Walnut grain, mistakes were made.....

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by G&Lplayer, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

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    So I messed up and listened to someone I shouldn't have. I did not do any sort of filling on this walnut after sanding to 220 and using Minwax lacquer. Now after a can and a half I have grain lines. So I have read some things and before this last coat I did a light sanding with 440 grit sand paper. It may have helped a bit but not enough. So I am here asking for advice. I would like to get to a flat surface if it is possible without completely stripping down to bare wood. In that case I would finish this can of lacquer and call it done. I sort of like the grain, but I am thinking about how sweat and dirt would get in and make it gross. So should I plan on sanding between coats, maybe with something courser? Is there a filler I can use over lacquer and then shoot more lacquer over that? Should I just say it's art and put it together?

    Thanks in advance,

    John



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    tery likes this.
  2. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know much about these things, but I know what I like and I really like what I see!
     
  3. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

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    It looks great - I would think that if there is a sealer topcoat you will be fine ?
     
  4. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

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    My plan was that the lacquer was the top coat. I was hoping for a flatter surface and sanded it to where it seemed flat. I don't know if that lacquer raise the grain or I hadn't really sanded enough. Well it's hanging drying for the night, we will see if the experts here can help. This is my first build and if you look at my pedal board it is jammed full of silver boxes with no labels......
     
  5. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Tele-Meister

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    If you've got a can and a half on there you can sand it flat and use the remaining half can to go over top. I'd think with that much finish on it you shouldn't go through. Tough to say without having it in front of me though
     
  6. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

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    Been there done that. Sand it out @ 200+ till you cant see any dimples. Use a hard flat block not your fingers. You want to get an even matt surface all over.
    If you happen to sand through or have a lot of grain dimples then coat the whole surface with thin CA and repeat the sanding as many times as it takes to get the whole surface flat and matt.
    Once you have that you can revert to your lacquer and you will no doubt have to wet sand that @ 800 then 1200 etc till you can polish to a super shine.
     
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  7. Loudog99

    Loudog99 Tele-Holic

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    To me, that's how a natural wood finish should look. I don't like natural bodies with the grain completely filled and perfectly mirror flat. They end up looking like a piece of wood dipped in plastic if you ask me. That looks great!
     
  8. McCart

    McCart TDPRI Member

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    If you want to grain fill, now is the time to do it. I layer the grain filler between my sealer coats. You can apply it over the lacquer. Sand and shoot the clear. Doing it this way you can tint the filler dark and not stain the wood. It might take twice.

    If you want it flat, make it flat. You will regret not making it the way you want it.
     
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  9. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, dont freak out. Yiu havent done anything you cant come back from.
    Like McCart said, you can grain fill now. The lacquer that is on there will work as a barrier so the grain filler doesnt discolor the wood. You can go ahead and sand it flat, then clean really well with naptha and go ahead and grain fill. Then sand that flat and if not filled repeat until it is. Then proceed with more lacquer.
    Thats a good lookjng piece of wood. Another couple of days wont make any difference in the long run, but rushing and not getting it the way you want will always bother you.
     
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  10. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

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    So I spent a good long time and hit bare wood on the bass side. Used a flat piece of wood and kept changing out sand paper when full. Got a bunch of the lines out, some stil there. Shot a couple light coats of lacquer to see how it looked. Now I have to decide whether or not to try grain filler. First question, what go I use? I live in the middle of nowhere so my options locally is Lowes or Walmart. Any suggestions?
     
  11. McCart

    McCart TDPRI Member

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    You might have to find a Home Depot. Lowes should have it. You want a Grain Filler. It will be with the wood working materials, colored putty, etc in the paint department. I really like Old Masters. It is oil based. Some people use dry wall compound, tinted. I have used that if I needed white filler.

    You are going to find out why everybody hates doing this. Get as much of it off before it dries as possible. Squeegee it when it's wet at 45 degrees to the grain. Most of the fillers turn into concrete when dry. The oil base ones aren't quite as bad. I don't sand the sealer before doing the filler. That way the pits are deeper and will hold more material. When it dries, it tends to shrink.
     
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  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I'm working on a walnut tele right now. I hate grain filling. I finish with shellac, so I used a combination of LMI micro bead and pumice in shellac. Still hate it
     
  13. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Crystal Lac would probably be best Or at least some form of clear filler.
     
  14. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    Timbermate.

    Water based, easy to use, easy to sand, easy to clean. Comes in a range of tints or can be tinted however you choose.
     
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  15. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    Grain fill it now then clear coat.
    Use a sanding block.

    You can get a smooth finish using only lacquer but it will eventually shrink back and show grain again.
     
  16. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The only way to really do it right is to sand it completely smooth, apply lacquer sanding sealer, and then use the paste wood filler you should have used to start with. THAT will get you a glassy-smooth surface and "pop" the grain.
     
  17. G&Lplayer

    G&Lplayer Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for all the input folks. I have been wrestling with this one and after much thought have decided to leave the grain showing. The spray booth at work will have students using it again starting Monday and I don't want to wait until June to finish this up. If after a month I really hate the grain then I will strip it down completely and start over. As this is my first attempt at a body and I am going to assemble it and see if everything works together before I drive myself crazy. I will post over in Home Depot when it has cured and assembly begins. Thanks again for all the advise, it will come in handy on guitar two.
     
  18. McCart

    McCart TDPRI Member

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    Don't strip it down. You are a third of the way there. Really.
     
  19. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    You don't need to strip.
    If you want the grain filler later, apply it, then clear coat. No need to strip. The filler goes between coats.
     
  20. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    I would honestly embrace this. That looks really good honestly. I'd buff it down to a matte sheen with some steel wool and call it a day.
     
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