#1
This is a bit noobish but ive looked at the painting thread and nothing seems to definately answer my question...

Im looking at getting a kit (maybe warmoth or something) to make a mahogany guitar (PRS style) but I dont want to paint it as I like the colour of the wood (and I wouldnt be any good at painting) . How would I finish the guitar to get this?

Would this work? Would all I need to do is take the prepared wood (all sanded and paint ready) apply a nitrocellulose basecoat and then a nitrocellulose lacquer (THESE PRODUCTS http://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/products/wood-finishes/lacquers/nitrocellulose-lacquer-sprays.htm)

Would I need anything else?

Also, could I instead, french polish it? If I wanted to make the wood look slightly darker, could I use this: http://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/products/wood-finishes/lacquers/french-polish.htm

If I used that would that be all I needed? can you use that on guitars?

Cheers for any help If this has been answered elsewhere I apologise for not being able to find it, if you could show me where I would appreciate it
#2
French Polishing is what is used on alot of classical guitars.

For straight natural, you just need to lay down a good basecoat, and then lacquer several coats, wet-sanding in between.

Give me one second, I'll have a good tutorial for you.

EDIT: http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/FinishOverview.htm
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Finishing/Finishes,_solvents/i-5570.html

and for French Polishing, http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpintro.html
http://www.am-wood.com/finishes/french.html
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
Last edited by bv310 at Aug 15, 2009,
#3
Quote by slashs_#1_fan
This is a bit noobish but ive looked at the painting thread and nothing seems to definately answer my question...

Im looking at getting a kit (maybe warmoth or something) to make a mahogany guitar (PRS style) but I dont want to paint it as I like the colour of the wood (and I wouldnt be any good at painting) . How would I finish the guitar to get this?

Would this work? Would all I need to do is take the prepared wood (all sanded and paint ready) apply a nitrocellulose basecoat and then a nitrocellulose lacquer (THESE PRODUCTS http://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/products/wood-finishes/lacquers/nitrocellulose-lacquer-sprays.htm)

Yes, it would work wonderfully. Famous guitar makers like Gibson, Fender, and PRS all use nitrocellulose lacquers.

Would I need anything else?

You will need sandpapers in varying grades, as well as polishing compounds and a polishing device.

Also, could I instead, french polish it? If I wanted to make the wood look slightly darker, could I use this: http://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/products/wood-finishes/lacquers/french-polish.htm

Yes, you could. Please note that the lacquer will be far more durable.

If I used that would that be all I needed? can you use that on guitars?

Other than the aforementioned sandpaper and buffing apparatus, and of course rags and whatnot, yupp!

Also, yes you can use both of those finishes on guitars, but looks up the pros and cons of each before making your decision.


Cheers for any help If this has been answered elsewhere I apologise for not being able to find it, if you could show me where I would appreciate it


Enjoi <--- Friend me
Quote by Scowmoo
Otter, you're my new god.
#8
I've just done a Yamaha Pacifica in Tru Oil and Tru Oil Wax.

The neck is sooo smooth (be sure to sand it up the gradients from 240 through to 800 wet & dry & 0000 wire wool. The Tru Oil retains the natural colour and the wax seals it beautifully.

No mess and the Tru Oil ($/£8) could easily do 5-6 coats on TWO guitars..
#9
Quote by osbornej761
I've just done a Yamaha Pacifica in Tru Oil and Tru Oil Wax.

The neck is sooo smooth (be sure to sand it up the gradients from 240 through to 800 wet & dry & 0000 wire wool. The Tru Oil retains the natural colour and the wax seals it beautifully.

No mess and the Tru Oil ($/£8) could easily do 5-6 coats on TWO guitars..


Tru-Oil is fine if you're never going to gig the guitar. It gathers dirt and moisture very quickly and the guitar ends up looking like crap (I have two koa guitars done in Tru-Oil). It doesn't protect the guitar, but it looks pretty at first. I finished thousands of walnut rifle stocks with oil finishes and they look very pretty, but there's a reason why folks facing longer hunts and inhospitable weather take stainless guns with plastic stocks. I made lots of money refinishing stocks that had been exposed to moisture and dirt by first-timers who didn't know any better.

French Polish is very delicate (more so than Tru-Oil). I have a French Polished 1939 Epiphone Emperor (archtop acoustic). Alcohol will ruin the finish, but you can RE-french-polish it. It's just labor intensive and not very useful for electric guitars where you've got a lot of metal bits that need to be removed and replaced every time you do it. Contrary to a previous post, most classics (and most acoustics in general, these days) are done in a thin polyester. Taylor has a robotic setup that applies a nearly-100%-solids thin finish more evenly than can any human with a spray gun.

Nitrocellulose is a crap finish, honestly, that was dumped by car manufacturers in the '50's and that lives on as a guitar finish only because Gibson has made it a traditionalist bullet point. It takes a long time to dry (it doesn't actually cure) and it begins degrading shortly after that. It's the single largest source of Gibson customer complaints.

Polyesters and polyurethanes (there are tons of variants) can be had in matte and satin finishes. They cure quickly (the UV-catalyzed versions are used in most guitar production these days), can be put on thinner and more evenly than nitrocellulose, and they protect the guitar better. As an aside, you may want a satin-finished neck, but you'll probably prefer a gloss-finished body long-term. Matte black may seem fashionable and...uh..."sinister" or "stealthy" to the 15-and-under crowd, but it's a fingerprinted PIA down the line.
#10
I used helmsman spar urethane, matte finish in a spray can on a mohogany guitar last year. I put 6 coats on and sanded between each coat. Should have put ten coats but it came out looking very nice. It took 3 months to cure and stop smelling like urethane. Spar urethane is supposed to be for outdoor furniture and i have heard its used on boats. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in ten years. The matte finish is nice because the reflections dont outshine the woodgrain. Btw if anyone has insight to using spar urethane on a guitar i would be interested, even if they are negative.