#1
Hey folks, don't have time to visit here often but appreciate all that's here.

A few months ago, I bought a Gibson SG in the faded/satin red. I wanted a Gibson that I could knock around with, and not worry so much about. (I have some high-end Gibsons)

I've just never liked the totally dull satin finish much. I got to thinking about it, and it's just un-buffed lacquer. (All lacquer goes on dull, has to be buffed to shine) Gibson touts that finish as looking "aged", but even my old '66 ES 335 had shine. The truth is it's just a labor/cost saving measure for Gibson.

Sooooo, I buffed the guitar last nite. What a transformation! I used a mix that a car detail shop owner friend had given me, a mix of wax, and very fine abrasive compound. An automotive 'cleaner wax' should work equally well. I used a little 3" orbital foam buffer pad that mounts in the chuck of a hand drill. I kept the speed very slow. The finish is very thin on these guitars, so DO NOT use any kind of high-speed buffer, Dremel, etc. In fact, all of this can be accomplished by hand with some elbow grease. The buffer pad just speeds up the process. Probably best to avoid waxes containing silicone. If your guitar has binding like the satin finish 335, I would mask the binding before starting.

I used the buffer on the back, and the front of the body below the tailpiece, then hand-rubbed the less accessible areas. The best way to do this is to remove the pickguard, knobs, bridge and tailpiece before starting. I waited until I was ready to put on a new set of strings, so half of that stuff pops right off anyway.

Sorry, I don't have the ability to post pics, but what you get is a very warm glow, not quite as shiny as full-gloss clear or paint, but it looks like an older guitar with a hand-rubbed finish. Makes the color of the guitar really pop. A secondary benefit of this procedure is sealing the finish with wax. If you just bought one of these guitars, do it now, as the sweat from your hand/arm will bleach the finish somewhat if left unsealed

Now this thing really does look like an "aged", or vintage guitar.

I doubt if I'm the first to think of this, so sorry if this advice has been posted before.

Try it, you'll love it!
White Gibson Custom Shop ES 335 (Lifeson!), ES 335 TDC, ES 137, Gibson Tony Iommi SG, 2 SG Specials w/Iommi Pickups, SG Faded, 1275 Doubleneck, 2 Gibson Flying V's, G&L F100, Marshall TSL 100 head W/1960 412/ HotPlate, Modded 5150, various FX
#2
That sounds awesome, some pics would be cool.
Fender American Deluxe V-Neck Strat
Laguna LG300CE Acoustic Electric
#4
Hmmm, actually the Gibson Faded models arent 'unbuffed lacqer'. They're satin lacquer, which gets buffed. Satin lacquer is the same thing as gloss lacquer, except that it has an additive mixed in it that reflects light waves differently. It's not a cost effective solution, hell it probaly costs Gibson more to buy the can of satin lacquer, or to buy the additives then mix it in with the batch and shoot it. Lacquer doesnt go on dull either, it goes on glossy with orange peel. That orange peel needs to be sanded out before doing any polishing, or you end up with a guitar looking like the skin of an orange.

"but what you get is a very warm glow, not quite as shiny as full-gloss clear or paint"
That's because you're buffing something that's not intended to be full gloss in the first place. The only way you're going to get full gloss from it is spraying a few coats of gloss lacquer on it THEN buffing it.

My buffing tutorial:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=239709

While you're attempting to help people, you're giving very vauge directions, and incorrect suggestions that could potentially ruin someones guitar.
'Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.'
Last edited by AlGeeEater at Apr 5, 2006,
#5
Quote by AlGeeEater
Hmmm, actually the Gibson Faded models arent 'unbuffed lacqer'. They're satin lacquer, which gets buffed. Satin lacquer is the same thing as gloss lacquer, except that it has an additive mixed in it that reflects light waves differently. It's not a cost effective solution, hell it probaly costs Gibson more to buy the can of satin lacquer, or to buy the additives then mix it in with the batch and shoot it. Lacquer doesnt go on dull either, it goes on glossy with orange peel. That orange peel needs to be sanded out before doing any polishing, or you end up with a guitar looking like the skin of an orange.

"but what you get is a very warm glow, not quite as shiny as full-gloss clear or paint"
That's because you're buffing something that's not intended to be full gloss in the first place. The only way you're going to get full gloss from it is spraying a few coats of gloss lacquer on it THEN buffing it.

My buffing tutorial:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=239709

While you're attempting to help people, you're giving very vauge directions, and incorrect suggestions that could potentially ruin someones guitar.



Thats one hell of a great tutorial. Great job on that! The body of the guitar looks great too.
Fender American Deluxe V-Neck Strat
Laguna LG300CE Acoustic Electric
#6
I love the Faded satin finish. It feels like you're touching the actual wood, making it very cozy and comfortable. I don't know if it has anything to do with the finish, but I've tried a few Faded SG's and they have VERY good acoustic resonance.

American Stratocaster + Blues Junior

#7
Quote by AlGeeEater
Hmmm, actually the Gibson Faded models arent 'unbuffed lacqer'. They're satin lacquer, which gets buffed. Satin lacquer is the same thing as gloss lacquer, except that it has an additive mixed in it that reflects light waves differently. It's not a cost effective solution, hell it probaly costs Gibson more to buy the can of satin lacquer, or to buy the additives then mix it in with the batch and shoot it. Lacquer doesnt go on dull either, it goes on glossy with orange peel. That orange peel needs to be sanded out before doing any polishing, or you end up with a guitar looking like the skin of an orange.

"but what you get is a very warm glow, not quite as shiny as full-gloss clear or paint"
That's because you're buffing something that's not intended to be full gloss in the first place. The only way you're going to get full gloss from it is spraying a few coats of gloss lacquer on it THEN buffing it.

My buffing tutorial:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=239709

While you're attempting to help people, you're giving very vauge directions, and incorrect suggestions that could potentially ruin someones guitar.


I thought I detailed what I did to my guitar pretty clearly. If you go thru the steps you detail in your buffing tutorial, you will, most certainly, ruin the finish of one of these guitars. It's very thin. That's why I suggested hand rubbing, or very slow speed buffing with very little cut. There is a huge difference between orangepeel and dry, un-buffed lacquer. I know a great deal about paint, from where and why I don't feel the need to say. The purpose of my post was not to usurp your position as resident expert, nor do I intend on engaging in a pissing match with you.

I'm certain you're right about the satin finsished Gibsons costing the factory more than a gloss finish. That is why the identical model Gibson in a gloss finish costs, on average, $300-500 more than it's satin counterpart. Yeah, the cost of labor is never a factor, it's those high-dollar dulling agents. cough-bullsht- cough

Any of you guys that own one of these guitars, look where your am rests on the guitar, and the back of the neck. More shiny than the rest of the guitar? Why? Becasue in effect, the friction of your hand/arm rubbing the finish has buffed it. What I detailed makes the whole guitar have the same soft shine, not a high gloss. If you like the dullness, great.

I have read enough of your posts to know you have set yourself up as resident expert, and have read enough to know that, at least at times, yer fulla sht. I don't come here often because I have a busy life. You seem to have a very generous (suspect) amount of spare time to post here so regularly. I would think a luthier of your caliber would be hard pressed to find a spare moment. The luthier that my label uses is not taking any work for at least a month.

Sorry to have been so wreckless as to share my experience. I'm a quick study, won't make that mistake again. Thank you for saving these good people from certain catastrophe once again.
White Gibson Custom Shop ES 335 (Lifeson!), ES 335 TDC, ES 137, Gibson Tony Iommi SG, 2 SG Specials w/Iommi Pickups, SG Faded, 1275 Doubleneck, 2 Gibson Flying V's, G&L F100, Marshall TSL 100 head W/1960 412/ HotPlate, Modded 5150, various FX
#8
I didn't plan to return, but I want to apologise to A.E. My response to you was personal and rude. I don't know you, and I'm not in the habit of insulting strangers.

I would only ask you to keep an open mind. While dulling agent may, indeed, be added to the lacquer finish of the faded models, it does not mean that positive results can't be obtained from light buffing. For what it's worth, I'm here to testify that I did it the way I described, and got the result I described. As I said, I find it very pleasing, as it more closely replicates the patina of a vintage instrument. I would not, however, want to see someone risk a potential problem with their instrument.

My saying that the satin finish is responsible for the lower price of the faded models is an over-simplification. The dull finish allows for much less finish sanding of the wood than a smooth, high gloss finish. One only need inspect a faded model to see how much less finely sanded the body is than a high gloss counterpart. The inside of the cutaways on my SG faded are especially rough. The higher the gloss, the more any imperfection in the substrate shows thru. I do happen to own a higher priced, teal flip-flop version of the same guitar.

Because of the relatively low cost of this instrument, I felt at ease with a little experimentation. For me, it turned out well. If you have any qualms about trying it, or like the satin finish the way it is, by all means, don't do it.

A.E., we'll agree to disagree, and I hope you'll accept my apology. I think you've been helpful to many here.
White Gibson Custom Shop ES 335 (Lifeson!), ES 335 TDC, ES 137, Gibson Tony Iommi SG, 2 SG Specials w/Iommi Pickups, SG Faded, 1275 Doubleneck, 2 Gibson Flying V's, G&L F100, Marshall TSL 100 head W/1960 412/ HotPlate, Modded 5150, various FX
#9
Progger, it's not about being the resident luthier or finish expert, I was just mearly sharing what I thought of what you were doing. There's no hard feelings or anything, so don't take it personally. I'm actually glad that you're contributing something but my post was mearly just to show a different point of view on what you posted, and correct any errors that you had in it.

I'm not sure what you mean about dry unbuffed lacquer, as if Gibson only sanded up to 2,000 grit there would be sanding marks are over that ARE visible. If you just spray the finish, let it cure and assemble it then you didnt sand and buff the guitar, and you'd have orange peel

"You seem to have a very generous (suspect) amount of spare time to post here so regularly. I would think a luthier of your caliber would be hard pressed to find a spare moment. The luthier that my label uses is not taking any work for at least a month."

I don't have the much time to post here anymore. I used to have a lot of time a few months ago, but now I hardly have anytime. A few months ago I didnt have a company name, I didn't have anything. Right now i've got a company name, clients, e-mails out the wah-zoo and all kinds of crap. My buisness is taking off, along with the school year comming to an end, my girlfriend, and basically life, it's hard to find time. I mostly just post my projects here, and help out occasionaly. It's hard though working from when you get home from school until 12 at night, then going to sleep and waking up at 5:30.

FWIW, satin finishes get sanded and buffed the same was as gloss ones do, again it's not really cost effective as i'm sure Gibson pays some minimum wage guy to sand the lacquer.

I will not accept your apology, you have nothing to apologize for!

Chris
'Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.'