body/neck finish....

g2

Active member
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73
After reading a lot....thinking a lot (too much maybe!!!) I've narrowed down what it is I would like to do to finish my guitar/neck.
I just thought I'd run it by ya'll here and see what opinions/thoughts you have....I'm always up for getting feedback from people with finishing experience!!

Body:
Grain fill (water based) with a black or brown filler (anyone have photos of the results of using both fillers on swamp ash??)
Stain, color TBD(most likely in the light to dark brown or even possibly a cherry-ish color) most likely i'll rub the stain on.....debating getting a can of tinted aerosol lacquer from stew mac  to see how that looks.
Clear coat will be a satin finish. I've had thoughts about using pure tung oil but....not sure.

Neck
Will either be a satin finish or i'll use pure tung oil (birdseye maple neck)

I know i've read on here that grain filling is the first step....
In the StewMac book I have on finishing they suggest to stain first, then grain fill....
Is one way better than the other??

I'm not planning on using any kind of sanding sealer.....just doesnt seem necessary for what I want to do. Or is it??

Any thoughts/comments, etc etc would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!!

 

jackthehack

Senior member
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5,630
Sequence of steps can vary with wood and filler/dye(s) being used, e.g., korina is very waxy and will not absorb dye very deep and you'll tend to sand the dye layer back leveling the grain filler.

If using colored fillers on swamp ash, do all your filling first, then dye/stain.

If top coat is tung oil/satin wipe on type poly, no need to use sanding sealer. If you intend to use toner you need to apply coats of sanding sealer and level back before spraying toner and/or an aerosol nitro satin top coats.

Might be easier to say once you narrow down exactly how you want to do the finish.

If you look through the '54 Goldtop Tele thread in DIY there are step by step pics using mahogany body/neck.

 

g2

Active member
Messages
73
Thanks for the info Jack....

Your project is looking great so far!

I should know in the next day or so what I want the finish to be like....

I don't think I will use any toner....just fill, stain, satin finish(from a can)

I will experiment with tung oil as well....

Thanks!
 

jackthehack

Senior member
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5,630
Be advised that tung oil and poly wipe on don't play well together and if you mix the two you'll probably wind up with a mess....
 

-CB-

Senior member
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5,427
Fill first, stain second.... unless there is some compelling reason to do otherwise (special colors etc).

You might want to try the Deft lacquer available in aerosol at Walmart for under $5 a can, but be aware you'll need a good 5 or 6 cans for a guitar.... considering overspray, and sandback and respray etc.

Sanding sealer... if you take your first coats of lacquer, and sand them back AFTER drying, its as good as sealer.  Sanding sealer just has a bit more material, consider it a "thick" lacquer.    I personally dont "seal".  I thought I'd have trouble on the ASH thinline I just did, but it came out pretty much as a mirror, except one little spot on the back that I didn't quite get filled (my fault, not the material choice, and not the lack of sealer).  Then again, that one spot is ... like three tiny elongated dots ...barely noticable.

So - fill, dye/stain, seal and or lacquer, sand back lightly AFTER it has a good time to dry (a week if you haven't got any trick drying methods), then clear coat.  After that dries level the finish, one last clear coat on the 400 grit and put it away for a few weeks.  Come back and level that, buff it out.  Done.

On the neck - just remember to keep oil finish THIN as possible, to avoid the "gummy" feeling.
 

g2

Active member
Messages
73
Thanks CB....
As I said, the StewMac book has a flow chart where it says to stain, then fill....but, I will definitely fill first.
BTW...I can see what you mean about the StewMac book being like an infomercial...but its a good book for a beginner like me, i'm getting a lot out of it.

As I said, if I dont use tung oil on the body, I plan to use a satin finish.....must I use lacquer before I spray on the satin finish??
Satin finish also doesnt not need to be buffed if Ive read correctly, yea??

Thanks for your help guys....its very much appreciated!!!
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Go to Walmart.  Get DEFT in semi-gloss (NOT satin).

The DEFT semi-gloss will go down fairly flat, dull.  The satin goes down rough.

I've used the semi-gloss quite a bit... zero issues.

So - fill, sand, stain/dye, lacuer... sand back once... lightly... then just lacquer again.  Both times with semi gloss DEFT and you'll be just fine with it.  GO LIGHT on the DEFT.  Give coats adequate time to dry.  If you get a little "overspray dust" dont fret it.  Just let it all dry.  The "dust" will buff off easily, and the finish will still be flat unless you use some comound on it.
 

g2

Active member
Messages
73
-CB- said:
Go to Walmart.  Get DEFT in semi-gloss (NOT satin).

The DEFT semi-gloss will go down fairly flat, dull.  The satin goes down rough.

I've used the semi-gloss quite a bit... zero issues.

So - fill, sand, stain/dye, lacuer... sand back once... lightly... then just lacquer again.  Both times with semi gloss DEFT and you'll be just fine with it.  GO LIGHT on the DEFT.  Give coats adequate time to dry.  If you get a little "overspray dust" dont fret it.  Just let it all dry.  The "dust" will buff off easily, and the finish will still be flat unless you use some comound on it.

Ok, great....I'll pick some up tomorrow and try it out.
Any specific brand of stain you'd recommend as well as a water based grain filler? I was just going to order those from StewMac....

 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
StewMac is fine for grain filler; what shade of stain are you looking for? The MinWax oil based stains are available everywhere and work just fine if the color you're looking for is available in such. The Golden Pecan looks sharp on top of brown or black filler if you're looking for a natural type finish; what were you in mind of?
 

g2

Active member
Messages
73
jackthehack said:
StewMac is fine for grain filler; what shade of stain are you looking for? The MinWax oil based stains are available everywhere and work just fine if the color you're looking for is available in such. The Golden Pecan looks sharp on top of brown or black filler if you're looking for a natural type finish; what were you in mind of?

Im thinking of playing around with some shade of brown or even a cherry (es335ish) color....
 

g2

Active member
Messages
73
one thing i forgot to ask.....
will one can of the deft be enough for the body? if not, how many??

 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Think 3 cans if you're really good and really careful and really did good prep work.  More like 4 or 5 cans... but I'd get six.  Thats $30 in materials.
 

g2

Active member
Messages
73
-CB- said:
Think 3 cans if you're really good and really careful and really did good prep work.  More like 4 or 5 cans... but I'd get six.  Thats $30 in materials.

well, i'll get 6 to practice with....but i won't use them all as my practice wood is 3 pieces of swamp ash that are 23x5x2.....and  i plan to cut them in half so i have more surface area to experiment/mess up on!!!

thanks!!!
 
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