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Shortest "finished Finishing" To "ready To Use" Time


ElRay
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Sorry if this has been beat to death, but I don't really know what to search for.

Anyway, I'm planning a "for my personal use" build and I'm looking for finishes (both neck and body) that have very short "Finished Finishing" to "Ready to Use" (final cure?) times. Minimal "hands on time" is also a plus, because I'll be squeezing this project in among the other "Honey Do" projects around the house (flooring, crown moulding, building vanities for my daughters, etc.). I'm also not set-up for "real" spraying, so finishes that can be padded, brushed, rattle-caned, mason-jar-presurized-sprayer-ed, etc. would also be preferred.

For the (most likely laminated maple) neck, I'd prefer something that has that "barely there" feel. This one can also take a "moderate" amount of time to cure, because there will likely be a month (or two) between the neck completion and the body completion.

For the (most likely maple/mahogany, maybe poplar) body, I'd prefer something along the lines of a SG Red finish, but since I won't be using "pretty" wood, I'll have no problem with (and might even prefer if I go with poplar) something solid color.

I just realized, I have a lot of "preferences", because I'm overall, not that picky, I just don't want to have a "finished" guitar that has to sit around for months before final assembly & use. It's bad enough I've been waiting this long to start, and that the start-to-finish build time will be drawn-out, so having to wait very long to actually start using the guitar would kill me.

Ray

Edited by ElRay
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automotive finishes take a long time to truely cure (most around 6 months) but under the right conditions even a base clear can be done and ready for buffing in a few hours and even set hard enough for assymbly in less than 24 hours. this stuff is desighned for body shops to be able to paint a car and get it to a customer as fast as possible.

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If you make a drying box (essentially just a box with a fan on top and no bottom) you can spray a lacquer finish and have it cured enough to sand and buff after 2 weeks.

Chris

Could you elaborate a little more on this? I assume this works by just clearing out the fumes? Sounds like an interesting thing to try.

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Shellac very well may be the way to go. I was initially concerned because it's not the most water (aka sweat) proof, but then again, it easy to repair.

Has anybody tried Behlen Rock Hard Table Varnish? or Behlen Stringed Instrument Varnish?

Has anybody tried an "Olde Fashioned" workbench finish? Basically it's a hard wax (paraffin, carnauba, etc.) melted into a solvent (turpentine, mineral oil, etc.) and then rubbed in. For example: http://www.wwch.org/Technique/Finishes/FinWaxForm.htm

Ray

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I HAVE A PRODUCT THAT YOU WILL LOVE IF TIME IS A FACTOR. I STARTED USING IT A FEW YEARS AGO TO RESTORE MY GUN STOCKS. THE STUFF WORKS SO WELL THAT I USE IT ON ALL OF MY NECK PROJECTS AND SMALL WORK. IT'S MANUFACTURED BY ARROW WOOD FINISH . IT'S AN OIL BASED FINISH WITH A SEALER AND FILER INCLOSED.. THE STUFF IS "AWSOME" IT DOESN'T TAKE BUT A FEW OZ S TO DO A COMPLETE NECK. (WHAT YOU DO IS YOU APPLY THE SEALER WITH WET DRY SAND PAPER STARTING OUT WITH SAY, 400 GRIT.. AS YOU SAND THE APPLICATION IN IT BEGAINS TO HARDEN THE SANDINGS ACTUALLY FILL ANY SCRATCHES IN THE SURFACE . YOU THEN INCREASE THE FINESS OF THE GRIT SAY 600 TO 800. THE FINER THE GRIT MORE GLOSSY THE FINISH. YOU LET IT SIT FOR A FEW HOURS AND RE APPLY TO THE NEXT COAT. YOU TAKE A NYLON SOCK AND YOU CAN POLISH IT TO A HIGH LUSTER.) IT JUST TAKES SOME ELBOW GREASE BUT IF YOUR INTRESTED I CAN POST A FEW PIC'S OF SOME OF MY RESULTS AND I'LL BE HAPPY TO GIVE A POINTERS. ARROW PRODUCTS HAS A WEB SITE AND THEY DO SELL ON LINE . Miracle Pruducts International 1 608 756-0044 if you want to order.. The stuff is marketed toward gun stock refinishing but hey wood is wood! THIS WAS ONE OF MY BEST KEPT SECRETS.. I hope this is a help to you , Dan

Edited by AXEMON DAN
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THE AUTOMOTIVE BASE COAT CLEAR COAT SYSTEMS HAVE SOME VERY QUICK FLASH TIMES . IT ALL DEPENDS ON ALOT OF FACTORS WHICH HARDNER TO USE . HUMIDITY, AIR TEMPERATURE, ETC. THE AUTO CLEAR COAT IS VERY DURABLE . HOWEVER, YOU WILL NEED TO SPRAY YOUR TOP COAT OVER A POLYSTER PRIMER. AND WILL WANT TO USE A SEALER TO SEAL THE GRAIN. YOU ALSO NEED TO BE AWARE THAT THE AUTO CLEAR COATS CONTAIN SOME EXTREMELY NASTY CHEMICALS. SO ASK FOR THE MSDS AND USE OF A PROFESSIONAL RESPIRATOR IS HIGHLY RECOMENDED! ON THE UP SIDE YOU HAVE SOME REALLY GREAT COLORS AND FINISHES AVALIBLE. ENCLOSED IS A LINK TO Alsa Corp THEY HAVE SOME REALLY COOL FINISHES FROM CHROME,TO CANDY AND PEARLS... THEY Also OFFER THE CANDY AND PEARL PAINTS IN SPRAY CANS. CALLED KILLER CANS AND ARE HIGH QUALITY AND A VERY GOOD PRICE.. TAKE A LOOK IF YOUR'RE INTRESTED. www.alsacorp.com

good luck Dan

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Shellac takes a long time to create a nice gloss finish. Wiping on is the way to go, French polish being the best looking. The art of french polish has a slight learning curve, but once you get the hang of loading and applying, it's pretty easy. You will probably have to wait at least a month(most people recommend 6 weeks) to buff it. If you dont wait long enough, it will come up on you if you buff.

Oil over highly polished wood is a very fast finish and produces arguably the best tone, but offers little protection to denting etc in most woods, unless your using a hard wood(literally) like maple or purple heart. Basically, very fast, looks good, sounds great, but won't take a beating.

Another finish that's very, very fast is CA(super glue) I use it for maple fretboards, and it looks great. Wipe on with a shop towel moving very quickly down the wood. It will take a bit more time sanding to get a smooth surface, but you could do a whole guitar, buff it, put it together, and being playing it in the same day. CA is just Cyano-acrylic urethane. You can(and should) get accelerent from a hobby shop, but use sparingly as it can give the finish a white tint in areas.

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Thanks all. I'd +vote the lot of you, but I have no votes to give.

The build will be a "frugal" build, so it will use "left over" wood from furniture/cabinet projects. So, it most likely will be cherry & maple. I also have some santos mahogany, but there's no way I'm going to use that on my first build. Maybe #2, but definitely not #1.

I'm definitely leaning towards something that's easy to repair and barely there. I'll have to look at the gun stock oil.

I'll be rebuilding my workbench "soon", so I'll see how I like thinner/wax finish and follow-up here.

Ray

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The build will be a "frugal" build, so it will use "left over" wood from furniture/cabinet projects. So, it most likely will be cherry & maple. I also have some santos mahogany, but there's no way I'm going to use that on my first build. Maybe #2, but definitely not #1.

Wise man. The first build is usually a learning experience, even for fairly skilled wood workers. You just kinda get a feel for stuff.

Tru Oil is great, I used it on my last build for the neck. AND I did cyano for the front of the head stock to get a really nice shine. I would stay away from wax, just oil leaves a nice finish but also leaves the wood feel and look. Wax over oil is just kinda missing something IMHO

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Interesting, I've already experimented with 2-part epoxy on maple and have been able to get a seemingly harder finish with a satin almost nothing's there feel that was only slightly darker than the original wood.

Another finish that's very, very fast is CA(super glue) I use it for maple fretboards, and it looks great. Wipe on with a shop towel moving very quickly down the wood. It will take a bit more time sanding to get a smooth surface, but you could do a whole guitar, buff it, put it together, and being playing it in the same day. CA is just Cyano-acrylic urethane. You can(and should) get accelerent from a hobby shop, but use sparingly as it can give the finish a white tint in areas.

Regarding the CA finish:
  • What initial grit do you sand the wood too?
  • How many coats?
  • Could I squeegee the CA on with a razor blade for less sanding afterwards?
  • Do you sand between coats?
  • What final grit do you take it to?
  • Is it easy to sand through?

Ray

Edited by ElRay
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*220

*just enough to coat it so that you don't sand through

*I use business cards,but I have used a razor blade..be gentle

* you have to run all the way through the grits..for a satin finish that is about up to 3500 micromesh

* not so much,but you can't just go nuts on it..

I would never leave ca as a topcoat..it is too harsh on skin..but after a really good coat of CA you can level it and sand it to 220,then coat it with thin spray clear..

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-220, 300, 400 for the wood prep, till the scratches are all out

-8 to 10 coats, less when you get familiar with the sanding

-Use super thin glue and apply by wiping on with a lint free cloth(I just use a blue shop towel folded a few times) Dont soak the cloth, a little will go a long way. If done correctly, you should get a fairly smooth surface. You get a window from 5 to 10 seconds(+/- a lil) after you put the CA on the cloth and once you start wiping on, dont keep the cloth touching the longer than 10-15 seconds or it may stick and keep moving in one direction, dont go back to touch up if you miss a spot. You can get it next coat.

-You dont need to, just level it when you final sand

-I carefully orbital sand with 1200 then I buff. It's actually pretty tough and buffs very well. if you burn thought, wipe more on and try again.

As for leaving it as a top coat, I've use it on maple necks and I know many people who do the same and have for a long time, and nobody has ever had any problem with it. HOWEVER when working with it, if the fumes bug you and you have a comfortable respirator, maybe use it. Otherwise ventilate when working with super glue. SOME people can actually get an increasingly bad reaction(not toxic) after prolonged use, mainly tearing up as the fumes irritate the membranes in your eyes, nose, and throat. Most people are fine working with it and have for years without ever thinking about using respirators. The only time you really get fumes is when you use accelerent on your 'lint-free cloth' *cough*shoptowel*cough* to harden the glue. You can usually get a few uses out of a shop towel if you do this.

Edited by DarkAvenger
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