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

Shellac/grain filler/tru-oil?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by jmoore65, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. jmoore65

    jmoore65 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    251
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oz
    Hi all, and apologies if this sort of question has been asked and answered a thousand times. I'm building a tele body which is a sandwich of Victorian Ash (Eucalyptus regnans, also known as Tasmanian Oak) (yet neither an ash or an oak) inside two pieces of Australian Red Cedar (Toona ciliata) (not a true cedar...). I'm confused already...

    Anyway - the Vic Ash has quite an open grain whereas the Oz red cedar has a fine grain (and smells and behaves like true cedar).

    I want to bring out the grain with shellac, then use a clear grain filler mainly for the Vic ash then sand and finish with multiple light coats of true oil.

    Is this a feasible plan? Can anyone recommend a grain filler to use over shellac and under tru-oil that is available in Australia?

    Thanks
     

  2. gourmetsaint

    gourmetsaint Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    128
    May 17, 2017
    Australia
    Check out Ubeaut products (Google). There's even a great book on finishing you can get.
     

  3. trev333

    trev333 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Timbermate works OK and it's in most hardware stores....
     

  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    I prefer Mohawk over Timbermate by far, but I'm not sure what you have available. They aren't really "clear" though - they're "neutral and only slightly transparent. Either will do the job - but see the following.

    Shellac will not really bring out your grain - the best way using products you're discussing would be a spray or brushing sanding sealer (lacquer aerosol is easiest, but anything is fine), then light sanding, then the grain fill - but tinted. That will "pop" your grain - white shellac will completely seal the wood; orange will stain and seal it, but neither will bring out a deep contrast.

    But if you use sanding sealer followed by tinted filler your gain will be nicely contrasting. Then the Tru oil can be used as a stain to deepen the color, and the depth can be controlled with a solvent rag - wipe if it starts to go dark. this only works if you have applied sanding sealer.

    Are you planning on Truoil as the final finish? FWIW it does not provide much mil thickness or hardness and on bodies is fairly easily scratched. It's also susceptible to water, sweat and other stains. IMO it's a good finish for necks in some cases but I don't recommend it for guitar bodies. Especially a custom one comprise of exotic woods. It really deserves a better protective coating like lacquer or polyurethane.
     

  5. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    If AquaCoat is available down under, it works great.

    I recently did a guitar with the same sequence that you're speaking of - shellac, AquaCoat, TruOil. Turned out nice. AquaCoat has a whitish color (looks like Crisco lard!) in the can, but it dries clear - really clear! Easy to apply, dries quick, and sands real easy. It's nice stuff to work with. It's not any good for filling deep holes (clear epoxy!) but it's a great clear grain filler. You can apply it with something thin and flexy like a credit card, or wipe it on with a rag.

    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     

  6. jmoore65

    jmoore65 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    251
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oz
    Thanks for your replies!

    I've just googled AcquaCoat and it is available in Australia - looking forward to trying it out.

    JM
    Oz
     

  7. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    I think you'll like working with it JM, there are a couple of videos out there on working with it. Luthiers Mercantile (LMI) has a pretty good video showing it used on an acoustic body. It's one of those rare products that lives up to the "easy to work with" claim.

    Something to keep in mind - like Silverface said, you can't really depend on plain shellac to make the grain "pop". If you are using a lighter color wood, a darker shellac like garnet will help to bring out the grain a little more. I've been using the Mixol pigments blended into shellac to help heighten the grain contrast, but it's still a subtle effect.

    I haven't tried it on a body yet, but I've tinted the AquaCoat using Mixol and It worked real nicely to accent the grain on a sample piece. Mixol blended right into the AquaCoat, and didn't seem to have any ill effect at all as far as drying or sanding. I believe you can also use dye to color the AquaCoat. I'm sure that would give a lot more intense of an effect.

    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
    jmoore65 likes this.

  8. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I built one body out of a huge section of E.regnans, 80 yo was standing in the Victorian Governor's house. I still have a blank. It's a while ago but I used a sanding sealer which was roughly brushed on, followed by pore filler which was like a reddish clay. You scrape the excess off. Then sand. The grain showed out marvellously. This is the guitar, sorry for the poor pic. 72-Custom style body. Looks 'like an old one' I used a few drops of tint in topcoat, it was very white wood. FB_IMG_1505089921327~2.jpg
     

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