Jump to content

Natural Finish


TheEdge
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! I'm quite new about finishing.. I've stripped off the finish on this guitar:

http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/7057/newstratfh2.jpg

the wood is not beautiful at all (it is a top as you can see, and under there's bad wood..) but I'd like to finish it like this guitar:

http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/4013/na...ster1975ey9.jpg

so a bit glossy and more vintage natural, not so "white" as it is now.. And do you recommend me to put a veneer on it?

How can I do this finish?

and also, do you recommend me to shape better the body to look like a strat (this was a yamaha so the body had a bit different shape before I did this work) ?

thank you very much and sorry for my bad english and for my inexperience..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion, I would try to make sure that all the junk on the body is sanded off well (some of it might be down a little deeper). To get the finish you want, there are a few different options. Tru-oil will darken up the wood nicely, as will a nice amber tinted shellac. You can also get some amber aniline dye and dye the wood and then just clear coat over it. As far as a veneer, you could do it if you want, but if you don't have much experience putting on a veneer, it can get a little tricky with getting bubbles out, etc. For the sake of ease, I would probably just finish the wood and not worry about a veneer, but then again, I really like different grain patterns (ones that aren't just straight or bold like ash, I especially like stuff like unfigured maple with a few mineral streaks or spalting). I'm sure more experienced people will put in their more qualified opinions, but just thought I would put in my two cents' worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks guys!

yeah, I don't like the contour on the body, but unfortunately that's what it was under the finish.. If the wood is wet, the countour is less visible and is it more uniform, so I assume that when I'll finish it it would be quite ok..

what about the shape? I should smooth even more the top edges, in your opinion?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll try to smooth the edges of the top so I doesn't look just like a "sticker" on the body, like it looks now.. No veneer for the moment.. I think I'll try with tru oil, if I can find it here in Italy, otherwise shellac.. Are there pics of these 2 methods on this forum? I'd like to see the results.. After tru oil or shellac, should I apply a clear coat to get that glossy finish? should I apply a bit of amber stain before tru oil / shellac?

Edited by TheEdge
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that it's too late...

Amber shellac would be a great option. Also, a light-colored stain would do the trick. (I often wonder why folks here run to dyes or tinted finishes, but ignore a basic stain.) I've never worked with Tru-Oil, so I can't comment on it.

I'd highly advise NOT using a veneer on a body with rounded edges. Without a TON of veneering experience, it'd be extremely likely that you'd dork it up.

I agree with the others on one point - more sanding/smoothing might be in order.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

shellac, then sanding/smoothing a bit, then again shellac, and again..etc..?

for the rosewood freatboard?

I'm sure that would work. At some point you might want to stop sanding and start rubbing it with 0000 steel wool. Or just go ahead and french polish it (google should turn up some information on that).

If you build up shellac on the fingerboard, I'm pretty sure the strings will cut through to the wood in no time. But I've never tried it. Think of old maple-necked Fenders... lacquer can't withstand the strings, and shellac is soft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the F/B, I wouldn't be able to make any suggestions. Were you making the neck & F/B from scratch, I'd say use gloss poly. Poly is extremely durable and might hold up better than lacquer. But, with this being a refinishinf project and the neck is already fretted, any finishing to the F/B is going to be a real chore.

Shellac is extremely easy to use. This is largely due to it's lature. Like lacquer, it is "always solvent". This means that the solvent will turn the finish loquid again no matter how long it's been on. What does this meas for you? Coat #2 will "melt" into coat #1, etc., etc., creating one thick layer. This helps with leveling, runs, bubbles, etc.

After the 1st coat is on, let it dry for a day, then buff it out with steel wool. I say wool over sandpaper because the sandpaper will clog pretty fast. If you do use sandpaper, don't worry about sanding through. The first coat is a sealer anyway. It's unlikely that you'll sand through the finish that soaked into the wood itself. After that, you can apply as many coats as you feel necessary. they only take a couple of hours to dry, so the you can get it nice and thick pretty quickly. I'd advise leveling the finish before applying the last coat or two. This will make the final leveling a LOT easier. Between coat sanding isn't necessart because of the "melting" thing, unless you have some really major issues.

Be aware that shellac is a good wood finish, but might not be a good guitar finish. As Geo said, shellac is soft. It won't hold up to a lot of abuse. If you're rough on your instruments, it will wear & chip quickly. If you're not abusive, you'll be OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are actually fretboard polishes available. I was reading about one that says it even gives a nice shine to the frets. No idea where I read it, however. As for the shellac, it is soft, but I think you can put a clear coat over it. It is somewhat common to use shellac as a sealer and then put on the protective coats with something like nitro (may not be nitro, but I know people use something to clear over shellac). Also, avenger, to reply to your comment about stains, they don't work under tru-oil, that is why dyes are primarily used with this. Anyway, hope it helps (and I hope I'm not way off base on the whole clearing over shellac).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, avenger, to reply to your comment about stains, they don't work under tru-oil, that is why dyes are primarily used with this.

Maybe not, but they work wonderfully under shellac, lacquer, and poly. :D

And you're right - shellac is great as an undercoat/sealer. Pretty much anything will stick to it. Not that it's necessary to even use a sealer, but that's completely beside the point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know people use something to clear over shellac

Shellac can be used as the only finish. In French polishing there is no other top coat. And many old (I mean really old, like 18th century old) instruments are French polished and are still nice instruments. Don't underestimate shellac...

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...