxes are just that - wax mixed with chemicals to bond to a surface and when dried, you buff it and it shines on top of the existing surface.

Not all polishes contain wax or silicone. Typically, rubbing compound is polish with more aggressive abrasives, rubbing polish is the same with less aggressive abrasives. Silicon is bad because if you were to use it and have to recoat, you get funky results (unless you wipe the piece down with naptha first). The label will usually indicate that a product is silicon free

I figure as much help as I've gotten from this forum, I can hang out and try to help others :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aah the obscuring mists are parting. :D I noticed one can off polishing stuff announcing "silicone free" and I see why now.

Armed with more knowledge now, I think I will try some sanding sealer under my poly coats, and then see what improvement I can make at the end with some non-silicone polishing compound.

Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sanding sealer is an insurance policy in my opinion, that you don't want to use unless you have to. According to Bob Flexner, it contains mineral soap which can weaken the bond of the next coat. Basically, you get a first coat of varnish or lacquer with zinc stearate in it, which is easier to sand flat than plain varnish or lacquer. Me, I like shellac because it's pretty non-toxic, easy to use, almost anything will go on top of it (why it's used as a sealer), and it's a great vapor barrier. If you do this, make sure it's de-waxed shellac.

Pore filling does just what is sounds like. If you're using a thin finish, then it will take a lot of coats before it builds up to where the pores don't texture it. Pore filling with something thick then sanding it flat solves that. But if your pore fill isn't compatible with your top coat . . . then you have to seal it :D

Tru oil is a polymerized oil. Basically, an oil cooked in an inter gas so the molocules link. So unlike tung oil, it cures reasonable fast and can build up some coat thickness. That's why it can be glossy. Another less toxic finish :D

Varnish, including your polyurethane, is an oil cooked with an added resin (polyurethane). Since the two combine, it's not an oil anymore. Varnish cures fast and hard, and would probably be glossiest (sp) if done well. Big caveat there unless you have the right equipment and experience. A wiping varnish is just a regular varnish thinned down enough with mineral spirits so you can wipe or paint it on. A lot of the stuff sold as "tung oil" is actually a wiping varnish, although I think some are oil varnish blends. Sam Malloof's (sp) finish might be this, and I think the Watco Danish Oil finish. Adding the oil makes it easier to apply, but you get a softer finish, so less gloss and protection . . . trade offs.

Most of that ^ I learned from Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexner. Awsome book. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Wood-F...2700&sr=8-1

Buy it! for the 20 -25 dollars it'll cost you delivered, you'll probably save money by avoiding costly mistakes. Think about it, one can of lacquer is $7 . . .

Best,

Todd

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... In fact, Quarter, do you mind if I copy them for my daughter's tele project? ...

Sure, but its not an original idea of mine, but something I saw somewhere in my web surfing, probably from here.

The 9/32 tubing seems to be a pretty standard size carried by hobby shops, comes in brass too.

The only thing I'd advise is to keep your paper and wood blown clean and often while sanding as the aluminum dust can build up in the grain if you are not careful. I've not tried it on maple or other light colored woods, so some testing on scrap first would be recommended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Fretboard is bubinga, so it's not too light, but the advice on the paper and aluminum dust is excellent either way. Wouldn't have thought of that. If I go with your design, I may use some Argentium Silver tubing . Given how little I'll need, it'd only be $10 or so for a 1' piece. Stick a dowl in it, cut it . . . Could probably do 4 guitars with that single tube, and then I could say the inlays are silver and paua.

Way off topic now. Sorry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't get any tru-oil so I got wipe on poly. Seems I needed some filler because the poly coats are not going on even. There's sone areas that's either soaking up the poly or staying dry. I sanded it and cleaned it with mineral spirits before I started the wipe.

Even did wet sanding between coats to level it except for the last coat (3rd). I got the gloss though. :D

I went ahead and started putting the guitar together and all I got left was to put the strings on and do a setup.

I wanna play the guitar! :D

In the future I can redo the body. I coated the neck 2 times and lightly wet sanded the back of the neck. It's nice and smooth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...