Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Another Finish Question...

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by JustPlay, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. JustPlay

    JustPlay Tele-Meister

    A friend gave me so 30-40 year old Redwood 4 X 6 posts. I cleaned, ripped, and milled them down to get the wood for that body. The top is 2 sets of book-matched sections jointed together. This is what it looked like wiped down. IMG_6335.jpg

    I'm open to suggestions re: a good finish process that will allow the grain to "pop" - and provide some protection, as the wood itself is quite soft. Thanks in advance! Will
     

  2. gourmetsaint

    gourmetsaint Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    110
    May 17, 2017
    Australia
    Nothing that takes away from the beautiful timber. I use hard shellac.
     

  3. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI
    I agree. French Polish would be stunning.
     

  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    As soft as it is both the aforementioned finishes will be very susceptible to damage unless you - at minimum - apply sanding sealer and tinted paste wood filler, which will both seal and fill the soft grain. The filler can be tinted to accentuate or blend in with the grain and provides a perfectly-smooth, contiguous and slightly harder base for finish coats.

    Shellac is OK but is the most easily damaged clear - alcohols, any cleaner containing the slightest amount of alcohol and some solvents (used in pot clean/lube liquids and other materials) will smear/damage it. It's also less abrasion resistant than other finishes - most finishers use it only on violin family and certain vintage instruments originally finished with it for those reasons.

    Lacquer (sprayed) or polyurethane (wiped or sprayed) will be far more durable and provide the same look if applied correctly.
     

  5. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    For that wood, I'd vote for a clear sanding sealer, like Jim says, a clear poly. You don't really want this wearing through or the wood being affected by damp or mould. Especially around the knot, there will be some extra porosity. That's assuming you want that lovely grain to show. Cedar is very soft and mars easily. If you're after a quick relic'ing finish, shellac or lacquer.
     

  6. gourmetsaint

    gourmetsaint Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    110
    May 17, 2017
    Australia
    Hard shellac has a cross-linking polymer in it to overcome the usual fragility of shellac.
     

  7. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    In the coatings business we specifically call it by the brand name "U-Beaut" or the term "cross-linked" - "hard" is a just too generic a term that many users put in from of just about every finish coating at times.

    The product you are talking about is a limited-production item not commonly found (especially in the US, where the OP is located), and many users may misinterpret the description as plain old shellac - which is fairly hard compared to raw wood.
     

  8. JustPlay

    JustPlay Tele-Meister

    Would this method make the grain "pop", and also provide finish protection:

    Black penetrating stain - let dry thoroughly. Then sand back to reveal figure. Then apply clear sanding sealer. Then apply either wipe on poly or (rattle can) spray lacquer?

    Please keep in mind I don't have professional (or any for that matter any :) ) spray equipment. Thanks for your patience in answering my questions...
     

  9. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Awesome job of wood selection with that glue-up, very nice grain indeed.

    Please don't try any kind of stain, especially dye, in softwood. The stain-and-sand-back process only works for figured hardwoods like maple and will be awful for softwood like redwood. When stained the grain reverses and light becomes dark and it looks like a cheesy piece of rotary cut fir plywood. Also, like pine, it can splotch where some areas inexplicably absorb more color than others and it looks like dirt smudges.

    Instead I would simply brush on some boiled linseed oil thinned with naphtha, then wipe off the excess. It imparts a nice warm color and depth. Then topcoat it with whatever you're capable of - if you can get your hands on spray equipment (even a Preval set counts and will be fine for small jobs like a guitar) then a sanding sealer or vinyl sealer and nitrocellulose lacquer topcoat (all clear without any color) would probably be the most popular option. Otherwise you can get lacquer in spray cans.
     

  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Sanding sealer - along with light sanding, and then tinted grain filler if the wood is porous (overall or has contrasting hard/soft areas) - goes on before stain. It helps control penetration of the stain so inconsistencies in the wood don't cause unwanted extremes in color contrast. Filler really helps with grain "pop"
     

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