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

Finish for Black Limba/Korina

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Vespa_One, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Meister

    306
    Feb 14, 2017
    United States
    Hello fine people of TDPRI:

    I am starting a new build using Black Limba. I am a rookie hobby guitar tinkerer and do not know much about finishing wood although I am enjoying learning. I had planned to use Tru Oil to finish but after testing on scrap I'm not so sure. The oil made the wood darker as I expected but it made the light parts of the wood much much darker so all the grain kind of blends in the same color. I really want the contrasting grain colors to come through. I am wondering if aerosol nitro might be better? Also I have read differing opinions on using grain filler. Grain fill? Nitro? Tru Oil? Something else? Any feedback would be appreciated :)

    In the picture posted the oil (upper right) actually looks better than it does in person. It is much muddier looking in person. I tested the oil on the light wood that runs down the center (not pictured) and it turns very dark also IMG_1327.jpg
     

  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    I have some Black Limba that I have not yet used, so this is just speculation. On mine, it looks like it definitely will need grain filling if a smooth finish is desired. It's not nearly as open-pored as Ash or Mahogany, but still enough to fill.
    There have been a number of white and black limba builds on TDPRI - try a search and see what you find.

    Good luck
    Rex
     
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  3. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    We're in the same boat. You actually already answered a question for me, so thanks.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/my-turn-how-do-i.717405/

    You can see in my daylight pics how open the grain is. Grain filling isn't necessary if you want that course wood look/feel to the touch.

    I'm grain filling mine with something clear, CA maybe, as to not affect the wood color.

    I was just going to swipe some naphtha to see how much it would darken. I suspected tru oil would darken it. I'm trying to work out how amber/blonde to make it to try to give it the warmth look of the Warmoth image.
     
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  4. Geniustoogs

    Geniustoogs Tele-Meister

    Age:
    25
    180
    Jul 2, 2016
    California
    IMG_5807.JPG

    Here's a black limba guitar I've been working on. Personally I like the more amber look tru oil provides but that's just me. In the picture above it's looks more satin, but that's from me hitting it with some 2000 grit sandpaper lol. With enough careful coats you can get a nice gloss out of it too
     
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  5. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Meister

    306
    Feb 14, 2017
    United States
    looks sweet!
     
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  6. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    CA is a great grain filler for a medium porous wood like that and it won't make it yellow. Just make sure you use a real CA not the big box store stuff. The big box store stuff (loctite, gorilla, scotch etc.) has silicone in it. If you are doing lacquer you don't want anything to do with silicone.

    One other thing to consider. If you use nitro lacquer it will yellow over time, if you don't want any yellowing then don't use nitro lacquer, the acrylic lacquers don't tend to yellow like the nitro ones.

    Good luck, that's a nice looking slab o wood.
     
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  7. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Meister

    306
    Feb 14, 2017
    United States
    Thanks for the input!
    Would it be ok to use CA glue as the final finish? How about spraying aerosol acrylic lacquer over the CA glue? I'm looking for the least amount of yellowing and darkening possible.
     

  8. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    I've tried CA as a finish. The problem is if you get any thickness to it, it cracks like crazy. If you can somehow get it thick enough to wet sand and polish without sanding thru and thin enough to keep it from cracking then it would work really well as a final finish, but your pre-finish sanding would have to be pretty amazing to accomplish that. CA is super hard and polishes nice, but it cracks easy if it's got any thickness to it.

    This body has a coat of CA as grain filler (you can see the bottle in the background), it looks good and thin enough that it doesn't crack but it's not thick enough to wet sand and polish.

    [​IMG]

    I've sprayed both nitro, acrylic lacquer and poly over CA with no issues. I've been a skeptic of using CA as a grain filler just because I don't know how well it will hold up over time. So far the oldest guitar I've made with CA as a filler is a young 3 years old. No issues yet but for me that's not a long enough sample to say with certainty it's good.

    If you don't want any yellowing definitely stay away from nitro-lacquer. There are several clear poly finishes on the market with UV protection which would help keep your wood from darkening over time. I'm not sure if there are acrylic lacquers with UV protection.
     
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  9. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Where do you get CA in a bottle that big?

    I'd like mine to yellow over time with nitro. Not sure I'd consider that darkening. Nothing is for sure yet though

    Nice Custom!
     
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  10. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    I'm lucky enough to have a Woodcraft store near me which is where I buy the large bottles of CA. I keep em in the fridge otherwise they harden on their own over time. I'm sure you can order large bottles of CA online, just avoid the ones with fillers. They come in 3 different mixes, thin, medium and thick. I prefer the thin CA but the medium works fine for filler. I've never tried the thick.
     
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  11. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    I don't know if it'll help but google (ludwig black limba images). There's a ton of mostly drum but also guitar pics of black limba stuff.
     
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  12. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I seal skunk stripes with CA and it is hard. Lots of elbow grease to sand is what I've found. I couldn't imagine doing a whole body. I know Roger uses it.
     
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  13. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    oooooh. That might be a deal breaker on my SG. Too many bevels & angles.
     
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  14. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    Give it a try on some scrap. It's great stuff but I hate sanding in the first place..:(
     

  15. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sacramento
    I agree it is a work out to sand it, but the results seem to be worth it, probably the flattest finishes I've ever had were the ones with CA grain fill. On the flip side I feel like it's easier to sand than sanding sealer. I hate sanding sealer with a passion though so my opinion doesn't count on that stuff. Anyway the CA sanding I've done went pretty quickly with some 320 grit on a sanding block. Definitely wear a mask/respirator/scuba gear/stand in a bubble whatever when working with the CA, that stuff seems really nasty, especially when it's drying.
     

  16. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    It is worth it no doubt. It sands really smooth. I use waterbase lacquer and when I drop fill you'd never know the difference.
     

  17. Larkins

    Larkins TDPRI Member

    93
    Feb 15, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    I've used it a lot on mahogany necks as a filler under nitro lacquer. Feels so smooth.

    I have also used it as a final coat buffed out, but only on a head plate.
     
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  18. Larkins

    Larkins TDPRI Member

    93
    Feb 15, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    If you use it as a topcoat, avoid using any accelerator. It can make it a little hazy
     

  19. MikeG74

    MikeG74 TDPRI Member

    27
    Feb 20, 2015
    Indiana
    I just finished making a black korina bass and tele and I experimented with the finishes. The bass has a flame maple/bocote neck and i wanted it shiny. I sprayed several coats of clear shellac and kept sanding back to get a smooth finish. it was a heavier piece and there werent many pores to fill. After that i finished the neck and body in gloss lacquer. The tele was a different story. I made an all indian rosewood neck and didn't want to put a finish on it. So I put a lemon oil finish on the neck which left a soft satin finish. So on the body I used minwax antique oil finish. I rubbed in a few coats and it did darken a bit but not too bad. After a few coats it started getting a nice satin finish. I stopped there and buffed out with steel wool. I also made an ebony pickguard and just used lemon oil on it too. I was trying to do as little with the finish to try to take advantage of the tonewood. It is a tone machine and weighs 6 lbs 4 oz with solid body... no channeling. I love the black korina. I plan on making another guitar out of it someday! I will try to post pics of them tomorrow so you can see the differences.
     
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  20. mudimba

    mudimba Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    316
    May 19, 2015
    California
    I did aerosol nitro on a black limba guitar, and I had a real problem with fisheyes. I suppose something in my shop could have contaminated it, but I was pretty careful and have never had a problem like that working with other woods.

    Definitely pore fill. I initially didn't, and it looked horrible.

    Anyway, that was just my experience, and I'm a real rookie - so take it for what it's worth. If I do another limba build and still don't have a proper sprayer, I'll probably do a French polish.
     
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