Open pore finishes

Surf Green

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I prefer open pore with natural or semi transparent finishes, but not with a fully opaque finish. No effect on tone.
 

pblanton

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As far as tone is concerned there is no difference.

I like it that wood is expressive and has it's own personality. I think wood and woodgrain is beautiful and so I like open pore finishes. I'm currently making a TeleStrat (Telecaster body routed and wired like a strat) out of a slats of a large beetle kill lodgepole pine tree that we had cut down a few years ago and sawed into live edge slabs. Of course I'm not going to fill it and cover it with gloss paint. It has a story to tell.

Material science is at the point where we could design injection molded plastic guitar bodies that resonate with warmth if we wanted to, but guitars are made out of wood and people like wood.

That said, high-gloss instruments have their place in the hierarchy as well.
 

Charlodius

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This is my ‘52 , with it’s ancient refin. It looks pretty open pore at this point. No idea what finish is on there.
06DEADD1-0066-4C3E-BB52-CD87059B97F9.jpeg
 

StrangerNY

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Here’s a crazy thought—It Depends!

I like the solid Aged White finish on my Mustang-ish guitar. I love the open-pore finish on my Logan. I love the Ice Blue Metallic finish on my baritone. My Takamine spruce/rosewood dread looks like it properly should, all shiny and stuff. My Godin 5th Ave with a satin finish is my favourite acoustic. Wait a minute… maybe I’m only keeping guitars based on how much I like playing them, and not thinking about the finish? Naaaahhh, that’s crazy talk!

Same here. I've got old (60s) nitro, new nitro, a couple poly finishes, open pore, satin, both relic and shiny.

There's room for all finishes under this roof, as long as the guitars play and sound good.

- D
 

Beebe

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My latest and supposed to be my number 1. Won't be ready for practice tonight. But maybe next week. Could be called a Gibstang (Mahogany, 12" radius, TOM, P-90 Buckers, hard tail mod ). Not sure how ya'll feel about showing off non teles, but this is a finish thread, so I figured why not.

IMG_20210615_114941080_HDR.jpg
 

DrASATele

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If you put a finish on it, although it looks open pore, it's still coated in finish so no impact or rather same a gloss.
 

alexman

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I'm about to find out gotta go to the music store and pick up some strings for this open pore finish I did.all I did was some one coat of stain,then I used about a dozen coats of hemp oil stain.it is reclaimed wood from this 1930s farm house.these pieces came out of the kitchen floor not sure what type of wood it is.maybe pine?it almost smelled like cedar idk.im not really sure if theres going to be a tonal difference.i have another one just like this but its painted.i will come back later 20210614_140500.jpg 20210614_140622.jpg
 

luthierwnc

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Tonally; no. A couple comments: it can make a difference on the back of the neck. Too rough it gets slow. Too slick and it can make your hand stick like shoes on a basketball floor. The other point is in cleaning. Don't let a water-based cleaner or polish sit on the surface or it can work down into the pores.

Cheat and use a weak pore or grain filler that doesn't reach the top grains so the bottom of the pores have some water resistance. It might just be a thinned top-coat that you sand back to keep the texture you want. Not something you want to do with colors or a sunburst unless you use tint. A thick top-coat without something to prime the surface might not penetrate enough to keep moisture from getting between the wood and the finish over time. FWIW, Skip
 

kdpaulus

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The open pored satin finishes are a cost saving measure (while some of them can look terrific). In finishing it's called a "gun finish" meaning that the final finish is spray applied and simply let dry. High gloss finishes need to be polished/buffed to remove any dirt pickup, adding to labor costs.

Shellac finishes, French Polish, while beautiful, are not at all practical and not resistant to moisture, alcohol, heat, or other solvents. They need many coats to get any build and take a long time to dry/cure completely.

I use nitrocellulose lacquers on the bodies that I finish. They spray well, build well, and polish well. Give them some time to dry completely before polishing.
 

brashboy

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Some folks like a guitar to look like the wood has a piece of glass overlaying it.

Some folks like a guitar to look like the wood is more in it's natural state - like nature made it - pores, grain, and all.


I don't think it makes a bit of sonic difference in an electric guitar.

I even did a rather un-scientific test of this.

I mocked up a swamp ash body and strung it up before I finished it, and I played it.

And then I also played it (of course :)) after applying the lacquer finish.

Hell, I couldn't tell any difference in the sound, even though I was secretly hoping there would be a difference that I could actually notice.

I can be sort of stubborn about certain things, but that personal test finally convinced me ;).

It may or may not make a difference with an acoustic guitar, but it doesn't matter one way or another to me for the simple reason that my ears aren't good enough to tell the difference if there is one :).


This subject is always good for an endless debate :).

.
The real question is not whethe it makes a sonic difference, but whether the average person could hear the difference. If you stuck a wet wad of chewing gum on the front of the guitar, it might affect sound, but even if so, only sophisticated equipment could detect a difference.

So in practice, no difference.
 

skradlee

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View attachment 866070 View attachment 866071 I’m debating between these two. The TV yellow is more like a mustard color, vs the open pore red. I would like to avoid a thick poly finish, which is pretty common at this low price. Anyone know if open pore guitars like this still use pretty thick poly, or do open pore guitars use something else?

While those have a translucent finish, they are definitely not open pore in either color. They are thick poly that you can see the grain through, you wouldn't feel any texture or anything while you were playing them. They both look great though if you ask me.
 

lammie200

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That maple top, cat's eye thinline is gorgeous.

Thanks. It plays nicely, too. It spurred me on to change the necks on my other 6 string partscasters to Allparts necks and press-in bushing tuners. The pics show them before I did that. The other necks I had on them are nice and have lots of meat on them for someone to shape them to their liking. I was going to do that but decided that I like a particular type of Allparts necks and will be selling those other necks soon. I don't have time to mess with partscasters any more.
 

alexman

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I'm about to find out gotta go to the music store and pick up some strings for this open pore finish I did.all I did was some one coat of stain,then I used about a dozen coats of hemp oil stain.it is reclaimed wood from this 1930s farm house.these pieces came out of the kitchen floor not sure what type of wood it is.maybe pine?it almost smelled like cedar idk.im not really sure if theres going to be a tonal difference.i have another one just like this but its painted.i will come back later View attachment 866998 View attachment 866997
I'm back and no differences that I could hear as expected
 




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