Finishing Mahogany

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
720
Appearances aside, can a mahogany neck or body be finished simply with Minwax Satin Poly for a smooth, durable finish?  I don't mind a little "stickiness" like on a painted gibson neck.  Or does a mahogany neck need to be grain-filled before applying satin poly?  What about a body?

Thanks!

TS
 

Jwheeler

Active member
Messages
92
I'm getting my mahogany tele body next week and want to do something about like that.  I'm going to Woodcraft this weekend to pick up a small piece of mahogany to do some tests on.  I'll let you know the results.
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
The most amazing thing about mahogany is the ability of those teeny tiny grain pores to suck in large amounts of what finish you might try to use. If you don't want to have all those grain pores pocking the final finish you will need to grain fill, count on at least 3-4 fills and sand backs.

The mahogany sample pieces at Woodcraft appear to have been treated with something and finishes/toners will not properly adhere to them the way they will to a raw body/neck unless you sand them thoroughly back, at least that was the case with a couple of pieces I bought there recently.
 

spauldingrules

Senior member
Messages
720
So basically a mahogany neck would be a real pain to finish oneself?  I've never grain-filled, but it seems like it would be much harder on a rounded neck.  So does warmoth grain fill all of it's finished mahogany necks?
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
"So basically a mahogany neck would be a real pain to finish oneself?"

Not necessarily a pain, but more work than maple or some other wood choices.

"I've never grain-filled, but it seems like it would be much harder on a rounded neck."

Not really, use the 3M sanding sponges wrapped around, it's pretty quick, it's getting to those irregular areas like where the neck meets peghead.

"So does warmoth grain fill all of it's finished mahogany necks?"

Of course.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
What Jack said, but know - maple is easiest of all, mahogany about middle of the road, other woods can be more work intensive, but not "harder".

The key is the filling.  I think probably its best to scrape" the filler into the grain, and then flush with the wood.  Let it dry - then let it dry again.  Sand.  Repeat.  Fill can actually sink into the wood!  So go ahead and repeat it once more even if you think "its all filled".

After that the finish is no harder to apply.

Filling grain is not hard.  Its time consuming, but easy.  I mean... just dribble some on, scrape it in, scrape flush.  Then set it aside and sand it.  You can sand the first fills with 220grit, then 320 on the last fill.  You can finish over 320g sanding with no problems, providing you sanded with the grain.

Finishing goes very very nicely on filled wood.  What you'd waste in finishing time, you'll save in filling time.  That is... if you spend time filling, the finish will go on, and be perfecto much more quickly.
 
Top