#1
Hi,
I'm starting to buy parts for my first build. I've got a good idea of what I want so I don't need help with that, but I've seen guitars like this:

http://www.mayones.com/bindata/catalog/images/zrodlo/CATIMG9f9df9173cdac8c4f02e1b225d61af66.jpg

Which have a rough finish where you can feel the grain, rather than a smooth finish like on a Les Paul. My friend has an Ibanez with this sort of finish aswell.

How would I get that finish? I've found out that you have to be using swamp ash for that type of finish, which is fine with me since that's a perfect wood for the doom sound I'm hoping to end up with, but how would I apply the finish, and what finish do I need? Is it nitro, or an oil? How do I stop it from going smooth, like most guitar's finishes are?

Thanks
#2
There's a few companies doing similar finishes and as far as I am aware most do it by lightly sandblasting the wood then dying/staining it.

Swamp ash tends to be layers of differing hardness and the sandblast eats away a little at the softer areas to enhance the grain.
#3
First you start with a porous wood like Mahogany and you don't add grain filler to the wood before you finish it. then you get the "rough" finish look
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#4
Thanks for both answers, but uh, they're kinda contradictory. So, do I just get my swamp ash and not fill the grain, or do I have to lightly sandblast it aswell? I have access to a sandblaster, but I'm not sure if it would be too powerful, because it's for vehicle parts.
#5
Quote by dragonzrmetal
Thanks for both answers, but uh, they're kinda contradictory. So, do I just get my swamp ash and not fill the grain, or do I have to lightly sandblast it aswell? I have access to a sandblaster, but I'm not sure if it would be too powerful, because it's for vehicle parts.


It would be a case of try it and see with the sandblaster. I would try sanding and then steaming with a clothes iron - that might lift the grain sufficiently. I would likely try oil or wax rather than hard finish to complete the rustic look.
#6
Ok, I guess I'll just experiment when I finish cutting the body. I'm not convinced about waxing though, I thought wax finishes picked up a lot of dirt and dented easily? I'd have to laquer the neck rather than wax anyway, because I can't let the neck ding, and I have a habit of knocking the neck on things.
#7
Sandblasting might be a too hard of a substance I'd think. I know a guy who does some cool wood turning (bowls and other such) and he uses Walnut shells when he is cleaning the bark off of certain woods.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#8
I'd definitely NOT sandblast your guitar.
Most of these are done simply by NOT using grain filler and by selecting a matte finish poly or lacquer. Matte finishes (you'll be more familiar with them if you've spent some time looking for interior house paint with a spouse) add a flattener (like talc) to the paint to get a non-glossy finish. The lack of grain filler will be sufficient to allow the grain to stand out, especially on woods like elm, swamp ash, mahogany, etc. You probably don't want to emphasize it more than that, or the pits collect dirt, sweat, etc.

I'm only a fan of matte finishes on the backs of necks, honestly. Several reasons: One is that matte finishes develop shiny spots over time, with wear and exposure to greasy things (fingers, etc.). Just as glossy finishes collect finger prints, so do matte finishes, except that they do something different with them. Two, I think that matte finishes wear more quickly. Three, gloss is easier to take care of. YMMV
#9
A very interesting thread.

I agree that the effect in the first picture is down to sanding and then applying a thin unfilled lacquer.

You could emphasise the grain by whiping over with a damp cloth. This will both lift the grain and remove any dust from the pores. Obviously leave in a clean dust free place subsequently to dry thoroughly before coating.

Sand blasting would give a much coarser grain effect which would be quite interesting, but probably not very practical. This would want to be done prior to machining any cavities as it would otherwise rip away any edge detail. It will also play havoc with your router cutter as tiny abrasive particles will be left in the pores.