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Guitar Finishing Step-by-Step
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Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 654
I just finished reading "Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step" by Dan Erlwine and Don McRostie. The amount of information in this book is amazing, yet they do a good job of making it all make sense. The books spends the first few chapters teaching you about the language, materials and tools of finishing. Then it goes into more specific finishing schedules for a variety of different finishes. It also includes info and color charts for mixing the various tints and shades (do you know the difference between a tint and a shade?) used to achieve the look you're after. The processes are mainly focused on spraying with readily available hobby equipment. Most finishes are lacquer, either nitro or waterbourne, but other approaches are mentioned as well. A lot of the recipes and discussions are around Gibson and Fender electric instruments, but there is great info on a "standard Martin" acoustic finish as well as other techniques that work for acoustic or electric. There is even some neat history about how the various factories arrived at their recipes and approaches to finishing. It's a great book.

Aug 29, 06 | 11:43 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
DITTO: Great minds must run in the same track ... I got on this forum to post a review of the book too ... and there's Dennis's. I can't add much to it, except to say that it is so superior to the "first edition" of this book that it's a completely different book.

Put this book together with Robbie O'Brien's video and you have a complete course/resouce for finishing. Wish I'd had them when I made my first guitar!

Bill

Sep 08, 06 | 7:02 am
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
How about the "Spray Finishing Basics" video from McRostie and Erlwine, Stew-Mac? The catalogue seems to indicate that it will show how to use rattle cans along with spray equipment. Has anyone seen it?
Hugh

Aug 24, 07 | 2:56 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hugh -- I have that one; it's not up to date. Mostly about nitro; mostly finishing electric guitars. I was disappointed. Wanna buy it for $20? Shipped? Viewed only twice.

Robbie's, (go to www.obrienguitars.com ... click on DVDs) on the other hand, IS worth buying; I'm keeping my copy. As I said above, the Step-by-step finishing book 2nd Edition, with Robbie's video, will give a complete education in modern guitar finishing of all kids.

Bill

Aug 24, 07 | 3:13 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Bill; Thanks for the hint. I ordered the O'Brien dvd. A mandolin maker working at Woodcraft told me the same thing about the stew-mac book and suggested a better one.
Hugh

Aug 24, 07 | 6:54 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Hugh -- I might not have been clear above . The 2nd edition of the Stewmac book, just released last year, is the absolute best finishing book for guitar work using all kinds of finishes on electric and acoustics. I probably have the book the recommended at Woodcraft; I bought a ton of them before the new Stewmac book came out --and they're all about furniture, etc. that's fine, but there's a critical difference between furniture and guitars: The furniture doesn't need to sound as good as a guitar, so thickness doesn't matter -- and the furniture finishing books don't worry about it.

The Stewmac 2nd edition of Guitar Finishing Step-by-Step, is the best book, all around, for guitars.

Bill

Aug 25, 07 | 5:26 am
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Hugh--

Bill is absolutely spot on. Furniture making and other fine wood working outside of luthery have an entirely different set of finish criteria. A lot of the oil finishes pop wood grain very well, but they soak in and dampen tone, especially on top woods. Weight and finish thickness is just ot an issue.

Finishing a stringed instrument is its own little art form and can even be broken down further by dividing bowed instruments from plucked instruments. Unless the guy at Woodcraft is a lutherier, he will be stearing you, unintentionaly, in potentially the wrong direction.

Robbie's DVD is great and I'd recomment getting it, especially if you are comtemplating more than one guitar. The 2nd ed of the Stew Mac book is also worth having. My $0.02 :).

Aug 25, 07 | 6:53 am



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