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Rosewood Tele finish?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Rick-kcmo, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    Hi. Done a few projects before. My current "go to" Tele is a project guitar, Warmoth Swamp Ash, maple board, butterscotch blonde, Callaham bridge and Bare knuckles pickups. This is something totally different. Not shooting for classic Tele at all. The question is how to finish it. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of wood I've ever seen. I'm not a heavy flame/quilt kind of guy. This is a solid, laminated all rosewood body with about a 1/16" maple layer in the middle. I just want to make the natural look pop out a little more. Neck is a dark solid rosewood.

    Question is tung oil or satin lacquer. I don't want a gloss at all. I want the wood to look natural. Some say tung oil soaks into the wood and deadens the sound. It's certainly a natural look. In either case, I will need to use a sealer to keep the natural oil from interfering with either finish. Thoughts? Oh, here's the body. Neck is a dark rosewood. Thanks for any thoughts you may have. Thank God I play sitting down....
     

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  2. TheWizard333

    TheWizard333 Banned

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    I have no idea how to make it pop more it looks good as is wood wise. I bet putting a white guard will make it pop more. Try doing that and uploading a picture if you like white guards.
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    what makes grain "pop" is the wet look of a good gloss... since you are going with a satin, you loose that option...

    what I'd do is give it a couple of coats of a clear... then mist it with the satin...

    Note satin isn;t as easy as it appears, since the final coat is it... everything has to be spotlessly clean, and dust free...

    you also have to determine exactly what species the lumber is... some "rosewoods" aren't compatible with some finishes...

    and finally, rosewood actually doesn't really need a finish.. it can be burnished polished to a beautiful satin sheen..

    Ron Kirn
     
  4. old goat

    old goat Tele-Holic

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    one option to try is blonde shellac, which will seal the wood, bring out the figure, and adhere well to the oily rosewood, followed by a waterborne finish like Deft brushing lacquer or Deft clear wood finish, which is an acrylic. You can't use polyurethane over shellac--won't adhere. I had good results finishing a wenge cabinet (another oily wood) with shellac and the clear wood finish. You can experiment by finishing just the area under the pickguard, where it won't show. I wouldn't use just an oil finish on a guitar or anything else that's going to be handled a lot and exposed to a dirty environment. Oil finishes won't protect well from dirt and will need to be renewed from time to time, which means taking the elctronics and hardware off. Pure oil finishes will also highlight every ding. Most commercial "natural" finishes are a satin or flat film finish, not oil.
     
  5. DRFP

    DRFP Tele-Holic

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    She sure is "Purtty"
     
  6. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

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    I wouldn't let a pickguard anywhere near that beauty.
     
  7. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    ^this. sounds like exactly what you're looking for!
     
  8. BUILTACASTER

    BUILTACASTER TDPRI Member

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    The maple is kind of weird and cool. Do they do that because they can't get full thickness rosewood?
     
  9. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    No finish necessary, but a bit of Tru Oil would be ok, and the grain will come out a bit more without a lot of work.
     
  10. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    could've just as easily been a matching piece of wood. they do it because its COOL :cool:
     
  11. trashedlostfdu

    trashedlostfdu Tele-Meister

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    i like tung oil a lot. if i buy a guitar i know am going to not sell and it will live a hard life of gigging, etc. i actually take the neck off sand the back of the neck (notice back) to the raw wood, and tung oil it. done right IMO its unbeatable. if i am not sure if its a keeper, i will switch necks to one tung oiled and replace stock one prior to sale.

    if the neck is painted i just remove the sheen with #0000 steel wool (covering the pickups and area with tape). but thats not for my teles. only my USA std. has an oiled neck. the other i am not sure of. i don't want to alter my 52 AVRI or my other USA DLX series II (if i am remembering right what its called)

    one thing to remember if you tun oil and sand down to natural you may want to get a stain in there first that would work with the oil (i don't remember), but i never bothered on the guitars i have done.
     
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