Ok, so I'm either going to do a hollow mahogany/maple top or hollow korina/korina body with black binding. My question is can you do an oil finish with binding? or if I do a spray can poly should I mask off the binding? (do you have to polish poly?)
What about Nitrocellulose Lacquer? It is the most traitional and if you are patient it produces a wonderful finish that ages well.
Poly tends to impact the tone do to the nature of the cell structure within polyurethane, it is actually used as a vibration dampining agent in industry ..it is however quite durable. And yes you can polish it.
If it is a wood binding I don't see a reason to mask it .
"Poly tends to impact the tone do to the nature of the cell structure within polyurethane, it is actually used as a vibration dampining agent in industry"
It is important to note that this poly/nitro debate has been going on for many years; whether poly impacts your tone and if so, in what degree. I read an interesting thread once about how much of your own torso is in contact with the guitar body affects your tone much more.
Let me qualify the poly point to say from a tone perspective the more resonant the wood the more of an effect , and the thinner the coat the less of an effect . On a solid body instrument a thin coat of poly shouldn't have a dramatic effect on tone. There is no doubt in my mind it is more durable. Nitro is actually outlawed in a number of states .
When I had the back of my 79 Les Paul Custom re-finished after 14 years of heavy use , I had to have the Luthier do it in his home shop as Cal state law forbid him from doing it in the store ( Gryphon Guitars a great store by the way) .
All of my 11 instruments have Nitro including the 3 I've built. So I'm a bit biased. It is "old school" but I love the way it ages.