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Old March 15th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Playing with unfinished wood?

Okay, so my school project is to build a tele (awesome i know). My teacher would like me to play the guitar at an alumni event just to demonstrate what i'm doing, but i don't think i can have it completely finished by then.

Is it a bad idea to put in the hardware etc. before completely finishing the wood? In other words, i'd take off the hardware and finish the paint later. Thoughts?

Thanks!

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Old March 15th, 2013, 04:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I forget who it was, but someone here built a guitar and played it for like a month or two before putting any lacquer, or paint on it. One idea might be to seal the wood, but I'm definitely no expert on finishing. It should be fine, but you'll probably have to re-drill the small screw holes for the pickguard and what not (you can't really stop stuff from getting in there) and you'll have to mask off all the other holes you can.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 04:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's actually a good idea to put all the hardware on before you finish. If something doesn't fit, you can fix it without messing up the finish. If you're just going to play it for a week or so I think it will be fine. The oils from your hands may stain the wood. Wash your hands before you play. You'll have a chance to sand it again before you put the finish in it.

Don't spill any beer in it!
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Old March 15th, 2013, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosmo View Post
It's actually a good idea to put all the hardware on before you finish. If something doesn't fit, you can fix it without messing up the finish. If you're just going to play it for a week or so I think it will be fine. The oils from your hands may stain the wood. Wash your hands before you play. You'll have a chance to sand it again before you put the finish in it.

Don't spill any beer in it!
+1

Always a good option to do a test run before finishing (don't ask how I know )

If you're really concerned you could slap some shellac on it to protect it in the meantime. You can always clean it off with alcohol afterwards.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not a problem- stay clean and do a final wipe-down with alcohol and a final sanding when you get ready to apply your finish. Do your best to keep it clean and dry, and it will work out for you.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a guitar made of "iroko", a type of teak. A very hard and smooth grained timber.

I just sanded it smooth, polished it (it's so hard it takes a polish), and then oiled it.

So if you are on a tight time schedule and have a typical ash/alder body with a maple/rosewood neck, you could fine-sand the timbers, go even finer by "polishing" with powdered pumice (I hate wire wool but it does the same), and oiling it.
Teak Oil is specific for a rosewood fingerboard, and it can be used on the other timber. If you need the teak oil (or Danish etc) to cure fast then go over it with "Finishing Oil" which contains driers and accelerants (and some poly-wotsits) but not on a rosewood fingerboard! This will have the oils dried in minutes, with a high gloss finish

The oils can be removed at a later date with white spirits and eblow grease for refinishing. May not be necessary to remove as they seal the wood well when fully cured.
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