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Will pay big $ for instruction. Well maybe not big. :-)
Author
Post
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I'm hoping that one of you experienced luthiers, living a day's journey or less from Medford, Oregon, might be willing to have me present in your shop for a day, maybe two, watching you working on your project, to help me with a specific issue: I need help from the time the binding is installed to the point at which finish can be applied.

So I'm basically talking all the sanding steps, filling in any gaps between binding and body, just getting the instrument into perfect condition for finishing. And of course being able to pick your brain on other matters as well. :-)

Please contact me at 541-778-2218 if you would like to talk about it!
Thx
Dave Bagwill

Mar 08, 10 | 6:53 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Dave, there is a very thriving lutherie scene in the PNW with some great small time builders. Rick Davis (Running Dog Guitars) is up in Seattle (and is a regular contributor to this forum). The Guild of Americal Luthiers is headquartered in Tacoma where they have a conference everyother year (should be one this this June) Here is my little report from '08

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=3072_0_2_0_C

Lots of great builders in the Portland area - Mike Doolin comes immediately to mind, Breedlove is in central Oregon, several more in Eugene (I get all my pearl from Andy DePaule in Eugene or Salem). Several of us amature builders live in the PNW - I'm up in central washington which is a long ways from you, but if you are ever in the area I'd love to sit and chat and play.

There are a lot of pro's who do give lessons - some of them advertise in the back of the GAL quarterly magazines. http://www.luth.org/

I would also highly recommend Dan Erlewine's book on finishing (find it at StewMac). The finishing section of this forum is pretty good and you might want to check out MIMF (if you register you can access all their archives)

http://www.mimf.com/cgi-bin/WebX?14@219.GgP0aE3PFaK.0@.ee6b6a8

Didn't quite answer your request, but might give you some ideas

Mar 10, 10 | 5:38 am
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Thanks Freeman! Those are all excellent sources.

I need to watch someone's work up close and personal as they prep for finishing. It doesn't have to be a 'professional' - any amateur who has this process down and is willing to let me hover in a pleasant, inquisitive, and pita way would be a big help. :-)

Until then!
Dave

Mar 10, 10 | 6:09 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Dave, a lot of that has to do with the type of wood you are dealing with and the method/product that you want to use. Methods that are available to a "real" shop might not work for you and me in our garage. I know that some small commercial builders send their work out for high tech finishes.

I'm not an expert on finish and it is my humble opinion that we will never get the same deep professional job that a pro will, but I've been very satisfied fumbling along with Erlewine's book. I come from an old hot rod days a hundred or so years ago when many coats of lacquer were the only way to go - that is the way I do mine now. My first two were rattle cans of nitro - the finish came out way good but I could have blown up the garage, killed all the birds in my back yard and fried a few brain cells. I then switched to a little detail gun with water based lacquer and the results are almost as good - but the method is much safer and friendlier. Even tho they are a little more expensive, I've just use the entire suite of StewMac products - they are designed for instruments and to work together. My rule of thumb for the lacquer is lots of coats, then lots more. Ninety percent goes on the floor as you sand and polish, but the only way to get a thin finish is to keep filling every void with more lacquer, then sanding most of it off.

The step the gets us all is the pore filling for woods like mahogany or rosewood. On my first couple I did one filling, expecting the lacquer to fill the rest - that didn't happen. Here is my classical with 25 or 30 coats of nitro, the little white lines are pores in the rose wood that didn't properly fill.



Now I do two or even three applications of the pore filler, then several wash coats before I start the final building.

You mention filling gaps around binding, etc. The best way to do that is to powder some of the parent wood (lets say rosewood) - as I'm sanding I put the dust in a baggie for later use. Lay a little line of the dust on your crack and wick some thin CA into it, then scrape and the line will be almost invisible. When you are doing inlay you can simply mix the dust into your epoxy and set the pearl - it will fill the little gaps nicely.

To show you how much fun you can have blundering along by yourself, my fourth build was an F5 style mandolin and Erlewine had a pretty good description of how Gibson used to do sunbursts so I figured what the heck

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=765_0_7_0_C

You can see my high tech cardboard box spray booth - one of the nice things about waterbased.

I'll add that going off to watch someone finish a guitar is apt to be a pretty time consuming thing. It takes me at least a month to lay down all the coats - I usually let it cure for at least 2 or 3 weeks before I do the polishing. Catalyzed finishes obviously changes all of that, but most small builder send it out if they want poly.

Last comment, Erlewine does have a pretty good step by step photo essay on finishing a guitar - staining, pore filling, sanding and all the finish coats. One more reason to consider his book

*************

Those folks who brush, French polish, or use other materials will have their own recommendations - this is what has worked for me

Mar 10, 10 | 11:45 am
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Thanks Me :-)

Sounds like you have a good perspective on things. I'm getting there.
Dave

Mar 10, 10 | 5:27 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
My perspective is that all of this stuff is really fun. Fun is good - some people don't have any so there is an excess for the rest of us.

Mar 11, 10 | 8:07 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Freeman ---- that's a funny line and so true.

Mar 11, 10 | 10:04 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Keller's Third Law of Fun

"Fun is like Entropy, there is a fixed amount in the Universe. Some people aren't using their share, it is up to the rest of us to maintain the balance"

First corollary "If you see someone frowning that just means you can have more" Many others....

(a very good friend has a vanity license plate that says "FUNHOG" He beat me to it LOL)


Mar 11, 10 | 1:42 pm
Running Dog

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 103
Dave,
I could walk you through my obsessive finishing steps in a day, easily. Final inspection and correcting minor issues is key to a good-looking instrument. There are some great techniques for tightening up binding gaps without filling (and for avoiding them in the first place), and for finding and correcting glue smears etc. Drop me a line at rick@soundguitarworkshop.com or 206-547-1407 if you'd like to pursue it.

Cheers,
Rick Davis

Mar 12, 10 | 9:54 am
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Rick - that's what I'm talking about! I'll give you a buzz or drop a mail.
Thx
Dave

Mar 12, 10 | 10:10 am
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I've contacted Rick and I'm pretty pumped about an intense one day class.
If anyone out there would like to split the cost of the class with me, drop me a line and we can talk about it. I live in Southern Oregon, Rick is in Seattle.
Dave Bagwill
deadedith@earthlink.net

Mar 12, 10 | 1:06 pm
Charles Kuo

Total Topics: 43
Total Posts: 222
Hi Dave,

Rick is awesome. I'm sure you'll be pleased.

-Charles

Mar 15, 10 | 1:06 pm
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Thanks Charles. It will be awhile before I can afford it, but perhaps next Fall.
In the meantime, 'necessity is the mother of invention' and having to figure some things out on my own or with kgf input is a good thing too.
Dave

Mar 15, 10 | 1:46 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Dave, is the North Calif coast close enough?

http://www.lessonsinlutherie.com/homeforhighrez.html

Mar 16, 10 | 1:36 pm
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I've actually been in touch with Brian Burns for the past year, off and on. He is another real possibility; he also has lodgings on his property that are very reasonable, making the total cost real attractive. He only devotes one week a month to teaching, since he has a thriving luthier business to run.

Dave

Mar 16, 10 | 1:54 pm
deadedith

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
Freeman - do you know of a southern Oregon or N. Calif person who can do a professional finish job? Such as gloss nitro lacquer?
Dave B

Mar 17, 10 | 6:44 pm



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