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pine body - wipe-on poly or wax finish?

appar111
May 18th, 2010, 12:20 AM
Just got a fantastic 3 lb 9 oz body from Marc Rutters and I'm torn as to which finish to go with.

I either want to do a super thin coat of wipe-on poly on bare wood, or a wax finish (Howard's Feed N' Wax).

This guitar will have a gold gotoh modern tele bridge, single-ply pickguard and most likely a rosewood fretboard tele neck.

The wipe-on poly would obviously be more durable (even 1 or 2 thin coats) than the wax, but there's something very organic and personal about the wax finish that intriques me-- something that would wear in over time, show it's scars, etc. This guitar will be the first in a while that I won't actively try to relic or wear in. I want this one to get all it's scars honestly.

So... thin wipe-on poly or wax?

TNO
May 18th, 2010, 07:22 AM
I used the Howards on a pine body once and wouldn't do it again. Too raw for me. I recently got a spruce body from Marc and finished it in fresh mixed shellac. Sprayed it with a Preval and it came out great. Very easy to do and from start to finish only took a day and a half.

Soulmann
May 18th, 2010, 07:29 AM
I've been using an industrial liquid floorwax and tinting it with food colouring since it is a water base

49796

Seems to come up pretty good... and that is without buffing as it says it is self-buffing

That was around 20 wipe on coats with cheescloth

appar111
May 18th, 2010, 09:05 AM
I used the Howards on a pine body once and wouldn't do it again. Too raw for me. I recently got a spruce body from Marc and finished it in fresh mixed shellac. Sprayed it with a Preval and it came out great. Very easy to do and from start to finish only took a day and a half.

That looks really nice TNO. I think that whatever I do for the finish on this one, I don't want to spray anything-- hand application only.

Did the Howard's harden up at all once it was on there, or was it more just like a waxy, moisturized wood finish?

I've decided today to use up some stuff I have here in the basement-- namely my last can of Watco clear gloss nitro. I plan on using just a few thin coats (enough to bring out the grain and just start to build a finish-- one can on bare pine should achieve that) then burnish it a bit with a scrap of denim, burlap or similar. Then I'll top it off with some Butcher's Boston Polish paste wax and burnish that. No sense in going out and buying more finishing stuff when I have some good stuff in house already.

Hopefully it'll turn out well and wear nicely over the years.

TNO
May 18th, 2010, 09:48 AM
The Howard's stays pretty soft. If you want a nice worn finish you could apply a few coats of lacquer and when it's cured level sand without being to concerned about sanding through on the edges. Then apply a liberal amout of Feed N Wax and buff it in with a 0000 synthetic pad. When it dries buff with a chamois or your bare hands.

telewacked
May 18th, 2010, 09:53 AM
No sense in going out and buying more finishing stuff when I have some good stuff in house already.


I'm with you on that!

However...
I can tell you, from my *extremely* limited personal experience with finishing one pine body (also from Marc), that if you like your guitars to stay looking "new", to use a hard finish, possibly a wipe on poly. I did shellac base, messed that up, and am now doing ReRanch and Deft nitro. It looks beautiful, but it dents, scratched and dings SO easy it's not funny. It will "relic" very quickly I'm sure.

kec!
May 18th, 2010, 10:41 AM
I don't want to spray anything-- hand application only.

Did the Howard's harden up at all once it was on there, or was it more just like a waxy, moisturized wood finish?


How about Watco danish oil (natural) followed with Minwax Finishing Wax.
http://minwax.com/products/specialty_products/paste_finishing_wax.html


I did one of my amp cabinets (anigre veneer over baltic birch ply) with this method. The Minwax dries hard and feels really smooth.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v521/kecline/Amps/LilDevil/ld_02.jpg

Soulmann
May 18th, 2010, 02:53 PM
I guess I better read up on my finishes since obviously I have no idea what the status quo is, judging from the lack of any recognition to my post..

Thanks for putting me in my place :cool:

GraspnAtStrings
May 18th, 2010, 03:03 PM
I'd test any stain, such as the Watco Danish Oil, on some scrap pine first. Stain can come out very blotchy on pine. A lot of people use a wood conditioner or shellac wash first to avoid the blotches.

Colt W. Knight
May 18th, 2010, 03:12 PM
That pine body will soak up 1-2 coats of poly in a heartbeat. It will probably absorb it unevenly, and look splotchy.

Its always best to use a sanding sealer on raw wood unless its an oily wood like teak, rosewood, or etc.

Waxes look nice, but they aren't a permanent finish, they will need to be reapplied periodically, and dont provide much protection.

appar111
May 18th, 2010, 05:32 PM
That pine body will soak up 1-2 coats of poly in a heartbeat. It will probably absorb it unevenly, and look splotchy.

Its always best to use a sanding sealer on raw wood unless its an oily wood like teak, rosewood, or etc.

Waxes look nice, but they aren't a permanent finish, they will need to be reapplied periodically, and dont provide much protection.

I have some Deft sanding sealer I can use on the body first. Can I use that, let it cure for a couple days, then follow up with a couple thin coats of wipe-on poly?

Since sanding sealer is basically nitro lacquer with solids in it, I wasn't sure if I could do that and top it with poly or not.

Colt W. Knight
May 18th, 2010, 07:02 PM
I don't see any reason you couldn't do that, because you are going to sand most of the sanding sealer away with some fine sand paper and steel wool. You wouldn't want to put a layer of lacquer, then poly. But I think you will be just fine with the sanding sealer. You can also use shellac or goto walmart and buy some polyurethane sanding sealer.

getbent
May 19th, 2010, 12:00 PM
i used wipe on poly on my pine tele. It worked just fine and sounds good... it hardens up fine, but the pine is still gonna ding etc.. mine is 'relic'ing' nicely in a natural way...

dburns
July 25th, 2010, 05:44 PM
Reviving this thread.

I sealed my pine body with a few light coats of fresh mixed shellac (thin cut, preval sprayer). I'm now at around 15 coats of wipe on poly. Starting to build up and look pretty good (though I think I prefer the reranch rattle can finish on my ash body which is 2 weeks away from being ready to wet sand and polish).

My question is can I rub out a finish on this pine body with some Howard's Feed and Wax, but still be able to spray lacquer over it if I'm not satisfied with the gloss finish. Sorry if it's a 'stupid question'. Pretty sure I could, just curious as to how long should I wait before I spray the lacquer if I do decide to, or any tips before I spray. For the record I would be using the Minwax spray lacquer (gloss) this time around.