Hang guitar to apply wipe on poly?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by bfisch, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. bfisch

    bfisch TDPRI Member

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    When finishing with wipe on poly, can you hang the guitar body and apply the poly to finish the top, back and sides at the same time? Or would any of you recommend finishing the back/sides separately from the top so the guitar can lay flat when drying?
     
  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    As long as you are not globbing on a thick layer, hanging should be fine. If it's thick enough to sag, it may be going on too thick. A greater number of thinner coats will be more predictable. Pictures, please.
     
  3. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Hanging for wipe-on is just fine since the whole ideal of a wipe-on finish is ease of use with no visible overlap...something harder to do with brushing. And since you need to do a bazillion coats for a wipe-on, it helps keep the workpiece safe, too.
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I only shoot lacquer and have never finished in poly but I switched from hanging to shooting flat a long time ago. I can walk all the way around and control my finish a lot better. With an electric guitar I put little blocks of wood in the pickup and neck cavities to hold the top off the little table that I use for finishing. I can do the top first, then carefully turn it over and do the back.

    I did two guitars with TruOil and used the same method. The problem that I see with hanging for a wipe on finish is that you need to support the guitar while you are wiping - that seems pretty awkward.
     
  5. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    I mount a 1x2 in the neck pocket and then bolt that into my vise. You can use the handle to turn it all over the place and then let it dry in the vise. My last Tele I did 20 coats of WOP
     
  6. Pasta Player

    Pasta Player Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    If it's a Fender I'd use the above-noted neck pocket method.
    Have a Gibson Melody Maker hanging in my front bathroom shower now with first 3 coats of light (diluted) poly on it.
    That thin Gibson finish doesn't work for me but the poly won't be a thick as a Fender's when done.
    And yes, quite a pain to do the entire body while holding it by the neck until finished.
     
  7. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    20190226_145652.jpg

    Personally, I too think it would be awkward to hang it and wipe on finish. Unless you have 3 arms and hands....... ;)

    I went to WalMart and bought a few cheap bath towels to lay the guitar on a table, and just work on either the front or back, when wiping a finish on a guitar body. You really don't need a board for this, just patience. You'll do one side, then allow it to dry before flipping it over to do the other sides. Your coats will be EXTREMELY THIN, so they *should* dry within 4-6 hours, depending on temps, humidity, and etc.. This allows me to put a finish on inside my house, where the temps and such is controlled. You can hold onto a guitar by the pickup and control routes with one hand, while wiping on Tru-Oil or Poly with the other hand, but it gets kinda awkward........

    With the board in the neck pocket, when I do the sides, inside the horns, and ends, I set the board on a little Harbor Freight work bench deal and use an old boat battery sitting on the board to hold the guitar in a horizontal position. A good vice (mentioned above) would accomplish the same thing. This works well for spraying, but could work well for wiping on a finish. You get to use both hands this way.
     
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  8. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    [QUOTE="Freeman Keller, post: 9462633, member: 143101

    I did two guitars with TruOil and used the same method. The problem that I see with hanging for a wipe on finish is that you need to support the guitar while you are wiping - that seems pretty awkward.[/QUOTE]


    I agree-

    it seems like the guitar would be swinging around if hanging up while
    you are trying to apply the wipe on finish.
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    This works for almost any guitar whether it has the neck on or not. I think with a screw on neck I would still install a dummy so I had a handle. Put two little blocks of wood in the p/u cavities with double sticky back tape. Put the guitar on its back on some little padded blocks and apply a coat of finish to the top, upper part of the sides and head. The guitar is sitting on a little low table (my daughter's picnic table from when she was a child) and I can walk around it as I apply finish

    IMG_2054.JPG

    Let the finish flash off for a few minutes, pick the guitar up by the neck or handle and carefuly set it on the two little blocks in the p/u cavites. Finish the back, neck and lower part of the sides. If I was doing I wipe on finish I would probably hold it by the neck and do that last.

    IMG_2058.JPG

    I do it this way because I shoot with a gun and was never able to control the application with the instrument hanging. I also do a lot of edge bursting and it is so much easier to walk around the instrument and shoot out (or in) than to try to do a sun burst with it hanging. However I would probably do the same thing if I was wiping.

    Edit to add - most people that I know who do French polish do it with the guitar sitting on its back or top flat. FP of course is a wiped/rubbed finish.
     
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  10. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I really like that idea Freeman...especially after just doing a set neck setup for my third build which was a pain in the you-know-way to spray while hung. Thanks!
     
  11. bfisch

    bfisch TDPRI Member

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    The guitar I'm finishing is a semi-hollow with a set neck. I really like the idea above where blocks are placed in the pickup cavities via double stick tape. That should work nicely and provide the support needed to apply the wipe on. Thanks to all for your advice! I'll post some pics once I make a little more progress.
     
  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I've built a couple of semi hollows and found that one block in the bridge cavity plus setting the fretboard on a second block worked just fine.

    IMG_2721.JPG

    I had the brilliant idea of prewiring it at then masking off the controls - on the next one I prewired and put the controls inside with strings to I could pull them into position when I was finished. That worked bettter.

    ps - if it looks weird its because its a lefty
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's going to move around on you so you have to grab it if hanging anyway. I would do one side at a time.
     
  14. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

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    I use a piece of wood for the neck and body and hold them in a vice. I can turn them 90 degrees all the way around using this method. Makes doing the sides of the body easier.
    D325481B-FFD8-446B-BB40-13748444C1A4.jpeg 72146D0D-6F6E-40F6-90CC-1E7DD159DCE5.jpeg
     
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