Koa wood prep and finish in clear lacquer

Tonar8352

Senior member
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2,195
I received this beautiful Koa Telecaster from our forum friend buckallred to finish in clear lacquer. Here are the steps and products I used to get it ready for the final finish coats.

The first four pictures show before and after profiles of the body.  It came to me ruff cut  so I rounded up the edges and made the belly cut deeper starting with 80 grit paper then I went to 220 and finally 320.  These pictures also give a good idea of how much the finishing process enhances the beauty of the Koa when you compare them to the final pictures.
IMG_4257.jpg

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After it was finish sanded I shot it with one wash coat of McFadden’s water white lacquer.  Next I had to deal with the knot in the back.  I used Bondo wood filler that I tinted with color in oil that I got from Dunn-Edwards Paints. I use raw umber and a tiny bit of iron oxide to make the color.  Next I filled the wood with clear oil based paste wood filler made by McFadden’s.  These two pictures show it filled and ready for clear coats.
IMG_4336.jpg

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Finally here it is with the first coat of clear finish on it.  Notice how much the grain is enhanced.  The back is more showy than the front but this will be a beautiful guitar once its gets all finished.
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buckallred

Senior member
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173
Absolutely fantastic, thank you Greg. This will be one hell of a guitar. Truly unique. Keep the awesome pics coming.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
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2,197
Sweet, bondo for wood.  Good to know about.  All I need to find is bailing wire for wood, heh heh heh...  That body looks like it will have those brilliant golden highlights that koa shows at times.  Beautiful.
Patrick

 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,464
Pretty sweet indeed, I love Koa, it's such a beautiful wood...

Nice job Tonar.... :headbang1:
 

Tonar8352

Senior member
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2,195
Thank you all for the kind words, I appreciate it very much!  

The clear paste filler has worked out real nice since it is not adding any color to the wood so we have just the natural color of the wood grain being enhance by the lacquer and not buried under color.

Patrick, try duct tape instead of bailing wire.   :laughing7:
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,464
Tonar8353 said:
Thank you all for the kind words, I appreciate it very much!  

The clear paste filler has worked out real nice since it is not adding any color to the wood so we have just the natural color of the wood grain being enhance by the lacquer and not buried under color.

Patrick, try duct tape instead of bailing wire.   :laughing7:
Simulated wood Duck Tape...... :laughing7:
 

buckallred

Senior member
Messages
173
That's actually Tonar's neck, he just set it there for an example.

I think I am going to go with an unfinished rosewood neck. Maybe a koa neck someday. That's a $700 investment, an unfinished rosewood one is half that.
 

DangerousR6

Senior member
Messages
15,464
buckallred said:
That's actually Tonar's neck, he just set it there for an example.

I think I am going to go with an unfinished rosewood neck. Maybe a koa neck someday. That's a $700 investment, an unfinished rosewood one is half that.
An all rosewood would be an excellent choice too.... :icon_thumright:
 

buckallred

Senior member
Messages
173
I am very excited to complete this guitar. Tonar really got every bit of beauty out of this wood.

For comparison: here is the board as I brought it back from Hawaii with me:
 

whitebison66

Senior member
Messages
777
It looks great so far. You weren't kidding about the 'value added' nature of finishing Koa!

But I have to say that thanks to this forum, the first thing I thought of when you said 'knot' was... Shamalama Ding Dong.

 

chrisg

Senior member
Messages
461
Thanks for the information and detail on how you got the best out of that Koa.  I wasn't a big fan (of Koa) until I saw what you did with this.  Can't wait to see the finished product.  :glasses9:
 

buckallred

Senior member
Messages
173
(drumroll)

PS: sorry for the poor quality pics. Tonar's work is just awesome. A very fine professional finishing job. I am very, very pleased. Anyone who is considering using his services, it is an easy decision. WELL worth it, and his fee is very reasonable (esp. considering the amount of work involved).

Start:
koa.jpg


Middle:
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Finish:
DSC03329.jpg


DSC03330.jpg
 

Tonar8352

Senior member
Messages
2,195
Thank you Buck!  You are right; pictures cannot do that piece of wood justice.  The wood moves so much as you see it from different angles it is very three dimensional.  I look forward to seeing it put together and ready to play.  
 
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